Video:Funny People - Jonah Hill, RZA, and Bryan Batt Interviewswith Rebecca Murray
It was a hot, hot, hot LA day when Universal Pictures hosted the premiere of 'Funny People,' but the extreme heat didn't keep the cast of the comedy movie - including Jonah Hill, RZA, and Bryan Batt - from hitting the red carpet to chat up the film.See Transcript
Transcript:Funny People - Jonah Hill, RZA, and Bryan Batt InterviewsRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the premiere of Funny People.
Jonah Hill - 'Leo' in Funny People
You had never done stand-up before in your life. Is that true?
Jonah Hill: "Yeah. I never had."
You never wanted to and then they said you were playing a stand-up comedian in this?
Jonah Hill: "Yeah. Judd was like, 'You are playing a stand-up comedian, and you're playing a really good stand-up comedian.'"
Jonah Hill: "Yeah. So, for six months a few times a week Seth and I would go around and do stand-up."
What did you learn doing that?
Jonah Hill: "I learned that I'm not good at it, that I'll never do it again."
That acting is better?
Jonah Hill: "Yeah. That acting and writing and producing is a lot more fun for me."
Did your act get better as you went along?
Jonah Hill: "Yes. The only advice to anyone I have that wants to become a good stand-up is just do it over and over again."
Do you have to be honest? Does the comedy have to come from something that you know?
Jonah Hill: "It can. For me it does in general, but there's some stand-ups who definitely don't subscribe to that theory."
So what makes Adam Sandler so successful as a comedian?
Jonah Hill: "Because he's one of the funniest guys of all time. He's so genuine and nice and cares about what he does and cares about the people who support him. And he's just a role model for guys like us."
We know that Judd always allows improv, so how much of your stuff is actually scripted?
Jonah Hill: "I feel there's a fair amount of improv in the movie, but this was definitely the most developed of all the scripts that I had ever read that Judd had written."
Developed as in...
Jonah Hill: "Complete."
What's happening with 21 Jump Street right now?
Jonah Hill: "We're hiring a director right now. So I'll let you know when we hire the guy - or girl."
What is the tone because that's what everybody wants to know?
Jonah Hill: "I always describe it as Bad Boys meets a John Hughes movie."
That kind of fits with the show.
Jonah Hill: "Exactly."
Any Johnny Depp cameo?
Jonah Hill: "I read an interview on MTV news that he wants to do one."
But you haven't talked to him?
Jonah Hill: "I haven't talked to him personally, no."
Would you like him in there?
Jonah Hill: "Of course I would."
RZA - 'Chuck' in Funny People
So tell me about playing in this because you have to keep a serious face when Seth Rogen is trying out jokes. How do you do that?
RZA: "Well, you have to tighten up your butt."
Was there one time when even tightening your butt didn't work?
RZA: "Yeah, that's when I almost passed gas. No, these guys are crazy. Man, these guys are good."
What's the atmosphere like on the set because there is seriousness to this too?
RZA: "No, no, no, the atmosphere was very, very warm. I've been on a few sets in my life and this definitely was one of the best ones, one of the warmest ones. Everybody really just had this kind of connection that I was proud to be invited in on."
It's like Judd has a gang because he takes them from film to film to film. Are you going to do that?
RZA: "Maybe he'll let me join the gang. I would love to."
Are you in Repossession Mambo too?
RZA: "Yes, I am."
What do you play in that?
I'm guessing it's kind of serious?
RZA: "Yeah, it's kind of serious I think. Yeah, kind of serious."
Do you like that better?
RZA: "No, I'm loving it all. I'm loving it all."
Bryan Batt - 'Terry Dowd' in Funny People
Tell me about your part in this.
Bryan Batt: "I play Adam's manager, Terry, who... One scene got cut that I have to confess that I embezzled a million dollars from him. And then I have one scene left in the movie and everyone tells me it's funny. I had a blast making it and Adam could not have been nicer and more lovely to work with. Same with Judd. They were just hysterical."
Who cracks you up the most on the set? Was it Adam that was making you laugh the most?
Bryan Batt: "Oh yeah, and Sarah Silverman. There's one scene at the end where we're at this bar and they go by comic by comic by comic, and the things that came out of that girl's mouth. I, well, I couldn't believe she actually kisses her mother with that mouth. But she's great. She's hysterical."
And none of it was scripted?
Bryan Batt: "We filmed a couple of takes as written and then the rest of them were improv'd."
How good are you at improv?
Bryan Batt: "I'm pretty damned good."
Bryan Batt: "I think so. No, I'm kidding. When you have people like that to play off of, when you have that kind of brilliance like Adam and Judd you just go for it."
What do you think it is that makes a comedian successful?
Bryan Batt: "The truth. I think it's the truth. They find what's funny and it hits a chord in somebody and they identify with it, you know? So I think that's making... Life is hard, but it's also very funny. People are a mess."