This time last year, Josh Raskin probably just seemed like any old Toronto twenty-something film school drop-out,wearing an Elijah Woods skin-suit. That was before Jerry Levitin chose him to direct a film based on the epic interview he conducted with John Lennon as a kid. Now that Josh has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short category for I Met the Walrus, people like George Clooney are starting to take notice and are even trying to squeeze his arm. I don’t know about you, but people from the cast of ER never even touch me. Josh and I talked about dream dates with Michael Cera and how he’s been high-fiving a lot of people in LA lately. Let’s just hope that he wins an Academy Award and doesn’t end up with a hand-transmitted bacterial infection.
ONLY: When your film’s producer Jerry Levitin was fourteen, he was stalking John Lennon and recording an interview that would lead to an Oscar nomination for both of you. What were you doing at fourteen?
JR I probably was starting high school, and making mix tapes on a crappy Radio Shack mixer in my mom’s basement, and trying to imagine what a girl’s breasts looked like.
ONLY: I was wondering if you had any opinions on whether John was the walrus, or not? ‘Cos John said in the song “Glass Onion” that the Walrus was Paul. Apparently, there is some real confusion about that. What do you make of the whole thing?
JR That was my first reaction when we talked about the title and after a good deal of research and some very strong words from a bunch of different people, we did resolve that, in fact, the walrus is John. “The Glass Onion” was kind of a joke song, referencing all of their other songs. It hasn’t made it any easier to convince people that John was the walrus. The truth of it is that none of The Beatles were sea mammals. They just wrote songs about one. So, for whatever that’s worth, it was John.
ONLY: I read somewhere that you think Ellen Page is “adorable”. However, if you had your choice of going on a Canadian dream date with either Ellen Page, Sarah Polley or Michael Cera, who would you choose?
JR I would totally go on a date with Michael Cera, and not because I’m sexually attracted to him in the slightest, but because he totally cracks the shit out of me and I think he is one of the funniest human beings who has ever lived and Arrested Development is my favourite show. But, I mean, if it was a romantic date, I would totally go on a date with Ellen Page because she’s far more attractive. I saw her at the nominee luncheon, but I have not yet given her a romantic high-five.
ONLY: You’re going to the Academy Awards soon and I’ve seen pictures of you on the internet. I was just wondering if you were at all concerned whether people at the Oscars might mistake you for Elijah Wood and start asking you about Lord of the Rings?
JR No. I’m really hoping somebody asks me who I’m wearing so that I can just say “Elijah Wood” and clear up all the rumours.
ONLY: You’re just wearing an Elijah Wood skinsuit?
JR Exactly. It’s kind of a Silence of the Lambs thing I’ve been working on for some time, and that’s why you haven’t seen him in a lot of films lately.