CS Interview: Anthony Carrigan Talks Bill & Ted Face the Music
ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to chat with Emmy nominee Anthony Carrigan (Barry, Gotham) about his role in Orion Pictures’ Bill & Ted Face the Music. You can check out the interview below and click here to purchase Bill & Ted Face the Music!
Bill & Ted Face the Music centers on Bill S. Preston (Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Reeves), who are now fathers and have yet to fulfill their rock ‘n’ roll destinies. Their lives change when they are visited by a messenger from the future who warns them that only their song can save life as we know it.
Joining Winter and Reeves are Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) and Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) as Bill and Ted’s daughters, respectively. The film will also feature Anthony Carrigan (Barry), Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Kristen Schall (Toy Story 4), Holland Taylor (Gloria Bell), Kid Cudi, Erinn Hayes, Jayma Mays, and Beck Bennet. William Sadler is also set to reprise his role as Death alongside franchise returners Amy Stoch and Hal London Jr. Newcomer.
ComingSoon.net: This is obviously an iconic franchise to be a part of, but what about Face the Music really drew you to want to be a part of it?
Anthony Carrigan: I think just having been a fan of the franchise for so long, you know, I’ve been a fan of these movies since I was a kid. So I kind of heard that they were thinking about kind of starting to get another movie together, but when the appointment rolled through my email, I was ecstatic. And I think honestly, just to kind of be a part of this story is the stuff of legend. So I’m just thrilled and very grateful.
CS: And so, it’s interesting, too, because we’ve seen you do mostly drama or horror leading up to this. And between this and Barry we’re starting to see you take on more comedy. What has that transition been like for you in terms of the acting?
Carrigan: Oh well, you know, I like to keep things interesting and I like to change tact whenever I can. So you know, it’s definitely, I mean, this movie’s obviously a different tone from Barry. But it’s a joy to kind of be a part of it, really light-hearted, silly, but also a really well-meaning storyline. And yeah, and as an actor, getting to play really fun characters is my dream. So that’s obviously just for me, just put on a silver platter with Bill & Ted Face the Music.
CS: It’s funny, too, because your character has almost been kind of kept as a secret, and even I, for the first few times that I see your character in the movie, I didn’t even realize it was you. And then, as you started talking more I was like, oh, that’s who that is. What was that like for you, taking on this character?
Carrigan: The really cool thing about this process specifically along with this character was that I was kind of given free rein by Dean Parisot, the director, to just kind of come up with whatever I wanted. So that was equal parts terrifying and fun and exhilarating. So it was cool to be able to kind of build the character from the ground up, build it from nothing and just, you know, just see. I mean, I definitely took a big swing with it, so hopefully, people will enjoy it and will kind of connect with it.
CS: I’m trying to find a way to ask the question without a spoiler, but were your shocked reactions to some of your actions, were those from you or were those from the script?
Carrigan: I mean, let me see. Let me see if I can understand the question. Can you be more specific about the –?
CS: The moments in which you would recoil out of shock at what you had just done, was that from the script or was that from you?
Carrigan: Oh well that was the script. But what was cool was that you know, with a lot of this stuff, you know, Dean, Ed Solomon, Chris Matheson, they were all just very, very playful and very fun. So we would try different things, too. And so, it certainly gave me a lot of confidence to be able to explore and find different ways of doing things. And I think that lends itself to just wanting some real honesty, some real honest moments.
CS: Okay. What would you say then were some of your biggest challenges in coming into this role?
Carrigan: Well, I think certainly the costume was brilliantly made, was just wonderfully designed. And I think it looked so cool. But wearing it, ah, that was a challenge, especially in the sweltering New Orleans summer. It was a real challenge to survive in that suit. But I also think that it kind of helped my character, you know — it kind of helped inform my character of just the performance in general.
CS: Gotcha, okay. What was it like — because you have a handful of moments with them that are more positive towards the latter half of the film. What was it like building the rapport with the whole cast, especially Keanu and Alex?
Carrigan: Well, I think for me, it was getting over that initial giddiness and just, you know, of being in the presence of Bill and Ted. I mean, it was a real kinda [challenge] to just get through my first scene and remember my lines because I was looking at Bill and Ted saying, whoa, you know? So once I got over that hurdle and started to kind of talk to specifically Keanu and Alex, I just learned what really lovely guys they are and how smart they are, too. They’re really, really very, very, very bright guys, which is ironic considering the characters that they play. But the whole cast really altogether was just such a lovely group of people and it made for some really just wonderful experiences both on camera and off-camera, too.
CS: It’s interesting, too, because I almost feel like there were some parallels between your character and Bill Sadler’s Grim Reaper when he was first introduced. What was it like getting to work with him and having you two sort of be these similar outside personas from Bill and Ted?
Carrigan: Well, I think it was really wonderful. Bill is just such a lovely guy and such an immense talent. So to kind of connect with him more just on a personal level, but then also, just being able to work with him, it was like, I think we pretty soon in found a great rhythm together and talked about the kind of dynamic that our two characters had with each other. So that was really special. And again, just like a dream come true.
CS: That’s awesome. So this one, it was originally slated solely for theatrical and now it’s getting this simultaneous release with what all’s going on right now. What is that like for you, seeing this push to still get people into at least drive-in theaters as well as on demand?
Carrigan: I think that that’s the right call. You know, I think that no matter how you see this movie, whether you’re streaming it or whether you’re going to a drive-in or whether you watch it on an iPad, I think the message to the movie kind of holds up. And I think people are going to enjoy it. I think people are going to kind of hopefully take away some semblance of joy and togetherness and everything that this whole franchise stands for.
CS: I agree. I hope they do as well. I think this one especially has a very good message about togetherness. And unfortunately, this also brought the shutdown for preproduction on the next season of Barry. What’s that been like for you in the meantime, prepping to get back to work on that one?
Carrigan: Well, you know, obviously like many people, things have been halted and that comes with certain, you know, certain difficulties in the sense that you just wish life could kind of get back to normal. But at the same time, I think it’s important right now to acknowledge that I mean, I’m incredibly privileged and incredibly grateful to have what I do have. And right now, I’m just kind of doing my part to stay safe, to keep others safe, and you know, to keep myself active in a way that when we are able to go back to work, when it’s safe, that I’ll be ready and that I’ll be able to not show that I’m incredibly rusty, potentially.
(Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)