The pic above is of Todd Phillips when he directed Starsky and Hutch, and you may remember such films as Road Trip and Old School, yeah, those are Todd’s films as well. Suffice to say this guy has made some funny flicks and he made a trip to Seattle this week to chat it up as his next film School for Scoundrels is ready to hit theaters come September 29 a film that stars the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Heder, Jacinda Barrett, Michael Clarke Duncan and Dan Fogler.
Now, I could have gone the traditional route and asked Todd a bunch of questions about the movie, but instead we get a bit more of Todd… Some information you probably don’t know about the man and some information you might not have ever even thought to ask, but trust me I do get a scoop on Old School 2 and even a word on Six Million Dollar Man… So sit back and enjoy 10 Questions with Todd Phillips!
1. What is your favorite film?
Gimme Shelter, the Rolling Stones documentary. It is flawless and groundbreaking, it really captures the spirit of the ’60s on film. The Maysles brothers did great with that film. I consider a favorite film a film I watch the most. Is The Godfather more rewarding? Maybe, but Gimme Shelter is the my favorite film, it is the film I get excited about and show to people when they haven’t seen it.
2. Is it all about comedy for you and will you ever venture into drama or action?
Comedy right now is what I am into. There are several different genres within comedy and comedy has layers to it they I want to explore.
3. Who have you not worked with but want to?
Adam Sandler – he is really good and we have talked about working together we just haven’t found the right project, but a project is hopefully in reach.
4. Who do you believe is the funniest actor alive and working right now and why?
Vince Vaughn – he is the smartest, the quickest, he is amazing.
5. What movie made you cry?
Kramer vs. Kramer, that one always makes me cry. I don’t know why, it just always makes me cry.
6. What do you think of director’s cuts of movies? Old School saw an Unrated version get released, was that your idea and did you like it?
No, and you bring up an interesting point and this is something I think the Director’s Guild needs to look into. They released a fullscreen version of the cut that was in the theaters and then they go and release this Unrated cut in both fullscreen and the letter box. I understand why they need to release fullscreen, they have to show it on TV and not everyone has a widescreen television, but as far as the Unrated goes, Old School was rated R and they just went and jammed in an extra 90 seconds and called it Unrated. It isn’t like those 90 seconds made it NC-17 and if we had wanted it in the movie we would have put it in the movie.
7. What do you think of the state of Hollywood right now?
Everything goes in cycles. I don’t pay much attention. I don’t read Variety and I don’t watch the box-office.
8. Old School and Road Trip both have “rotten” as their RottenTomatoes ranking yet both of these films are loved and adored. What are your thoughts on film reviews?
You don’t want to sound like a bitter filmmaker, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when a movie like Old School is getting a “rotten” rating there is obviously a disconnect. I am very proud of Old School and it is loved by many, so I don’t know. As for reviews I do read the reviews, I check the New York Times, which I think hated all of my movies, but it is cool just to see the New York Times reviewing your movie, but you can’t take reviews too hard.
9. Do you plan on directing a movie that you have not written?
I want to because I think that will take a part of your directing brain. I haven’t been resisting it, it is just a matter of finding the right project. You see when you write a movie and someone asks you what someone is wearing you can answer because you wrote it, but with another script you have to interpret what they wrote and it will be very interesting. I will do it.
10. Old School 2 is it happening, are you writing it and if so what is the storyline?
The storyline is confidential. Right now it is being referred to as Project X and Scot [Armstrong] and I just started writing the screenplay two months ago and it should be finished in about three months. None of the actors are signed, but we are writing it with the three original actors in mind. It is really funny, I hope they do it.
BONUS: You were once attached to Six Million Dollar Man… is that a lost cause?
That is one of those things that is just in development. Some friends of mine wrote a script and it wasn’t perfect and it needed some work. If it does get made I won’t direct it I will probably produce because I already did Starsky and Hutch and I don’t want to become that person that does TV shows into movies.