He may play one on screen, but Dane Cook wants it on the record that heâ€™s the furthest thing from a bastard playboy. In fact, heâ€™s a big old softie.
Though heâ€™s played an immoral â€˜playerâ€™ in last yearâ€™s ”Good Luck Chuck” and now, ”My Best Friendâ€™s Girl”, the popular stand-up comedian says he treats women with the utmost respect. He thanks his older sisters for the knowledge heâ€™s acquired in helping keep a female happy.
â€œMy older sisters would come home from these horrible dates; theyâ€™d sit me down in my pajamas and proceed to tell me how to treat girls. So when I started dating I was heavily romantic, and treated the woman right. I usually play a salacious bastard but thatâ€™s certainly not how I approach relationships. If you talk to my exâ€™s they will all safe Iâ€™m a bit of a softie. Probably the dinner with the candles is more my style.â€
Cook based the character in his latest movie on a friend, Robert Kelly.
â€œI was very introverted and shy and he was so no-filter – so darn not afraid to say anything to anybody. My play would be that I would let Robert, and my other buddies, go to the girls and say whatever they liked to them, and when a girl was put off by that and started to slowly kind of walk away, I would go up to the girl â€“ I was the clean-up guy. Iâ€™d apologize for my crazy friends.
â€œI was the sensitive guy. Thatâ€™s how I would get the girls.â€
â€œThing isâ€, adds Cook, â€œif you are [the] nice-sensitive guy you might also be setting yourself up to a four-hour conversation about their favourite poems or the story about â€˜my uncle that touched me, funny, when I was tenâ€™. You better be ready for a long nightâ€.
Cook jumped at the chance to star in ”My Best Friendâ€™s Girl” as soon as he read the script â€“ at which point it was titled â€˜Bachelor No. 2â€™ (â€œI understood why they changed it because most people wouldâ€™ve thought it was a sequel to a bad Chris Oâ€™Donnell movieâ€, says Cook).
â€œI wanted to do one more R-rated comedyâ€, the star of the sexy 2007 comedy ”Good Luck Chuck”, co-starring Jessica Alba, says. â€œI know that my fan demographic is vast, but I wanted to do another R-rated film. Iâ€™d done the raunchy sex-romp, with Chuck, so this time decided that Iâ€™d like to do something in which we omit the sexual stuff but keep the coarse language.â€
Cook remembers the point in the script where he knew he was in love with the material.
â€œThereâ€™s a point in the script where [my character] says â€˜Iâ€™m gonna make her lose her script like a shit collector with amnesiaâ€™. I remember thinking, â€˜Iâ€™m going to be saying that for the rest of my life anyway, whether I do this movie or not. I called my team up and said â€˜I think this is the one that I want to put my heart and soul into and battle to the deathâ€™.â€
Just as he did on Chuck, Cook helped out a bit on punching up some of the jokes in the Best Friendâ€™s Girl script.
â€œMy strength is, if you come to me and say â€˜This scene is weak. Do you have some notes?â€™ Well, yes, I have some notes â€“ theyâ€™re already ready to go â€“ but I certainly believe that this is a democracy, and everyone has an equal amount of say – and so they should, they all work just as hard â€“ and not everything I want should end up in the movie. So there are a certain amount of scenes that I really pushed to put into the movie â€“ because it was more suited to my style of comedy – and then there moments when I said â€˜Iâ€™d like to try and challenge myself as an actor-comedian and give that a try, even though itâ€™s not normally my thingâ€™. So yeah, I helped but not a lotâ€.
One of the funniest moments in the film doesnâ€™t involve Cookâ€™s character but his on-screen best friend, played by American Pie star Jason Biggs. Making a sudden move in the hairdresserâ€™s chair, the character finds himself suddenly eyebrow-less.
Cook says Biggs was such a professional that he was â€œgoing to shave his eyebrows, but [Biggs] ended up doing a lot of research on the internet â€“ he said thereâ€™s a site called dontshaveyoureyebrows.com, with all these warnings that it doesnâ€™t grow back the same way as hair on your body â€“ and ended up going with a prosthetic fake thing. It looked realâ€.
â€œI shaved my testiclesâ€, cheekily adds Cook. â€œFor no reason whatsoever but just as a show of appreciation for Jason.â€
Cook had a great time with Biggs on the film.
â€œPeople want to pigeonhole [Biggs]â€, Cook says, referring to the actorâ€™s legendary role as â€˜Jimâ€™ in the ”American Pie” movies. â€˜â€™Heâ€™s always â€˜the guy with the pieâ€™ but I think in this he gets to show his strengths. He does some great stuff in this. He shows a different side of his comedy. Itâ€™s a breath of fresh air for Jason and Iâ€™m really glad to hear that people are enjoying seeing him in the part. Heâ€™s a funny cat.â€
Cook also gets to share scenes with one of his idols, Alec Baldwin. He recalls a day on set where he finally got to courage to admit to Baldwin his love of his work in the acclaimed ”Glengarry Glen Ross”.
â€œIâ€™d made a DVD, which was in my office, which kinda pumped me up, which featured all my favourite scenes from my favourite movies â€“ like Reservoir Dogs and The Empire Strikes Back. And it also had [Baldwinâ€™s] whole 7-minutes from Glengarry Glen Ross. So to sit with this man, and be collaborating ideas and vice versa, and then looking at him one day and saying â€˜Alec, coffeeâ€™s for closersâ€™ and having him shake my hand and say â€˜youâ€™re damn rightâ€™ is tremendous!â€.
The only thing about the movie the actor wasnâ€™t pleased with was the filmâ€™s theatrical poster. Famously, Cook mentioned on his MySpace page that â€œWhoever photoshopped our poster must have done so at taser point with 3 minutes to fulfill their hostage takers deranged obligationsâ€ and â€œThe left side of my face seems to be melting off of my skull. I guess I am looking directly into the Ark of the Covenant? Are they going for the bells palsy thing here? My left side looks like Brittany Spears’ vagina.â€
He meant what he said, but he didnâ€™t mean to ruffle anyoneâ€™s feathers with the comments.
â€œI had a little funny with the posterâ€, says Cook, following his words up with a devilish smile. â€œSome people were saying â€˜were [the filmâ€™s American distributor] Lionsgate upset?â€™ but I come from a stand-up comedy background where you only roast the ones you love. I think it was more self-deprecating on me. If the movie makes a $100 million dollars then I get to change the posterâ€.
Though heâ€™s appeared in several films now, including the Kevin Costner thriller ”Mr. Brooks”, the comedy ”Waiting”, and Jessica Simpson vehicle ”Employee of the Month”, Cookâ€™s still relatively new to the scene and as far as the critical community is concerned, remains unproven. The actor says he still gets a little upset reading some of his reviews but realizes theyâ€™ll probably never be his audience so it doesnâ€™t matter matter.
â€œI read every single review when I first started â€“ a couple out of ego, but a lot of it because I just wanted to know if Iâ€™m doing anything wrong. I wanted to know if there was a glimmer of hope for me â€“ whether I could add anything to the Hollywood legacy. And so, I read the worst quote ever about myself that said â€˜Dane Cook gives one of the worst performances to ever disgrace the silver screenâ€™. I was sitting by myself, in my office, near weeping and then I thought â€˜thereâ€™s nowhere to go but upâ€™. So early on, when they would attack me, and I would read them, I would be pretty bummed out about it but nowâ€¦. I just think there are some critics out there who just yield mallets and canâ€™t wait to swing them. They just know great vicious words. See thereâ€™s better words for vicious reviews than there are for complimentary reviews â€“ you know somebody just wants to use those [vicious] words. It still gets under my skin a bit, but I try and focus on the fan reviews â€“ thatâ€™s the stuff that really matters. My job is to keep the people that have come with me, pleased. Too many people are focused on trying to get those people â€˜over thereâ€™ to love me and not keeping those people happy who already love you.â€
Having said that, doing movies gets easier because Cook slowly gets more confidence.
â€œI used to think when I was 25 â€˜Why canâ€™t I make it now?â€™ â€“ Iâ€™m so glad I didnâ€™t. I have the focus and experience now that I didnâ€™t have back then. So yeah, it has got a little bit easierâ€.
Though heâ€™s got nothing directly lined-up at the moment â€“ he is planning an international comedy tour for 2009; Australia being one of the places heâ€™ll bring it â€“ Cook has written a comedy script heâ€™d love Meryl Streep to star in with him. He knows itâ€™s a long shot, but knowing Streepâ€™s penchant for comedies, doesnâ€™t think itâ€™s a dead-end.
â€œI loved her in Devils Wears Pradaâ€, Cook says of the Oscar-Winning actress. â€œIâ€™ve written a comedy script, where if she were to ever play my mother in this film I think it would be a tremendous collaboration.â€™â€™
WIN! WIN! WIN!
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.