Zach Galifianakis on Dog Fight and The Hangover 3


Unlike his Puss In Boots character Humpty Dumpty, there doesn’t seem to be any big fall ahead for Zach Galifianakis.

After the colossal successes of the two “Hangover” films, the critic’s love letters to his HBO series “Bored to Death” and knockout stints hosting “Saturday Night Live,” Hollywood’s hirsute comedian of the moment star remains on the rise. He tells about riffing without feedback, his new film with Will Ferrell, the itch to do a drama and whether there’ll be more mornings-after in his future.

On improvising funny lines in the Puss In Boots recording booth without hearing many laughs:

“I’ve had enough shows where there wasn’t feedback – many, many shows. But, yeah, you’re isolated from people that may be laughing, so it was a little different. Well, it was VERY different. But the good thing is there’s a lot of freedom in it. Because it’s just you and a microphone and Chris, the director, who is very willing to let us kind of do what we wanted to do – but I think he reined it in a little bit. The similarities between that and coming from a standup background, I don’t know – There’s a familiarity with the microphone. And silence. But other than that there’s not that much comparison.”

On blending his comic style with Ferrell’s for the upcoming Dog Fight:

“That movie is a political movie set in a Congressional race in the Southern United States and it comes out right before the Presidential election. And it’s a Merchant Ivory film. Excuse me – Merchant Ivory Wayans. We haven’t started filming yet, but I have known Will for a couple of years now and he’s a very giving person. And there’s no ego there, whatsoever, which is very helpful when you’re doing a comedy. It’s really helpful. But in this movie, we are playing completely different characters. I think a lot of people probably think we’re going to play our usual, you know, man-child thing – whatever, but we’re not doing that whatsoever. So we’re playing two grown men that are flawed, but the fact that the characters are so different will probably help us not step on each other’s feet.”

On his urge to take on a dramatic role one day:

“I think I have that chip on my shoulder. I mean, I don’t know what it comes from, that I’d like to do dramatic stuff. Just because I’d like to do stuff that is different. Like anybody that has a job – If you mow lawns for a living you’re like, ‘You know what? I’m going to mow the lawn differently this time!’ You know what I mean? It’s just that kind of thing. With ‘The Hangover’ character, that thing – I will never play that kind of dumb idiot in a movie. I just won’t. I don’t want to do it. I’ll play a dumb idiot, but I won’t play it in that way. I just won’t do it. Until my career tanks, then, ‘Okay, whatever you need me to do.’ But, yeah, I think I want to probably try to do that. It’s tough. Comedians – It’s always weird. Comedians, actor comedians, people always get on their case: ‘Oh, they’re just doing the same thing.’ Well, there’s a lot of dramatic actors that do the same thing every time. I’m not going to name names, but I could. And it’s like, well, why do dramatic actors get away with it? Comedians, I think people might even get tired of your shtick. And so you have to be real careful of that.”

On the possibility of writing some of his own future film projects:

“I’d like to do it. My problem is it’s not that I’m lazy. It’s just that I hate meetings. I’m not a businessperson. And it takes a certain business acumen to do that. If I could find that magic person that’s like, ‘Hey, look – all you’ve got to do is be goofy the way you are and I’ll figure out the business end.’ There are people around like that, obviously. But I want to do it, and I would like to some smaller movies. I would like to just do small comedies that are maybe a little bit esoteric, but they’re hard to get funded. This is a business, and people are like, ‘Well, wait a minute. You want to do that kind of movie? That’s not going to sell internationally. People won’t understand it in southeast Florida.’ But that’s what I’d like to do.”

On the frequent times he’s been asked to turn his Funny or Die web phenom “Between Two Ferns” into a full-fledged TV series:

“Yeah, we’ve been approached several times to do it on television. And I decided that I just like the way it is. It’s just there and I don’t really talk about it that much. And nobody tells me anything. Yes, we have been approached to put that on television. We have not yet, done that yet. I don’t know if we will.”

On the potential for reuniting for a third boys night out:

“Do I want to do more of ‘The Hangover’ movies? If we can get the script where we feel that it’s really fantastic, I think it’s something to consider. It’s all about the script. And if Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms are not in it, yeah, I’m into it.”

On whether all of his the heat on his career is starting to stretch him too thin:

“Not at all. I’m appreciative to be working, and that show ‘Bored to Death’ is the most fun thing to work on because those actors are so funny. And they’ve become really good friends of mine, so that passes the time very quickly. And ‘Between Two Ferns,’ it takes an hour to shoot those. I don’t even know. I show up and I kind of have an idea but there’s not a lot of concentration going on there. And that’s the way I like it.”

Puss In Boots opens in theaters on Friday, October 28.

(Photo Credit: