Last week I got to talk to Thomas Lennon during a break from shooting A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D in Michigan. We spoke on the phone for around 30 minutes and he gave me a great update on who he plays in the third Harold & Kumar movie and what the films about. He also gave me a huge update on the part-scripted/part-improvised science fiction comedy pilot called Alabama that he’s getting ready to shoot with Ben Garant (which sounds very cool).
But before we got off the phone, we also talked about what’s up with the 3rd Night at the Museum movie, Cedar Rapids, Bad Teacher, What’s Your Number?, How to Survive a Robot Uprising, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he said:
Thomas Lennon: You know, we have certainly worked on a 3rd one. I honestly…I feel like I’ll be the last one to know if it’s going forward or not. I love the franchise. I think it’s a really, really awesome series of films and I would love for the 3rd one to happen so my fingers are crossed. That’s really the most I can tell you.
But you have an idea of where you’d want to take it?
Lennon: We actually have done more than that. There’s a very big idea…there’s a lot of ideas for what to do.
Well let me also ask you a little bit more about the acting stuff. You did a little bit in Cedar Rapids and in Bad Teacher. So who’d you play in those movies?
Lennon: In Cedar Rapids I play a character sort of…I mostly appear early in the film. I’m basically Ed Helms sort of like his nemesis in the insurance game that he’s in. And it’s kind of a small role but it was very fun. It was just a couple days of me and Ed kind of playing with each other. And I have a slightly bigger role in Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz where I play kind of one of the villain. I’m basically sort of…well I won’t spoil it too much but I play in Bad Teacher the head of the Illinois State Standardized Testing Program who comes into conflict with Cameron Diaz’s character. And I’ve got to tell you that movie looks absolutely hilarious. It was one of the funniest scripts I’ve read in a really, really long time.
So it’s one of those kind of movies that it more sticking to the script than improv?
Lennon: I guess I improved a little bit on Bad Teacher but not a ton. Everything that was there was really, really funny. So I’m really curious to see that movie because it seemed hilarious at the time.
So you haven’t done ADR or anything yet?
Lennon: No, I’ve actually seen nothing of that movie yet, no. I saw a tiny bit of Cedar Rapids. It looked great but I’ve seen nothing of Bad Teacher yet.
Lennon: What’s Your Number is…I have one small pivotal role in What’s Your Number playing an ex-boyfriend of Anna Faris who encounters her in a really weird way which I probably shouldn’t spoil. But that is a hilarious script, really funny written by Gabby Allen. And she’s just super, super funny—Anna Faris. I really didn’t know her at all until I went and met her on the set like a couple weeks ago and she’s like an unbelievably good sport and super, super funny.
She was very good in The House Bunny.
Lennon: Yeah, I know. She’s kind of great. And also she’s kind of a great person, too.
You guys filmed that in Boston. What was that…
Lennon: That was awesome. That was really, really fun. Yeah. I had not…it’s so fun that all these movies are shooting in the United States right now. I’m so used to like 5, 6, 7 years ago everything was in Canada. So it’s really fun to be just shooting in America.
Was What’s Your Number filmed Boston for Boston?
Lennon: What’s Your Number is Boston for Boston, yeah.
Wow. I hope you had some Dunkin’ Donuts.
Lennon: I ate a lot of Italian food in the North End.
Oh yeah, that’s also good.
Lennon: At a place called Tratroria Damonica which was awesome. You know talking about it makes me want to go back there right now.
Yeah, I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and the food there is really good.
Lennon: Some of my very best friends are the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
That’s very cool.
Lennon: Yeah. Dicky and Joe and Tim Burton. Tim is like one of my really old friends and then Dicky pretty much too, so.
I hope they took you to some good places if any of those guys were around.
Lennon: No, every single one of them was either in L.A. or Florida when I was in Boston. It was kind of a bummer.
Yeah, that’s not cool.
Lennon: I know. My dream of hanging out with the Bosstones in Boston was unfulfilled.
Yeah, that’s not cool but hopefully enjoyed….I’m sure you had very good food though.
Lennon: It was really pretty awesome. Boston’s a fantastic town. I love it.
Exactly. You have a few projects on IMDB that are in “in development” like The Strip and How to Survive a Robot Uprising and…
Lennon: The Strip is 100% dead. That was the NBC pilot that we did.
Oh yeah sorry. My bad.
Lennon: Robot Uprising is really cool. That is a script that we wrote that Mike De Luca is producing and that one still….that is exactly what you think it sounds like based on the book How to Survive a Robot Uprising. That’s a really cool script. I believe there is something happening on that. I’m not sure. Incredible Shrinking Man we’ve been writing off and on for 8 years, so I don’t know when that…who knows when that’s happening. But we do have several scripts at Fox right now. All of them are listed on IMDB. We have a great movie at Fox which is called The Devil You Know which is something I’m really super proud of. We have a movie at Fox called (sounds like Band of) History that I’m super proud of, so IMDB is sometimes accurate, sometimes pretty off it’s weird.
Yeah, I’ve heard that from many, many people.
Lennon: Yeah. Once in a while it’s eerily accurate and then sometimes it’s eerily inaccurate. But we do have about 4 or 5 scripts…we have at least 4 scripts in the pipeline at Fox and of course the TV stuff. So we’re staying busy.
Well listen I know you gotta go and I want to thank you so much for giving me so much time and I’ve got to be honest man, I’m really looking forward to this FX thing. I hope this thing really comes together well.
Lennon: Oh thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you a bizzilion.