In the new indie “Creative Control," Reggie Watts plays “Reggie Watts.” Like the real Watts, his character is a musician and comic, one considered cool enough to co-create and star in a hot new ad campaign. That often happens to Watts himself, who’s done commercials in addition to his free-form solo stage shows (such as 2010’s “Why S— So Crazy?”), co-starring on the “Comedy Bang! Bang!” TV show and his current stint: leading the house band on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
There’s always a serious side to Watts’ goofiness, though “Creative Control” is full-on dark. It imagines a near future in which a company has created a new and improved twist on the Google Glass — one that actually looks like a pair of glasses. The film follows an ad exec (played by Benjamin Dickinson, who also directed and co-wrote) as he employs it surreptitiously, using it to create a digital version of his friend’s new girlfriend (Alexia Rasmussen). For Watts, this touches on a lot of his own interests in — and issues with — how we use tech.
You’ve done ad campaigns before. What have your experiences been like, especially compared to the one in “Creative Control”?
They’re jobs, obviously, and ways to generate an income. But I try to be careful about who I associate myself with. My manager lets them know that I like to work a certain way, and what you’re getting is this person — this is what he’s capable of doing and just be aware of that when you’re hiring him. That usually tends to work, and I end up doing things I like to do. The more that I do under those circumstances the easier it becomes, because people have this body of work and they can see what I do. There have been moments when people say, “Oh, you should do this,” and I’m just not feeling that.
“Creative Control” seems to really speak to some of your own interests. Your use of tech, for instance, isn’t just being a slave to it. You’ve found creative ways to use gadgets.
Technology is a tool. Technology is there to serve humans. When technology becomes smarter and more social, we don’t notice the weird shift, and we end up working for our technology, responding to every alert technology gives us. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s not why I like technology. I like technology because when it’s designed well it appeals on an aesthetic level and a creative level, instead of creating frustration and disappointment and addiction. I’m always going to be addicted to technology insofar as I love design and I love what technology can do. But that’s the limit of my addiction.