We saw in the scene you were shooting before that you did one take that was a little lighter, a funnier. Have you been doing that with some of the scenes before or did that just come that specific moment?
Yeah, not always. Sometimes Ken will have particular ideas to try or I’ll say, “Let me try something.” He’s good about that. We play around and give him choices, depending on what you’re going to go for. There’s always a billion different ways to play a scene, so there’s a version of what you are launching as he’s been living with me for a while. Some of you know the original, and so I’m thankful that he’s leaving. I think Benjamin Franklin said, “Houseguests and fish start to smell after three days.” There’s a way to play it where you’re less nuts, and there’s a way to play it where you’re really masking it. But I think in the moment what felt real to me was that there’s a little bit of both. You wish it was a different thing but it doesn’t feel connected.
Ken mentioned that a lot of people who play your kids in the movie, it was their first time on set. What was it like working with first-timers like that?
For me, it was awesome. You find that young actors usually are enthusiastic and it means a lot to them. They’re excited to be there and they get to play such extreme scenes it’s fun for me to watch them. I love the enthusiasm that actors have. They love acting and that’s why they’re doing it, most of them. The fact that you get to see them play these kinds of parts—that material just isn’t generated nowadays. In other words, the girl that’s struggling with addiction, the boy who wants the part but no one’s there. It’s a great vignette. So, it was a lot of fun to be around them and have them take their work seriously and have them really get into it. That was fun.
As a parent, can you talk about what you think this movie uniquely says about parenthood and the theme of it?
Well, I think it deals with the fears and hopes of what one would want for their kids, but I think it extends back past that and sort of the family of the world in a way where this guy realizes just how connected he is to so many people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life. And that there’s a humanity at the center of that. What I love about the character of David is that he goes in very open to some of the stuff he hasn’t seen or experienced before, but he goes in there I think at our best. “Okay, this is going on in this person’s life,” and he is connected to that in a way. So I think it’s about the family but I think it’s about life and about all of us in some kind of way. At our best, I think we like to feel that we’re not against each other. And sometimes people are hurting and you need a little bit of support. I like the stuff he says about being a guardian angel, feeling like things can be different tomorrow for whatever is going on. So I think it takes out a bigger message without being preachy, then just that you’re family, but just about human beings and life. It gives you a perspective of what really matters. You get to the place of family and them being with each other and his friend who is not at his best but who is trying to do a case for whatever his reasons are. You get to learn why it matters to him. I think it speaks really to maybe some understanding and some optimism, just where people are concerned.
We’ve been told that you and Chris have really great chemistry together, and this is the first time you guys have worked together, right?
Yeah, he’s really funny and he’s very genuine and he works very hard and I like him as a person. He’s really humble but also his work matters to him so we had really fun. It was fun doing the scenes with him and stuff.
Are your scenes more comedic?
I think in the same way Swingers is, we sort of play it real here, so it’s funny but I think it comes from situations, not from “Hey, look how crazy we are.”
A lot of the films you’ve done recently are with people you have established rapports with like Jon Favreau or the Wilsons, etc, so coming in to work with people you haven’t worked with in the past and developing that relationship, can you talk a little bit about that process?
Yeah, I think everyone has a different process and you try to respect their process and you try to find your way in. About this one, Chris asked me to go out one night just to hang out and talk, so that was good. We went out and just talked about stuff. He’s a new father himself and just kind of like many people just talked about our backgrounds, hopes and fears and where we’re at and what we thought of the state of affairs of the worlds and all that kind of stuff and just kind of spend some time which it’s nice to have that because you’re more comfortable around somebody. A lot of it is that I always think that the best gift you have as an actor is your imagination, so a lot of it is done on your own, building a backstory or however you get there so you’re creating those realities so when you get there it’s not like you’re just new. You kind of daydream, if you will, create stories in the past or things you’ve been through or stuff, so it informs you when they say stuff. You think of actual events that have happened that brings you back, which may be a good thing or you were frustrated already. There’s lots of different ways but that was sort of our approach that we had. We had a little bit of time for rehearsal. We had a night to go out and hang out just as two people and then in a short time, I tried to build a backstory that I thought was fitting.
Delivery Man opens on November 22nd.