Opening this weekend is Will Ferrell’s Spanish language comedy Casa de mi Padre. The film centers on Ferrell as Armando Alvarez, a Mexican rancher who must save his family’s farm while simultaneously fending off the drug lord, Onza, played by Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) and winning the hand of the lovely Sonia, played by Genesis Rodriguez (Man on a Ledge). As Dave said, to sum it up in just a few words: passion, adventure, intrigue, betrayal, sex, danger, romance, guns, cigarettes, special effects and slaps. The film also stars Diego Luna, Efren Ramirez and Nick Offerman. For more on the film, here’s fourteen clips and a fifteen-minute making of featurette.
Recently, I got to speak with Nick Offerman. As a huge fan of his work on Parks and Recreation (he plays Ron Swanson), I decided to use the beginning of the interview to talk about Duke Silver, and how often fans offer him steak, hamburgers and bacon. Of course we also talked about how he got involved in Casa de mi Padre, improv, and his work in 21 Jump Street and Smashed. Hit the jump to read or watch.
Here’s the video interview. Further down the page is the full transcript. And if you missed my video interview with Genesis Rodriguez, click here.
Collider: I have to say, before getting started, I noticed you in the hallway and you look a lot like this guy named Duke Silver.
Nick Offerman: I’ve heard that. I’m not familiar with this Drake—what was it?
Offerman: A lot of moist, middle-aged ladies sort of accost me at the mall and ask me if I’m Duke Silver, and sometimes I say “yes.”
How often during the day when you’re out in public do people either offer you steak, hamburgers or bacon?
Offerman: I wish that people in public would approach me with meat products. Sometimes [they do], usually in a restaurant somebody will [give me something]. There’s been three occasions that someone sent bacon to my table. I’ve been doing a comedy show at colleges recently across the country, and I was at Iowa State and there were some tailgaters that were brought to my attention that were cooking the Meat Tornado, the Swanson which is a bacon-wrapped turkey leg, and this guy was making some incredible cheeseburgers that I sampled. Those are my finest fans, the ones who have meat for me (laughs).
I could talk about this for the whole interview, but I can’t. I definitely wanna talk about why I’m actually here, was this a project that you went after? Did they come after you?
Offerman: I was on vacation with my wife for a nice long vacation two summers ago and we got back to Los Angeles and I was getting ready to start the season of Parks and Recreation, and I got a call that they were offering me this part and I literally cried. I suddenly had a phone call, [was] offered a really funny part in a Will Ferrell movie—I had known Will for years and he is a good friend but I didn’t know if he is aware that I am a performer (laughs). If you play it cool, it’s not the kind of thing you mention to him, like “By the way, I don’t know if you know but I’m hilarious.” There’s never a good opportunity to say, “Have you seen my headshot? Anyway, I do cockney. It’s great to see you and your family.” So it was an incredible surprise and I cried my eyes out.
Offerman: Well it’s a group of people that like to have a lot of fun together making stuff up, certainly, but I’m pretty sure in all my scenes we stuck pretty close to the script, largely because it was in a second language. That was somewhat inhibiting to improvising, since we were all just trying to hang on to our Spanish. So I think there’s probably zero improvising on my part.
I’ve seen both your next films, 21 Jump Street and Smashed. You’re great in both of them, talk a little bit about getting these fun roles in these kinds of movies.
Offerman: Oh thank you. It’s definitely a sort of exciting new moment that I have Parks and Rec to thank for getting to have fun with the funniest people working today. Jonah Hill I’ve known for a while and we have a mutual appreciation, so I think he was pretty responsible for bringing me into 21 Jump Street and that was super fun to get to sit and berate he and Channing (laughs). You know Jonah is one of the absolute funniest young guys working, but Channing was a wonderful surprise. He was super open to all kinds of humor even at his own expense, which is often not the case with beautiful young men. They’re like “Whoa, whoa dude,” you can’t cross a line with them like, “Would it be cool if I put my hands on you in this scene?” [and they say] “No.” But he let me touch him all over.
I saw the premiere of Smashed at Sundance and my wife and I were just absolutely verklempt when the lights came up. We were so moved to be in such a good film. I think James Ponsoldt did such an amazing job and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, if she doesn’t win a trophy of some sort for her performance I will eat my hat. I’ll shit in my hat and then I’ll eat it. You can hold me to that.