We’ve seen him in everything from Undeclared to Knocked Up, but who knew comedy kid Jay Baruchel’s true passion is horror and action. The actor, who plays Tropic Thunder’s newbie Kevin Sandusky, confesses he was in film nerd heaven on the set of his new movie.
“It was the greatest thing ever…I get gored f*cking open in this movie. I got the pressurized blood thing coming out to squirt all over the place. It was cumbersome and inconvenient but the nerd in me was like this is pretty much the coolest. When I die, it was like there’s nowhere to go from here.”
That’s not all, Baruchel tells us all about prepping for the film, surviving the Hawaiian jungle and more …
Hollywood.com: Did you do a big intense military boot camp for this?
Jay Baruchel: I heard that they had entertained the idea of doing a boot camp and I guess they had enough money in the budget to do a boot camp or a cast supper and they went for cast supper instead.
HW: What was it like shooting in Hawaii, because I read it was miserable?
JB: I’m one of the few people on earth that hates hot weather, hates summertime so summertime in Hawaii already was a lot to contend with… A lot of people got sick from Leptospirosis, which is prolonged exposure to mud because every animal in God’s creation poos in the mud and it rains 12 times...It is very pleasant stuff [laughs]. I live in Canada and if someone had told me before the movie started that the biggest issue was going to be mud I would have said, “Go fuck yourself, mud’s mud.” Mud is not mud. Hawaii has the market cornered on insane mud. I’ve never seen mud that goes up to my fucking knees. Like the equivalent of snow banks worth of mud. That stuff was crazy.
HW: How did you land the role? Did you have to campaign for it?
JB: I don’t live here so I often come down here and don’t have a car and getting around with a taxi is quite a schlep. I remember this is the audition where I decided I was going to spend $60 and pay for a town car to take me and wait for me and I was like, “This is going to be pretty shitty if I blew $70 bucks and I don’t even get the call back”…I auditioned and went to take a pee afterwards and Ben [Stiller] came up to me when I got out of the bathroom and said, “So, is this the kind of thing you would want to do?” I was like, “What the fuck are you talking about? Of course this is the type of thing I want to do, are you crazy?”
HW: Given that this film owes a lot to Apocalypse Now, as a film nerd do you prefer Apocalypse Now or Apocalypse Now Redux?
JB: The original. I wanted to love Redux. I saw it in the theater as soon as it came out. On paper the scene with the French Colonials is a great idea but it doesn’t change the fact that it is boring as dog shit. There is a reason they cut out that 45 minutes…[It is] like paint drying in the middle of Vietnam.
HW: Did re-watch Apocalypse Now anyway, since Tropic Thunder owes so much to the film?
JB: As much as it owes to Apocalypse Now it owes to the genre of early eighties Vietnam movies…when we got to Hawaii there were gift baskets with like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill, Apocalypse Now and camouflage deodorant [laughs]. I grew up watching those movies and also my mother’s family is all military. Her father is a career soldier, two of my uncles, my cousin, her husband and all of them so there is no shortage of war movies at my granddads house, so one thing I knew was how to play the crazy Jewish cherry, which is what he is basically.
Tropic Thunder opens in theaters Aug. 13, 2008
Just when they thought they could go back to their normal lives (all except Kelly Clarkson, of course), the 30 finalists from the hit Fox series American Idol will reunite for a two-hour special in Las Vegas. The show, which will be taped Wednesday at the MGM Grand hotel-casino, will include Clarkson performing her new single "A Moment Like This," plus two other songs. Viewers will be able to vote on which song Clarkson should record next. The special will air Sept. 23 on Fox.
The Associated Press reports a federal judge has thrown out a lingering lawsuit filed by the beef industry against talk-show guru Oprah Winfrey. The 1998 suit claimed Winfrey violated the Texas "veggie libel" law when, on her show, she talked about how there could be a risk of mad cow disease spreading in U.S. beef and how she vowed to never eat a hamburger again. U.S. District Judge Mary Robinson dismissed "all claims and causes of action asserted or that could have been asserted" by Cactus Feeding Club Inc.
Supermodel Christy Turlington admitted to People.com she and actor-director Ed Burns broke off their engagement due in part to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Their nuptials were to take place late October 2001 in Italy but because of the fears of traveling, it was postponed several times until finally Burns and Turlington simply went their separate ways. Now everyone can sleep at night knowing exactly what happened to those two.
Kevin Spacey chastised New York magazine and gossip columnist Marc Malkin for its "totally inaccurate" reporting that the actor was renting a mansion on Fire Island, off Long Island's southern coast. AP reports Spacey wrote a letter to the editor saying he has never been to Fire Island and quipped he had been at an amusement park in Boise, Idaho, all summer. OK, obviously a joke, but: "While I understand that most of your reporting is done in good fun," Spacey wrote, "it is so completely untrue that it seems to warrant a re-examination by New York of the freedom it gives to reporters who write anything they want without concern for the facts."
Variety reports LL Cool J will be S.W.A.T.-ing his way into theaters May 2003, as he joins Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez in the feature film S.W.A.T.. Based on the classic TV series, rapper LL Cool J (who will go by his real name, James Todd Smith) will star as a key member of the S.W.A.T. team assigned to transport an international criminal who has offered $100 million for anyone who can set him free.
Taking a cue from the British reality show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, ABC is planning to take eight celebrities--entertainers, sports stars, newsmakers--and dump them in a remote location with very few rations. The celebs, who will be playing for their favorite charities, will also be voted off by viewers, a la American Idol. Can't see Tom Hanks doing this--again.
The other American Idol darling Tamyra Gray, whose early ousting created quite a stir on the show, may capitalize on her Idol fame--this time as an actress. Gray is in discussions to appear on Fox's Boston Public in a multi-episode arc this season.
AP reports Dee Dee Ramone's official cause of death in June was an overdose of heroin. The Los Angeles coroner's office released the toxicology report stating Ramone had a lethal amount of the drug in his body at the time of his autopsy. One of the founding members of the punk band The Ramones, the bassist and songwriter was found dead June 5 on the couch of his home.
In the early '70s scheming husband-and-wife lowlifes Mac and Pat McBeth work menial jobs at Duncan's Restaurant a popular greasy spoon in tiny Scotland Penn. Their boss Norm Duncan shares with them his idea to upgrade his eatery into a new-fangled operation that will allow patrons to drive up in their cars and order food. In a flash of rare inspiration the chronically stupid Mac suggests the even more efficient method of eliminating personnel by allowing customers to place orders themselves via intercom. Norm loves the idea but only rewards Mac with a nominal promotion to assistant manager. Furious Mac and Pat plot Norm's death and the takeover of Duncan's. The diabolical duo murder Norm by adding his head to the fries in a vat of boiling oil. With Norm's irresponsible sons immersed in other pastimes Mac and Pat successfully take control of the restaurant and turn it into a smashing fast food success. But complications ensue when Lt. Ernie McDuff investigates and restaurant employee Banco also Mac's good buddy becomes suspicious and turns against his friend. Although Mac and Pat thanks to their fast food success have traded their trailer park-like existence for a more upscale neighborhood justice lies just around the corner and threatens to tear it all away.
James LeGros and Maura Tierney (writer/director Billy Morrissette's real-life wife) are highly amusing as the wicked McBeths with LeGros handling hunky stupidity in an appealingly manly manner and Tierney oozing equal amounts of evil and lust. Christopher Walken as the gumshoe who hopes to crack the case is both '70s-style cool and utterly tacky. Kevin Corrigan registers as a dim-witted cipher who unexpectedly evolves into a dangerous nuisance and James Rebhorn is appropriately clueless as the hapless restaurateur.
Actor Billy Morrissette who makes his feature directorial debut here and also delivered the screenplay displays an assured knack for humor and a clear ability to entertain. His script is packed with shameless Shakespearean puns but the dialogue convinces in spite of the silliness. Morrissette also manages to reign in his over-the-top characters and situations so that they embody their own truths. Throughout Morrisette gives us delicious eye-candy with his attention to style as he his cinematographer and production designer deliver a hilarious send-up of the tacky '70s and the fast-food revolution. There are the clothes (wide collars were never wider) the kitschy decor (Naugahyde madness) the pop culture addictions (Yahtzee) and of course the rock 'n' roll. Until the last quarter of the film when momentum begins to sag Morrissette maintains a controlled canny grip on the droll goings-on.