Interviews

Robert Downey Jr & Zach Galifianakis

Interviews

Hard to keep a strange face during “Due Date”, even harder to keep a straight face when chatting to the film’s naturally charming stars, Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis.

So what was it like working with each other, with you both being so creative? What was the mood on set?

RD: Honestly you never quite know what’s going to happen. Now, I love never quite knowing what’s going to happen, I also like never quite knowing what’s going to happen within the context of knowing exactly what you’re doing. Otherwise, it’s just masturbatory. But, while he was beating his meat stick, I was keeping an eye on the prize and actually telling the right story and I don’t even mind that he steals the movie five times over because he deserves it.

ZG: Robert is very, very supportive. He really is and he got my sense of humor and I got his sense of humor. When you can make each other laugh, half the battle is over and the partnership is much easier. Organically, that’s really what happened, he makes me laugh and I think he finds me amusing. That’s the biggest thing. We get each other.

RD: I think it starts with Todd, too. The thing about Todd is that he’s so confident and what he knows, he does well. You literally can’t offend the guy and you can’t distort his sense of self. What he does, he just yields to it, lets it in and allows it to grow. We all know creative ventures tend to be a dissipatory thing, it’s kind of like one and one equals minus three. And it’s kind of like what’s dysfunctional about this union, but we are telling a story of a dysfunctional matchup creating a healing that you wouldn’t ask for but it’s exactly what these two guys need. So you’re really talking about something that’s bigger than both of them. And then Todd, as much as he might act like a curmudgeon-y guy who just likes making comedies, he just undersells it a lot. He’s a master filmmaker; He is truly an American master filmmaker. And of course we all love Bradley and all those other guys, they are special, gifted guys but we notice that there’s this extra, trippy thing that he (Zach) and Todd have. It’s just a pleasure to behold. What I noticed is that they already these two atoms that work in a certain way and I just added into the mix and tried to get in where I fit in.

What about your characters? Were they easy shoes to fill?

RD: Yeah, I mean everyone has reservoirs of rage, which to me is just fear, fear based angst. I’m going to lose something I have or I’m not going to get something I want and therefore my behavior is all based on that.

ZG: When I first moved to New York I put on a tuxedo and roller skates and said ‘Hey I’m an actor.’ I’m now remembering this desperation. So if you don’t know what you’re doing and I certainly didn’t know what I was doing when I tried to get into this profession, you try to find your way as a clueless person, and I don’t mean I was clueless but Ethan’s clueless. He does things premeditatedly because he thinks that’s what’s going to make him a star. This town is full of people that want that limousine to pull up and say ‘hey kid get in the back of the car, you’re perfect.’ If you were to look at some of my old headshots, it’s truly embarrassing. So even by being here, things were going to happen to him because he has a perm.

Robert, you’ve been involved in a lot of projects lately like Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man, so, how did this project rate on your scale?

RD: Obviously, Iron Man completely changed my life and Jon Favreau was always so integral to that. No matter how you slice it, it’s a genre movie, it’s a sci-fi movie, action thing and there are different elements. No matter how you play it there are times when you have to look butch and not have people chuckle when you’re surrounded in iron bits, so there’s that. And then Sherlock Holmes to me is a much more technical endeavor where it much more about the eloquence of the words, the beloved historic literary icon and I think there’s a lot of mystery in that. This for me was just pure love of the game, on my home turf with two of the top players. I just love them and respect them and it was probably the most healing, satisfying time I’ve spent on a film set, which is funny because all I’m doing is complaining and threatening. Basically I’m saying ‘I’m having a baby but more importantly, I’m going to fucking kill you.’

And you’re doing Sherlock Holmes 2 now?

RD: Yes. We’ve both have sequel-ized.

And Zach, you’re doing the Hangover 2, right?

ZG: We’ve been filming for a few days and its going really well, really good stuff.

Thanks guys!

– Katie Crocker

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