Video:John Michael Higgins, Joel Silver Interviews - Fred Clauswith Rebecca Murray
John Michael Higgins was able to show off his improv skills as one of Santa's helpers in the Warner Bros comedy Fred Claus. Producer Joel Silver joined his cast on the red carpet (covered in fake snow) to talk about the holiday comedy.See Transcript
Transcript:John Michael Higgins, Joel Silver Interviews - Fred ClausRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the Hollywood premiere of Fred Claus.
John Michael Higgins ('Willie')
Aren't you a little tall to play an elf?
John Michael Higgins: "Well the studio very graciously agreed through special effects to elongate me this evening so that you could talk to me, and that this giant stick that you have on the bottom of your camera wouldn't go right over my head."
Normally you're only 3 feet tall?
John Michael Higgins: "3 feet 8. I'm not 3 feet tall. I'm 3 feet 8!"
Sorry, I didn't know about the 8 inches.
John Michael Higgins: "What's it take in this town? My gosh."
What was it like reuniting with Vince Vaughn?
John Michael Higgins: "Vince and I have a great time together because we never say what's in the script. That's really a problem. I don't recommend it. Eventually, somewhere near the end of the day we're like, 'What does the script say? Maybe we should Have we seen it? Do we have one of those around?' That sort of thing."
So it's just a jumping off point?
John Michael Higgins: "Yeah, you know, the script is very carefully written it's actually perfectly written - and eventually we always say what's there. But we use the improvisation to push the scene around and see what's out there. Vince is great at it; I'm comfortable with it. It's a lot of fun."
What's the appeal of doing a holiday movie?
John Michael Higgins: "Well, I think part of it is I still watch holiday movies from the 40s. Oh yeah, absolutely, every year. One hopes that this movie will be watched 40 years from now because it's a great thing to do at the holidays. People love to sit down at the holidays and eat too much candy and watch a great Christmas movie."
Which one do you watch most often?
John Michael Higgins: "I watch absolutely every year I watch The Grinch, Charlie Brown, Rudolph. Those are all about half hour a piece so it really fits into an evening pretty well. I really like Scrooge which is the musical, '72, with Albert Finney of Christmas Carol. Great score and it's a great movie, very underrated movie. The only better movie I can think of is Fred Claus."
Are you usually on the naughty or the nice list?
John Michael Higgins: "Right down the middle. They don't know what to do with me. They pass me right over. I never have Christmas."
And you've got Walk Hard coming up too?
John Michael Higgins: "Walk Hard is coming up. I've got the new Jim Carrey movie coming up and a pilot for NBC."
So you're just busy.
John Michael Higgins: "I hope so, yeah."
You need the holidays off.
John Michael Higgins: "Yeah, I do need the holidays."
That's pretty good for a 3 foot 8 actor.
John Michael Higgins: "Not bad, huh? See, you can still get work in this town if you're under 4 feet."
Producer Joel Silver
What's the appeal of doing a holiday movie because this isn't your normal type of movie?
Joel Silver: "No. I don't know. It was a great idea, great cast, great people. It really seemed like a fun movie to make. It's a big visual effects movie, I know a little bit about that. It just came out really well. I'm really proud of the movie."
And it was always supposed to be PG, even though it has Vince Vaughn?
Joel Silver: "Absolutely. It was always PG from the very beginning."
How is this writers strike going to affect you?
Joel Silver: "There's a glimmer of hope that it may in fact be over tomorrow. That would be really nice. It would be really nice if, in fact, that happened." [Note: This interview took place on November 3, 2007]
If it doesn't happen, if it's not over, are you prepared?
Joel Silver: "It's going to be bad."
But you've got a lot of stuff already in the can and ready to go?
Joel Silver: "We're working away but I have a TV show for CBS called Moonlight which will be in terrible shape."
The feature films are going to be okay?
Joel Silver: "I have Speed Racer coming out. I'm doing great."
Speed Racer's in post-production?
Joel Silver: "Yes, it is."
How's it looking?
Joel Silver: "Fantastic."
Is it meeting your expectations?
Joel Silver: "Yes."
Is it going to meet the fans' expectations?
Joel Silver: "There's going to be a trailer on the screens at Christmas time so people will start seeing what it looks like."
With visual effects in place?
Joel Silver: "Yes, yes, yes."
What's happening with Logan's Run?
Joel Silver: "It's in development. We'll make it one day."
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