The co-star of ”Couples Retreat” is appropriately named, as Drew Turney finds out there’s more to love about the 300-pound actor.
Drew: Couples Retreat looks like it was a blast to film.
Faizon: Oh excellent, excellent. These guys are professionals. I loved being in their presence.
Drew: Most important question, how embarrassing or how much fun was that nude scene?
Faizon: It was actually easy. [Director Peter Billingsley] wanted to make everyone comfortable. I don’t remember if he told everyone I was wearing a sock or not but he did offer. I was like, ‘Hey if it doesn’t offend anybody lets do it for real.’ And that’s what we did.
Drew: No jokes about finding the biggest size sock then, I guess?
Faizon: Yeah, they couldn’t find my size.
Drew: So everyone was actually standing there watching? I thought it might have just been clever editing?
Faizon: Yeah, everyone was right there.
Drew: The film was in a fairly remote location, did the cast all bond together more so than you would than any other film for that reason?
Faizon: Well John and I, we’re always together. I got a chance to hang out with Jason and his family, now I’m Uncle Faizon. Kristin Davis is oh so cool. Because we all stayed on the same island we’d all walk home together. We were all living next door to each other. It was awesome. We all shared the same experience.
Drew: Because you were in such close contact with those guys did you get much chance to pick up comedy tips from Vaughn and Favreau, even if unconsciously?
Faizon: Not really, they trust how do things. We were mostly like a crew, we help each other out. It’s like playing baseball, I say ‘hey if you pull up on your heel you get a bigger hit or whatever. You know what I’m saying?
Drew: So you had the character mostly down or you let it evolve a bit more once you got in contact with all those guys on set?
Faizon: Yeah, the character was something that I’d never really done before. So I had to play it with everything I wouldn’t ever do as a person, as a man. When Trudy leaves Faizon wouldn’t have done what Shane did, I wouldn’t have gone after her like Shane would. So you really play that.
Drew: Your last work with John and Vince in Made was way back in 2001. Have you been in touch with those guys since?
Faizon: Oh yeah. John and I did something else as well. And John and I wrote a television show right when we were doing this, we were trying to find something to do. So we wrote a television show and Vinnie wrote this and we all got together to do it.
Drew: So we’re going to see you guys together a lot more in the future?
Faizon: Yeah, I would think so. I’m going to be directing and you know, it’s not really about acting. Acting comes second nature to us but it’s just the attitude that we bring to the table. That’s what it’s really about, our process.
Drew: It looked like the shoot would have been as much of a party behind the cameras. Was it like that or was it like real work?
Faizon: Yeah, it was great. We had a Halloween party there the first week we were there and Vinnie had all these costumes sent in. Normally you have trailers when you do a film but we were on an island so we’d use this expander with all these rooms in it and a pool and a spa. So after a day of shooting we’d go there and smoke cigars and have some wine and wind down. It was just awesome man.
Drew: So does that mean in front of the cameras it was hard work as much as any other movie?
Faizon: Yeah, you have to create stuff in front of the cameras, you know? You have to bring them to you, the audience has to believe. Hopefully when you watch it you feel sorry for my character and that’s what we were trying to do, have everything for the character mirror in life. So if you didn’t feel anything for the character it’s just me pulling my pants down.
Drew: Being a light, breezy comedy are there any acting challenges?
Faizon: Well, actually I had to learn how to swim. And I had to play it more like it wasn’t Faizon. I asked myself ‘what would Shane do’? If a girl tells me she’s leaving, I’d be like ‘pack your bags’. But Shane cared too much, maybe because of his weight, maybe because he thought people thought he wasn’t good looking, he was never enough. So I had to play that.
Drew: Because Shane’s so different to Faizon how easy was it to stay in his mindset?
Faizon: I just had to be the total opposite. If Faizon’s at a table with a girl and he wants to get away with, have sex with, he’s going to stay awake and play the game. ‘Yeah, how’s it going sweetie, what something to drink?’ Get her drunk. Shane’s not like that, he’s going to sleep cause he’s tired. He just doesn’t get it.
Drew: He’s too much of a sweetheart?
Faizon: Yeah, he tries the yoga but I can’t do that. It looks silly. I’m 300 pounds!
Drew: Because you’re such good friends with those guys, does that mean we’re going to see you as one of the villains in ”Iron Man III”?
Faizon: They already tried to put me in Iron Man but I couldn’t. I think I would make it suck.
Drew: How come? You’d be a great villain.
Faizon: That’s a huge compliment, I appreciate that. I don’t know that genre. These guys do. I didn’t know it was a real comic book. He thinks I’d make a good villain. Maybe I should just get it out of my way and just do it.