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INT: David Koechner

Mar. 16, 2007by: JimmyO

David Koechner is the man you’ve seen a hundred times but may not know his name. You may see him on the street and think, “I know that dude.” but can’t figure out exactly how. Well, here’s how, did you see, SNAKES ON A PLANE (Okay, maybe not that one), TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY, well he was there. He has appeared in numerous other films as well as television and is finally getting his shot as a leading man of sorts in THE COMEBACKS.

Before sitting down with David, we had heard a whole lot about how he is a very funny and extremely nice guy. Well, what we found when we finally sat down with him… It was absolutely true! He couldn’t have been a cooler dude. He was very excited to talk about the experience in his first lead role and he had great things to say about the experience. This guy is not your average movie star, but he really seems to have the chops as a great comic actor. And you know what they say… comedy is hard. Here’s hoping David scores a touchdown with THE COMEBACKS.

David Koechner

How did this role come about for you?

Alright, here’s how it came about… I’m happy to say they offered it to me.  How about that?  So I was happy to say yes.  I had breakfast with Tom Brady and Andrew Panay, they had sent me the script the night before and I laughed and I said, “Right on, let’s do it.”

Were you a football player yourself?

Oh, yeah, big time.  You might recognize me from my extensive pro career.  Yeah, I played for the Chiefs; you know, outside linebacker… 87’, 88’ Chiefs.  Look that up. [Laughing]  No, no, I played in high school a little bit… poorly.  I’ll let you punch that up… I was All State in High School.

Okay. [Laughing]

Who’s going to know except the people in Tipton.  I’m sure those records are easily accessible on the internet so…  Yeah, I played a little high school ball.  Not of any note.

Can you tell us a little bit about your character?

[He] has dirtied every coaching water he’s waded in.  He’s a perennial loser.  He’s the guy that sent the Stanford Band onto the field against what is it… Cal State Berkeley that one year.  He’s the guy that distracted Bill Buckner in the 86’ World Series.  He’s the guy that instructed [Mike] Tyson to bite [Evander] Holyfields ear. [Laughing] He’s never won anything ever in his life and he gets recruited to take on this college football program; and he does.  And that’s where the excitement begins.

We meet our characters; we get to lampoon the overwrought coaching and sports dramas.  So it’s a lot of fun.  Cause it can be a lot of latitude, everything has an emotional base, every scene, because it’s a touchstone of all these films that you’ve seen before.  So that’s the interesting thing, you have a recognition of what these things are from so they’re not just gags, although there’s gags in all of them, a lot of times it comes from a real place; has a little bit more resonance.

You’ve had a busy year, with TENACIOUS D…

Tenacious D… Jack Black called me two months ago and told me I got cut. [Having since seen the film, sadly he was] Look for me on the DVD.

Oh no…

Yeah…  That’s alright, you’ve gotta serve the film.

Yeah.

So, I just did a little cameo in there anyway… and what else?

SNAKES ON A PLANE…

SOAP.

That was f*cking brilliant…

Thanks, that was fun.

You were great in it too.

Thank you.  I thought what a fun film and then all that buzz and this will be great… people didn’t show up.  I thought, are you kidding, this is a party.  How can you not come to this party, so… that’s the way it goes.

Did you have any particular on-screen coaches that you are parodying in THE COMEBACKS?

Yep.  All of them; they sent me a lot of clips from a lot of… there’s some real stuff that we are doing and I don’t know if I’m at liberty to give those away.  You’ll have to see.  But they are very funny; the stuff that is lifted directly or referenced directly from movies that you’ll recognize as an audience member.

Something like [Nick] Nolte in BLUE CHIPS is always on the verge of having a conniption…?

Well, plus NORTH DALLAS FORTY.  I think tonally, those things are lifted from all those movies, a lot of it is, you’ll recognize a lot of the tone from stuff.  But basically any football movie that’s been made in the last ten years is lampooned in one way or another.

So what’s been the biggest challenge in this project for you?

Putting up with the actors, that’s always the problem isn’t it?  [Laughing] What’s been the greatest challenge, ah… finding a great challenge because it’s been fun every day… whoa, huh… [Laughing] No, it’s been good.  There haven’t been any problems.  No real challenges… I don’t have to do any football stunts so I get off pretty easy.  The other guys and girls have a tougher time of it than I do.  So, it’s kind of a cake walk for me.

Any particular roles or directors you’d like to work with?

Anyone that’d give me a job… does that sound too whorish?

Nah, it's fine.

I love obviously comedy so what would appeal to me is what I’m probably best suited for, so any of that is welcome.  Smarter comedies are even more welcome.  Did you see THANK YOU FOR SMOKING?

Awesome.

Hmm… I’d love to work with Jason [Reitman] again.  He’s gonna be doing a new picture I think, so he might have one day for me.  What’s that?  One day… come on guy! [Laughing] I gave him a week; he wants to cut it down to a day.

What’s it like working with these young actors who haven’t had the experience that you’ve had?

It’s great.  They’ve got great energy and they’re all very excited and they come ready to play everyday.  So, no one’s bored, everyone’s very happy and they’re all giving a hundred and ten percent.  Yeah, it brings great energy to the set.

What’s it like to be top-lining a film now?  Do you feel any pressure or are you just kind of like, its fun…

Well, that’s exactly it.  I think we only have fun.  You can’t control anything except your own performance.  And Tom Brady’s great, he’s a very bright guy; he knows what he’s doing.  We see the comedy the same way so you’re in sync there; so were taken care of.  There are so many things you can’t control on a film; you hope everyone’s doing their job.  And it’s a delicate thing, really.  But if it comes together, it’s wonderful and right now it’s really coming together so…

Are there any cameos that you can reveal?

I don’t… no, that wouldn’t be a question for me to be able to answer.  I don’t know what they’re holding back so…  I guess I can’t spill the beans on it but they are fantastic, let’s put it that way.

What are some of the projects you have lined up after this?

Well, January 17th, I did a show for Comedy Central called THE NAKED TRUCKER AND T-BONES SHOW.  And we debut the seventeenth.  Eight episodes on Comedy Central, it’s gonna be great.  And then I’m working on a couple projects and then I was just talking to someone about a couple animated things that might happen.  But I haven’t signed anything yet.

Would it be like feature film animation?

Ah, one’s a feature, and one’s a TV project.  And then there’s another feature that they’re talking about so we’ll have to see.  There’s no ink, no deal… No deals guys!  Didn’t break any deals yet!  But I’m looking forward to having December off, I’ve got four kids, were gonna play all December hopefully.  Teach my kids to ski maybe.

That’s cool.  Do you have a voice acting background?

Ah, no.  I’ve done some voiceover stuff before and I did BARNYARD two years ago?  You know, they take a little longer to come out.  And so that was my first feature.  I’d done some cartoon work with another guy [Greg Miller] before [WHATEVER HAPPENED TO] ROBOT JONES it was called, I did thirteen of those.  And then I did some Harvey

HARVEY BIRDMAN?

Yeah, yeah.

Do you find it more creative or less creative to do voice over work?

It depends on what you want you know; it’s all creative right?  Cuz it’s all part of something that’s collaborative and people are hoping it seems creative.  Some projects you’re more involved in than others.  And sometimes you just come in and do your job and go away, right?  But I’ve been fortunate that everyone I’ve worked with is very collaborative and open to new ideas or whatever, but I try to do whatever their asking rather than going, “Hey man, here’s what I think.” [Laughing] Nobody gives a shit what that guy thinks… Come in, shut your mouth and do your job, right?  [Laughing]

Do you find that actors that don’t have a background in comedy, is it more difficult for them to adjust to it?  Do they seem self-conscious…?

Well, that’s case by case right?  Sometimes I’d say that the only thing is that some actors, if their not necessarily a comic they don’t understand that their job is to just keep doing what they’re supposed to do, not try to be funny.  If they’re trying then we all know it and we’re like, “Oh, please…” You know who Margaret Dumont is right, from the Marx Brothers?  She never knew those were comedies.  She’s the straight man right?  And she never knew [laughing] they were comedies.

How did she find out eventually?

I don’t know.  I think she did, someone told her. [Laughing] So, yeah and people also don’t understand the value of a straight man.  In the old vaudeville days, the straight man got sixty percent.

I know you are pretty seasoned with comedy, but do you still blow takes by just laughing and getting carried away with that or are you too…?

Well, you try and be professional but because you don’t wanna blow the take that was the good one for the other guy.  So, you do it more than once, its like, “Okay… wait a minute.”

No more SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT type of…

Oh no.  Those will happen.  That’s gonna happen anytime cause that’s the joy of it.  But it’s too cheeky, [it’s] not being very professional.

So what has been you’re most rewarding project to date?

I guess my own TV show.  That was the most rewarding. THE NAKED TRUCKER AND T-BONES SHOW, absolutely.

The most creative, the most control?

Yeah, I’m executive producer on it.

Fantastic.

[And I’m] one of the stars of it so yeah, absolutely.

When is it going to be on?

January 17th.

Is it going to be on after SOUTH PARK ?

Yes it is.

Oh, fantastic.

Yes, we’re paired with SOUTH PARK .  They’re very hot on it.  They’re very excited about it so… Look for the billboards and the…

We’ll be watching.

Source: JoBlo.com

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