INT: Craig Bierko
The fourth chapter features newcomer Craig Bierko (last seen as Max Baer in Cinderella Man) alongside Scary Movie veteran Anna Faris. Bierko stopped by the Four Seasons last week to talk about tackling the role of the bumbling leading man charged with the task of saving the world in Scary Movie 4, opening this week.
Youre new to the franchise. Had you seen the other Scary Movie films?
I saw 3 I got a call and they said they were interested in me for 3 and I wasnt familiar with it. And so I watched 3 because that was the only other one that David Zucker directed. And I thought, this is as funny as any of those other movies that hes done. Its really funny. And I have to say I didnt expect it. I didnt know because I was unfamiliar with those movies. And I just wanted in.
There was no trepidation about joining a successful franchise?
You mean some fear of success or being recognized as an actor? Maybe getting work after this? [laughs] Yeah, big problems with that. No, the only trepidation was it wasnt trepidation, but whenever you jump onto a moving train, you kinda hope well, the people already know what theyre doing, they have their thing down. Hopefully theyre nice and theyll be supportive, because I dont want to be out there on my own. Itll just be less pleasant. And to my happy surprise, everybody down the line the crew, the cast, David, Anna, Regina everybody was incredibly kind, supportive and its a different acting style, so I wasnt afraid to ask questions or look like an idiot asking questions. Everybody was great with giving me answers, so I felt comfortable right from the beginning.
It seemed like there wasnt a lot of improv in the movie.
Because the script is I read the script and its laugh out loud funny. These guys know what theyre doing. You read the script and it actually reads the way the movie looks, with all the sound effects and everything. And Im such a fan of those movies anyway, that I can actually picture it. There wasnt anything to improve upon, and even the improvised stuff, it was just because there were mostly actions and he said mostly, Try something here, or go crazy with this. Well just keep the camera running. And then hell just use whatever it is he likes. The Oprah thing, I mean theres probably a version thats four and a half hours (long). We just went nuts.
Any hesitation about making fun of Tom Cruise in the Oprah scene?
I saw the Oprah thing at the end (of the script) and my one hesitation was I wanted to make sure that we werent going to be parodying anybodys beliefs or personal life or that there wasnt going to be any nasty speculations or anything like that. As long as it was making fun of something that happened in a public forum, I was fine with that. I feel like thats the area for parody, but anything beyond that is not correct for me.
Theres nobody in the world who looks less like Tom Cruise than me. Nobody. And so I didnt think they hired me to do Tom Cruise. They didnt. Its basically a movie hero guy whos in that situation. But I didnt have any interest, nor did they, of doing an imitation of Tom Cruise.
If you run into Tom Cruise on the street, who owes who an apology?
First of all, if I run into Tom Cruise on the street, nobodys gonna be more surprised than me. When have you ever run into Tom on the street? Because he beat us to the parody by doing it on Jay Leno, I think he owes me an apology, actually. He did him better than I did and Im very upset about it. He beat us to the punch.
What were some of your favorite scenes in the movie, as a viewer?
The Brokeback stuff really made me laugh, and that was really funny because I thought, this is something thats gonna get parodied and is parodied so much but its uniquely Scary Movie to have those two guys do that. Just the idea of having those two guys was funny. And I like my favorite stuff is, the bigger laughs are always funny but I love the little stuff, like the locks, the guy trying to get in and not being able to time the locks, because that always happens and Ive never seen anybody do that before. That alone is funny, but the fact that theres spaceships its so annoying that its more annoying than the spaceships outside. That I loved. Theres a version of it thats three times as long, but they wanted it was making the movie too long.
Having played a boxer, did you give Anna Faris any advice for her boxing scenes?
That would have been a great way to start: Im Craig Bierko. Listen some notes [laughs] No, no. I wasnt around. But I actually the guy who trained her was a kickboxer and has the fastest recorded knockout I think in boxing history. It was something like two seconds. The guy came out of the corner and the guy went, Im gonna and boom!!! And the guy went down. And I wanted to train with him. He was gonna be on the set for a couple of weeks and I wanted to train with him. But I didnt have the time, unfortunately.
Is Anna a good sport? Whats she like to work with?
Yeah, oh god. Its very nice to go to a set and somebody whos shes the one whos been in all these movies. She could ask for a lot more than she asked for and get it. And shes really just a team player. Doesnt want to be the president. Just wants to have fun. Shes there to have fun. And I get it. Shes also doing a lot of other work that requires different parts of her. I think these are things that are really fun for her and I really appreciate being part of something like that. Theres just a lot of goodwill there.
Does you stage experience come into play here at all? Does it help you in a movie like this at all?
Well, I discovered I dont have to talk nearly as loud, because I got a microphone right there. Theyll hear me. No. Only in a sense that in both places, theyre both ridiculous situations. In one, youre standing on an elevated platform while 1300 people are staring at you during an intimate, pretend moment. And the other is, theres a camera right here while youre trying to have a personal conversation. Ignore the fact that theres a giant machine on your head. Theyre both ridiculous. Its a ridiculous situation to be in. Its insane, and I think that thats the only thing for me that they really have in common, is that youre trying to pretend to do something very personal in an extraordinarily stupid situation, while ignoring that its happening.
Having done this for so long, what do you do now to keep yourself from getting bored with the whole acting process?
Well, I draw. Thats what I was doing while you guys were paying attention in school. If I have a long plane trip or something, my girlfriend calls them my coloring books. I just draw. And I lose a bunch of time. I can sit there all day. Im disappointed now when the plane lands, because I want to finish this thing. So thats primarily what I do; I come in with all my pencils and books and put them down on my chair. And in between shots I just sit there and I draw.
In the scene where your character shoots himself twice, did you think it was about time someone did that?
Thats the thing that is genius about David Zucker, is that you see that and you go, Yeah, why hasnt anybody done that? The other one that absolutely killed me, because I forgot about it, was pulling the girls into the bushes, you hear somebody getting beaten up, and then the girls who were pulled into the bushes walk out like that. That, to me, was like, why didnt anyone nobody thought of that. Thats so obvious. To me, that was classic. That was like Marx Brothers funny, to me. That was great.
You have a diverse resume. What do you get recognized most for?
No, Im that level of fame where they go, its either Werent you with the wedding, Joyce and Glenn? And Im like, No, no. Im not. And the other one is, What did I just see you in? And Im like, I dont know. Well, list the things that you have been in. And Im just like, No. Why should this be an exercise in humiliation? Because Im gonna go, Sex and the City? No, I dont watch television. What else? Scary Movie 4? No, I dont go to see scary movies. What else? There was this one time I almost said, but I didnt because it just would have been too mean, because its kind of humiliating, its just, Do a little chicken dance for me so I can figure out where Ive seen you before. And I almost said something like, Ill do that, because this woman was with her husband, but you have to mention every time that youve had sex with somebody before you got married. Thats basically what this feels like. So Ill do that, and you have to say, Earl. But I didnt go there.
Theres not one project that people would guess more than others?
Right now, I think its Cinderella Man, because I think people are discovering that on DVD and what is it when you dial up? I was born in 1964. These kids with their machines. What is it when you video on demand? You dont know either?
Pay per view?
Pay per view. There it is. Thats ridiculous that I dont know that. What is it with the wood, when you make it hot? Fire?
Im not sure if you have children
Im not sure either. Im pretty certain I dont, but you know how it is. The 80s.
Do you like children?
I do. The character in the movie doesnt. Its hilarious. One of the funniest I think the funniest guy ever in movies was W.C. Fields, and he actually kicked children. He looks around, he goes like this and he kicks a kid in the ass. The kid flies out of the room. You cant do that in a movie nowadays. Of course, nobody thought, You cant show that. Now people are going to be kicking children out of rooms. I think in this movie its funny because I havent seen that in a movie. Theres a little girl who just keeps getting the crap knocked out of her, and its funny. I dont think anybodys gonna go, Youre advocating violence. Now people are going to be filling suitcases up and hitting children because of you.
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