Why Comedian Patton Oswalt Was Cast As A Catfishing Father In I Love My Dad

In the world of stand-up comedy, Patton Oswalt is a superstar. The slew of highly-praised specials he’s written and performed over his career have resulted in five Grammy nominations and an Emmy. In his acting career, the Goldbergs and A.P. Bio star continues to bring the laughs. However, every now and then, we get to see a slightly darker side of the comic, and it’s fair to say that his new film I Love My Dad falls into that category. So why bring a notorious goof on board for this semi-autobiographical story that deals with suicidal ideation and childhood trauma? Writer and director James Morosini recently clued us in.

In the film, Patton Oswalt plays a father who, after being estranged from his troubled teenaged son, decides to catfish him online as a romantically-interested young woman. When asked why Oswalt was the right guy for the role, James Morosini told CinemaBlend this:

I mean, I've been a fan of Patton’s for as long as I can remember. I think he has an incredible ability to inject levity into dark subject matter. The guy is a comedic genius, but he also has tremendous heart. And I knew that those qualities were going to be really important in this character and, man, he's just he's an incredibly generous artist and collaborator. And it was so fun making this movie with him.

Injecting levity into dark subject matter, as Morosini put it, is one of Patton Oswalt’s specialties. Whether it’s religion, politics or shitting his pants… nothing is off the table when it comes to his stand-up material. Oswalt has also had some personal tragedies in his life that have seemed to inform the creative choices he’s made in recent years, as well as the projects he chooses to take on.

It’s also worth noting that I Love My Dad is certainly written with humor and can be most accurately categorized as a dark-comedy. To imply that Oswalt doesn’t get laughs in the film would be insincere, but an equally important aspect of his performance is the heart and complex human emotion he brings to the character.

Patton Oswalt just might be entering the peak of his acting career, as at the end of last year he made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A post-credit scene in Marvel’s Eternals saw him appear as Pip the Troll alongside Harry Styles as Eros/Starfox. Oswalt has also said that audiences can expect Eternals 2 with Chloé Zhao back at the helm, so maybe we'll see Pip and Eros play a larger role in the sequel. This isn’t the actor’s first foray into geek-centric roles, as Oswalt was also a fan-favorite in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he made a surprise voice cameo for The Boys Season 2.

You can see I Love My Dad in select theaters right now! As for everything else that’s on its way to the big screen, you can get the lowdown from our 2022 movie release schedule.

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff started his career producing television commercials in his hometown of Fresno, California. After a few years, he came across the opportunity to make a living talking about his favorite thing: movies. Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.