If there’s one actor who will undoubtedly consider 2009 the year where he finally made it, it’s Zach Galifianakis, who has been working hard as a stand-up comic and as an actor, mostly in smaller supporting roles, for many years until his pal Todd Phillips cast him in the high-concept comedy The Hangover, which has turned into the most profitable comedy hit of the year, having grossed $235 million so far with no signs of stopping. Not bad for the underground comic who before June was probably best known for his irreverent online talk show series Between Two Ferns over at Funny or Die.
In G-Force, he’s Ben, the human trainer for the CG-animated guinea pigs that make up the highly-specialized espionage team, and Galifianakis plays that role surprisingly straight compared to his unique style of comedy we’ve seen so much in the past.
Even so, it was the perfect opportunity for ComingSoon.net to have a short interview with the hot star, so of course, we were going to take it.
Zach Galifianakis: Ed? Ed? Hi, it’s Zach Galifianakis.
ComingSoon.net: Hey, Zach, how are you doing?
CS: First of all, congrats on “Hangover.” That was kind of a summer surprise left hook no one expected.
CS: I met Todd for the first time a couple months ago and he was a really nice guy, so I finally had a chance to meet him and I’m glad the movie’s been doing better than anyone thought.
CS: Yeah, he was. Was that acting?
CS: Maybe it was a bad day.
CS: Most people are probably going to think that you’ve come from out of nowhere and you’re this “new guy, Zach Galifianakis” which is funny considering how long and hard you’ve been working. This movie, “G-Force,” is almost a complete about face in some ways because you’re essentially playing the straight man to a bunch of guinea pigs this time. How did that happen?
CS: They had a script by the time you shot, right?
CS: I saw that you appeared in a lot of film roles and on TV over the years so I’m familiar with both your acting and stand-up comedy, both tough occupations, and I was curious how you ended up tackling both.
CS: As far as making this movie–and I’m sure you’ll get asked this a lot as well–but what’s it like acting opposite essentially nothing? Did they just put a camera on you and have you do your lines and you were done?
CS: At least they explained how they’re able to talk, because so many Disney movies with talking animals completely ignore the fact that animals usually don’t talk, but at least this one has a reason and mentions the technology that allows them.
CS: I think moviemakers are realizing that because even in “Bolt,” when the humans were around, they’d be barking and only talking to each other, but this one, they at least have an explanation how they can be talking. As far as your acting, I’d imagine you shot “The Hangover” a year and a half ago.
CS: What have you been doing in the time between then? I know you shot “Youth in Revolt” which was also a while ago since that’s been delayed, but have you done anything else since September in terms of acting?
(At this point, we kind of went off on a tangent about Jason Schwartzman and the fact that this writer worked with him when he was playing drums with Phantom Planet, something that would probably bore you.)
CS: Because of the success of “The Hangover,” it’s going to be easier for you to get bigger roles without auditions and there was just a big announcement about you doing two more movies with Todd. Do you have any idea when you’re going to start shooting “Due Date”? Where is that in the development stage?
CS: When I talked to him about casting you in “The Hangover,” he was saying that he tried to have you play Alan towards your strengths and you did a lot of improvisation. Do you think that will be the same case here or do you think you’ll try to do something completely different to avoid it just being the same character?
CS: Have you approached any of the “G-Force” cast to appear on “Between Two Ferns” yet?
CS: You want to keep it a surprise.
CS: I was wondering about that. Now that you’re doing more of these junkets, you’ll have a lot more ammo. Just take notes from all the bad interviews you do and use those questions on your subjects. Do you feel like you’ve made it at this point and that people will know your work and you won’t have to do auditions? Are you hopeful about that?
G-Force opens everywhere on July 24, 2009