With director Todd Phillips The Hangover Part II opening this weekend, I recently got to participate in a press conference with Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong and Phillips in Los Angeles. Shortly after the press conference ended, I got to speak with Galifianakis in a one on one setting.
While our conversation was only ten minutes, we talked about everything from what are his favorite movies to working with babies and smoking monkeys. In addition, we talked about his feelings on making a sequel to the biggest R rated comedy of all time, his thoughts on doing Hangover 3, what’s up with Between Two Ferns, Bored to Death, The Muppets, Southern Rivals, and Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Hit the jump to either read or listen to our conversation.
As usual, you can either click here for the audio, or the full transcript is below. I really recommend listening to this one if you have the chance.
Zach Galifianakis: Withnail and I and Nil by Mouth. Do you know that movie? Gary Oldman directed it and if you don’t know any better, like me, you would think you are watching a documentary. It’s fantastic. It’s not a comedy. It’s a British movie. Walkabout – an Australian movie. As far as Hollywood movies?
Are you just watching Criterion collection movies?
ZG: Do you want me to say Spider-Man 3? [laughs] I don’t watch these big tentpoles. I never watch those kind of big things that people are forced to have down their throat.
So are you happy or sad to be in a tentpole movie?
ZG: I’m happy to be in this movie. I’m glad to be part of a movie that I feel like…a couple of these movies now take some chances. Listen, I’m very pleased with this movie. I don’t think I would have ever thought that I would be in a thing like this. I also like a movie called The Fisher King.
The Fisher King is great. Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam.
ZG: It’s fantastic.
Do you prefer working with babies or smoking monkeys?
ZG: I prefer the baby. Simply because I love kids and babies. The monkey is more controlling and has it more his way. A baby you can just hold. But this monkey…every time I get a question about that monkey I keep thinking, “Oh, god. I’m doing a press junket and I have to talk about working with a monkey. That is what is has come to.” [laughs]
Why do you have sparkles above your right eye?
If you close your eye it’s like in your eye
ZG: I don’t know. I have no idea.
I thought it was part of a thing.
ZG: No. I have no idea. Oh! I was having a rave in here earlier.
I thought it had something to do with dancing and you’re partying after getting a check from Hangover 2.
ZG: No. I’m not a party guy. I don’t do that stuff.
Are you tired of being confused for Zac Efron?
ZG: Yes. Zac is pleased to be compared to me, but I think he spells his name without an h. What a great marketing ploy.
The first Hangover does a lot of crazy business and Todd Phillips or the studio approaches you and says, “Hey, we are thinking about doing a sequel.” What was the first thing that you thought? Did you think it was a great idea or did you feel that you were playing with a bomb?
ZG: I said, “No.” I was very apprehensive. I just wasn’t into it. I was like, “Leave well enough alone/” to me. But it turned out that I was wrong and I’m glad that we did do a sequel. I was like with anything. I’m a guy that kicks the tires. It’s such an investment. It’s a really big life decision in your own life or this. I also had a problem a little bit with getting recognized. I was like, “God, if another 9 year old follows me into the bathroom into the airport…” It’s selfish and it those kind of decisions. Of course, I want to work with these guys again. It’s the after effects and side effects that are tough to deal with.
When you heard “Bangkok” did you think, “Great idea” or “Oh my effin’ god”?
ZG: Can’t they be both? Meaning “Great idea” and “oh my effin’ god”. I think it was a little bit of both of those. Bangkok was a great, great decision for setting. Fantastic.
In the press conference, Todd Phillips mentioned how he has an idea for a third movie. It would be a completely different format from the first two and it would be the finale if you guys ended up doing it. When you hear stuff like that are you immediately like, “Oh my god. We might actually do another one.” or was he sort of mentioning to you that he just had an idea for a third?
ZG: I think Todd and I discussed it once briefly. Of course, you wouldn’t hear what Todd has going on in his mind. He is fun to work with, but we got to get this movie out there. This is like, “Okay. We do Hangover 3. Alright, Hangover 4. What do you think we should do?” I think we are waiting to see what the climate is of the audience.
What is going on with Between Two Ferns?
ZG: We are doing a couple of more….I caught myself. I’m being media savvy right now. I’m doing a couple more.
What is the story with you doing stand up?
ZG: I do stand up. I just did it two nights ago. I do it as much as I can.
So that is not slowing down?
ZG: It slows down because I work on movies here and there. You shoot at night so you can’t go. But when I have time free I definitely try to do it.
How is season 3 of Bored to Death going?
ZG: Very well. Very good. Very funny. I love working on that show in New York.
Do you have a cameo in The Muppets?
ZG: Yeah. I worked a couple of days. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen any of it. It was really fun to work on.
ZG: I worked a couple of days on that too. If it is anything like their television show or in the same tone of their craziness – I can’t wait. I think they are the most inventive comics out there right now.
My last question is about Southern Rivals. I’m really looking forward to it.
ZG: You probably know more about it than I do at this point. I know that we are shooting it in the autumn. Do people still say autumn or do they say fall?
I think say both.
ZG: I got the script late last night. I haven’t read it.
ZG: Well, there are brainstorming sessions that you commit to. It’s a Will Ferrell movie. Why would you want to work with that gentleman? Not only is he super funny, but he is a nice man. Sometimes you don’t get both.
ZG: You must interview him all the time.
Just the other day
ZG: He’s a nice man, right?
It’s surprising when you interview him because you think he would be somebody when you are talking to him, but he is someone different off camera. It’s like two different guys.
ZG: Yeah. I like him a lot.