The dark comedy Barry Munday tells the story of a suburban ladies man (Patrick Wilson) who wakes up in the hospital after being attacked, only to realize that he is missing two of his most prized possessions. Then, on top of being down his testicles, he is faced with a paternity lawsuit filed by a woman (Judy Greer) that he can’t even remember having sex with. Realizing that this is his last chance to ever be a father, Barry Munday reaches out to Ginger Farley in his desire to embrace the unexpected journey of parenthood and become a better man.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Patrick Wilson and Judy Greer talked about how much they enjoyed creating such quirky characters, that this is a love story for modern times and that falling in love is way more fun than love at first sight. Wilson also revealed a bit about his next film, Insidious, and its new take on the haunted house genre, and Greer talked about Season 2 of her animated series Archer and her upcoming feature Love and Other Drugs. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Question: Patrick, how did you come to this project?
Patrick: I was sent the script and I thought it was great, but crazy. Within about five minutes of talking to (writer/director) Chris [D’Arienzo] on the phone while I was on the set of Watchmen, I realized that he had all these great ideas, of not only the way he wanted to shoot it, but the music. I just felt like he had the right tone. He knew exactly what he wanted to shoot, and it was a very easy sell for me. Selfishly, I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of comedy, and he was game for really going as far as I wanted with the character and making a real bold statement. I didn’t want one of my first forays into comedy to just be the straight, boring man while everyone else around me is funny. That wasn’t really of interest to me. At the end of the day, whether it’s a big movie or a small movie, we’ve all worked with directors who don’t know exactly how they want to shoot something, and the movie will just die on the vine. We were just really fortunate that Chris knew exactly how he wanted to do it. It was very convincing and very easy, truthfully.
What did you enjoy about playing Barry Munday?
Patrick: I just really loved creating him from the ground up. In the book that it’s based on, Life is a Strange Place, he’s a little more straight-laced and a little less colorful ‘cause all these wacky things happen around him. Usually, that’s a very typical formula. You have the everyman and everyone around him is crazy, and he’s your barometer of what’s normal. What I wanted to do with the character, and Chris just had the same sentiment and idea, was to make him as outlandish as everybody else was. You felt like the story was supported by a kernel of real truth and a real love story, albeit a quirky one, so you felt like you could go as far as you wanted. It was just so much fun. He was really created around three people in my life that I knew, with a lot of the physicality and the little -isms that we would say, that would give him an identity. I would never tell who the three people are because they would all deny it. And, they all have seen the movie and were like, “That guy’s an asshole.” None of them are true Barry, though. Just creating the whole look was exciting in itself, making him look so wonderful. He was completely awkward, in every moment. There’s nothing like bangs with thin hair. To me, that really sealed it.
Judy, what did you like about playing Ginger Farley?
Judy: I loved that I got to be unattractive, acerbic and caustic. I liked that I wasn’t a super-likeable character and I didn’t have to try to win anyone over. It was really nice to also not have to wear Spanx at work. It’s a new girdle that sucks everything in. I liked the chance to tell a real story about a real person and not an attractive person who you don’t buy in this story.
How do you think this plays out, as a love story in modern times? How does it relate to your lives and how you see love?
Judy: The great thing about these two people is that they don’t have love at first sight, and I don’t know that I think love at first sight really exists. I find that falling in love is way more fun than just having that instant attraction that you have to maintain for a relationship. I enjoy meeting someone and then really getting to know them and then falling in love. Even though we did things out of order in the movie, they really fall in love and it doesn’t change them dramatically, and it doesn’t make them better people, more beautiful, more wealthy or more interesting. It just fills in that little, tiny empty spot. That’s what I think is nice about falling in love.
Do you have a favorite scene from the movie?
Patrick: I don’t know. I could not get through that penial support group scene. If I can toot my own horn, I think it works well in that scene that Barry laughs because it gives the audience a weird permission to think it is funny and ridiculous. They were all so good, really hilarious and so straight.
Judy: I love the support group scene, too. I love the scenes with Patrick and Missi Pyle.
Patrick: I like our scenes together. I love our first scene at Snatchers.
Judy: I love the scene in the doctor’s office. That felt like it was really us.
Judy, what was it like to develop the sister dynamic with Chloe Sevigny?
Judy: Well, we were a little helped by the fact that we’re so different, character wise. The two are so different, but they get each other. It was easy for me. I genuinely got along with Chloe. We had fun and got to know each other, and we were both excited to meet each other and work with each other. It was fun, so we just used that. It was pretty simple and it was nice to have one kindred spirit for Ginger in the movie. Even though there’s this weird competition thing that Chloe’s character has, it didn’t really affect Ginger at all.
Can you talk about your character on Archer and what might be coming up for her on the show?
Judy: We’re half-way through the second season, and it’s so naughty and so good. I can say that it starts airing in January, and we have a new character that comes on. They were talking at Comic-Con a lot about trying to get out of the office more and get onto the field more, but it feels like we’re still in the office a lot, which is awesome for me ‘cause that’s where my character works.
Are you topping the outrageousness of the first season in Season 2?
Judy: Yes, but I feel like my character is still the same. She likes to get choked while she gets fucked. It’s so bad. She even has a guy make a machine to choke her, so that she can masturbate and get choked. It wasn’t my idea. It’s the writers fault. It’s naughty.
Patrick, what do you have coming up next?
Patrick: I just had a film at Toronto that got picked up. It’s a horror film, called Insidious, that Sony bought, so we’ll see when they want to put it out. I don’t know yet. And then, there’s Morning Glory, which is a romantic comedy. That opens in November. It’s really good. Harrison Ford and Rachel McAdams are great, and Diane Keaton is really funny.
Does Insidious have a vibe like The Others?
Patrick: A little bit of The Others, a bit of Poltergeist, a bit of The Exorcist and a bit of haunted house films. What (director) James Wan and (writer) Leigh Whannell like to both honor and attack is that genre, like they did with Saw when they redid that gore genre. There’s no blood and guts in this, whatsoever. It was really more of a nod to those classic ‘70s horror films that were real character driven. Half of it is like a haunted house movie, but then we move. They take something in the genre that doesn’t usually happen and then try to change it. There’s a little Sam Raimi in there, too. It has a weird sense of humor. It’s cool. I really liked it. We shot that in 22 days.
Judy, what films do you have coming out?
Judy: I have a part in Love and Other Drugs, that will be out in November. And then, I was in a movie at Toronto, called Peep World, that got bought by IFC Films, but I don’t know when they’ll release that. I have Henry’s Crime too, but I don’t know when that’s coming out either. I have these awesome movies that are all going to come out, but I don’t know when, except for Love and Other Drugs. That’s coming out in November.