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INT: Poehler/Arnett

03.28.2007
100%

Come Friday the 30th of March, the hilariously devious duo of Amy Poehler & Will Arnett will be hitting the big screen, right alongside the likes of Will Ferrell & Jon Heder. The movie is BLADES OF GLORY, a slapstick and over-the-top ice-skating romp. In it, the co-stars play a brother and sister determined to show up the movie's "heroic" leads... in comically villainous fashion, of course.

But this isn't the first time Poehler and Arnett have been paired up together. During the run of the riotous (but woefully cancelled) TV show ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, Poehler, the much-loved SNL star, popped in for about five episodes as Gob's wife. Gob of course was played by Arnett, in a role that solidified him as one of the greatest sitcom character of all-time (in my mind, at least). He was also seen recently as the lead in LET'S GO TO PRISON.

During JoBlo.com 's time with the two stars, we were able to get some insight in the bizarre (but oh-so-funny) world of a "Ferrell" comedy, and what it's like working on one. If you thought these two were funny off screen, you should see them in person. On top of giving a nice taste of what else the future has in store for them, they also managed to make my jaw ache with laughter. And the deadpan sincerity with which they spoke made everything they said all the more hilarious. But you don't need me to tell you how hilarious these two are - you can read for yourself.

Amy Poehler Will Arnett

How did you get this movie together, and were you excited when you heard who else was in it?

Arnett: I almost dropped out. When I heard that [Will] Ferrell was in it, I almost dropped out... because he comes in with a lot of attitude. He's clearly all roided out and I don't endorse that. We have to think about kids who are our future.

Poehler: He was juicing the whole time. We would get these threatening letters - cut out letters in the mail that said, 'Do this or else.' Then it would be signed Will Ferrell.

Arnett: Why cut out all the stuff and then sign your name on it? Also, it said, 'This is a DNA sample, just approved.'

You've worked with Will Ferrell before, right?

Poehler: Oh, Will and I loved working with each other on 'SNL.' I had a blast working with him when he was there. So in all honesty I was super psyched to be able to work with him again. It was because we don't work together a lot and so we like the idea of doing a creepy version of working together, which is fun.

Is this close to your real relationship?

Arnett: Well, we're not brother and sister.

Poehler: We're actually not. We checked before we started filming.

Arnett: We're not. Again.

Did you base your performance on any real couples, or did you watch any couples?

Arnett: Well, we watched the Olympics - they were on right around the time that we were starting the movie - and one of the couples that we drew a little bit of inspiration from was the Italian couple. I can't remember the names.

Poehler: They were an ice dancing couple, but we didn't base our characters on them. It was an example of high drama in real life though where she was dropped and their routine was over and they stood and looked at each other and she would not look away and bow.

Arnett: There was like thirty seconds of awkwardness afterwards. Everyone had already stopped clapping basically and she was just staring at them.

Poehler: Then the announcer said, 'She will not forgive him.'

Arnett: Then they were standing up in the kissing corner, where they're waiting for their scores to come up –

Poehler: That's what they call it.

Arnett: And you could tell that he felt so guilty because they would've won. All they had to do was finish. He sat there and goes, 'Whew... Huh?' And she's just boring a hole in his head.

Is playing the assholes in the movie fun?

Poehler: Yeah, it's fun.

Arnett: I don't know. Ask Will. Whew! We're having a good one around here! Yes, quite seriously, playing the assholes in the movie is fun.

Poehler: It's super fun. It's fun to be the bad guy - the villain - and we got to be total jerks. Really confident dumb dumbs.

What about practicing the ice skating moves?

Poehler: We trained for many months. I mean, Will knew how to skate because he's from Canada and you have to know how to skate or else you get kicked out of the country, and then I had to learn pretty much from scratch.

Arnett: Amy did an awesome job of learning.

Will and Jon had more creative skating moves in this, and you two –

Arnett: What movie were you watching?

Poehler: No, yeah. They had to do a lot more stuff. We did Will and Jon's skating as well, didn't we?

Arnett: Yeah. We doubled for them.

Poehler: A lot of people don't know. We did all their moves too and all their punch lines.

Arnett: Write that down. I was Will's comedy double as well... and coach. Whatever. I don't want to make a big deal about it. You can write about it if you want, but honestly I'm so modest about it.

Rumor has it that there might be an 'Arrested Development' movie.

Arnett: Who said that?

The Internet.

Poehler: Then it must be true! I have got to check out this thing called the Internet. What is it?

Arnett: I've sent you like thirty letters about this.

Poehler: I know you have.

Arnett: I don't know if it's something that would ever happen or not. It's something that we talked about and it'd be a lot of fun. It'd be a lot of fun to work on and to do and to go back and be with all those folks who I love very, very, very much.

Were you sad that a show that was so critically acclaimed was never really given a fair chance, and that TV networks don't give shows a chance these days?

Arnett: I don't know. I have two minds about it really. Yeah, it is a shame that it was cancelled so early on. However, having said that, we never really got any ratings. So the fact that Fox -- look, they kept us on the air for three years and they didn't even have to do that.

Poehler: So it's America's fault.

Arnett: Yeah, it's the fault of American children. Young children everywhere should be ashamed of themselves.

Poehler: And now they're going to have Neilsen ratings on college campuses.

Is that true?

Arnett: Yeah, they didn't have it before.

Poehler: If they had it before it would've been different.

Arnett: I imagine it would've been different.

Poehler: I know that 'Arrested' had a huge college audience. So it'll be interesting to see if that does make a difference. Although, the idea of a college student to fill up their Neilsen box sheet is slim.

Don't they make dough?

Poehler: Yeah, you do make some dough.

Arnett: Yeah, college kids do anything for money, believe me.

Are you going to be the next person to leave 'SNL?'

Poehler: Well, I'm finishing up this season and I have also next year as well. So I'll be back next year. I've been having a blast this year. It's been really fun and I love the people I work with and it's a very addictive New York job. So I'm looking forward to it, coming up next year.

Arnett: Are you planning on burning the building to the ground when you leave?

Poehler: Yeah. No one will be left alive.

Arnett: People depend on that place though.

Poehler: If I'm not there the show don't go on.

They might have to change the name then, right?

Poehler: Right. I don't care what they change it too. It just has to be different.

Arnett: What about the 'Amy Poehler Memorial Night Live Show?'

Poehler: I like that.

Arnett: God! Wow!

Poehler: You suggested it.

Arnett: Well, you didn't need to agree.

What do you have coming up next, both of you?

Poehler: I'm working on a film, speaking of 'SNL', with Tina Fey. We're shooting this summer. It's called 'Baby Momma.' That's for Universal and then a couple of things are coming out.

What do you play in that?

Poehler: I play the baby's momma. Tina plays like a high-powered executive woman who tries to have a baby and can't and so she hires me as her surrogate. It's a very odd couple.

Will, what are you doing next?

Arnett: I just finished up 'The Brothers Solomon' with Will Forte at the end of last year and that's coming out. I've got a few scenes in 'Hot Rod,' a couple of guys who work on the show with Amy - Will Samberg and those guys.

Poehler: You're working with Ferrell again.

Arnett: I'm working with Ferrell right now on the basketball movie called 'Semi-Pro.'

Are you one of the players?

Arnett: Well, Will plays the owner/player/coach of the Flint Tropics and I am in his employee. I am the color commentator for the team for the radio broadcasts.

Do you both have similar comedy tastes, you and Will? Do you both lean towards more improvisation?

Arnett: I think that we both work better in a freer environment where you're allowed to kind of do what you want and I reject the scripted format. That's why I love the 'Real World' so much... because it's so real.

Poehler: It is really real. I can't wait for reality movies.

Arnett: Reality movies are going to be soooo good. They already started.

Poehler: Oh, 'The Real Cancun' was a reality movie.

Arnett: 'Jackass.' There are other ones.

Poehler: Every documentary.

Arnett: There've been a lot of comedy reality movies.

Poehler: For real?

Arnett: I think so.

What about the chase scene in this with skates on? Was it physically demanding?

Arnett: It was.

You had a great look on your face.

Arnett: Well, I was tired. That's what that look was. We shot that over the course of about a week in Montreal and it was hard. We started shooting that - the first shot of the movie, I guess, was inside the mall where I'm chasing Will and I end up doing the splits and stuff. We kind of shot into this movie out of the can and even though it was physically demanding and goofy and stupid and we got to work with stunt guys that we could kind of push to the ground.

Poehler: There was one time where they said you could do whatever you wanted to the stunt guy.

Arnett: Yeah, and they had to kind of condense that stuff too. If we'd have had it our way that chase scene would've been about a half hour long. But all these people along the chase, half of them were stunt people and they said, 'Do whatever you want.' So there were a few takes where I literally pulled myself up by a dude's face. I put my hands on his face and pulled myself into frame and really took advantage of it. What else can you do? Ferrell and I really went for it a couple of times and pulled down these kiosks and stuff and really went on a rampage.

Is there going to be any more of that stuff on the DVD?

Arnett: I don't know. I hope so.

Poehler: I hope so. There is a lot of good stuff.

Arnett: There were a few scenes that were shortened.

Poehler: I bet there'll be some good stuff. I wonder what will be on there.

Now, you're doing a character in 'Shrek III?'

Poehler: Yeah. I play Snow White in 'Shrek III.'

How was that?

Poehler: Super fun. I play one of the princess's friends. She has all these princess friends and it was great. I started to do, luckily, a lot more animated stuff and I'm doing a show on Nickelodeon, an animated show that I'm doing.

Did you get a chance to work with anyone on 'Shrek III' or were you all alone?

Poehler: No. I didn't. I've only met them when they hosted. I've met her from when she was hosting and stuff, but I had to kind of do all my stuff on my own, but it was super cool to be a part of that. It was fun. I just played Snow White as a very type A personality.

Arnett: Animation is kind of fun because you can really go off in any direction that you want, right? There is no sort of limit as to what you can do. It's almost like you can't be over-the-top in animation, in a weird way... I guess I can. Most people can't.

Would you do an animated film?

Arnett: I'm doing a bunch of them, yeah. I'm doing that 'Ratatouille,' Brad Bird's new movie.

Who do you play in that?

Arnett: I play the German chef in the kitchen. And Amy and I are also working on 'Horton Hears Who.'

Poehler: Yeah, that's really fun, with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.

Arnett: And we're working on 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.' It's a children's book and Sony is making it into a big animated extravaganza and Amy and I are doing that as well. We're spearheading that actually.

Who are your comic heroes?

Poehler: Cheech and Chong. No. I don't know.

Arnett: There are so many and for different reasons and in different ways. Bill Murray obviously as a sort of comedic actor, he's pretty tough to beat. He's super funny.

Poehler: I would say the little girl in 'Small Wonder.'

What about when you were growing up?

Poehler: Oh, yeah. Everyone on 'SNL.' I loved Gilda Radner and I loved Steve Martin, all the 'SCTV' people. I loved Katherine O'Hara. I love Woody Allen, all of them.

Arnett: All the STD people?

Poehler: No. I said something different.

Arnett: There are so many people who work on so many levels and that you love for different reasons. My favorite comedy of all time is 'Withnail & I.' I think that's pound for pound the funniest movie.

Poehler: Mine is 'Earnest Goes to Camp.'

Arnett: And you love that one.

Poehler: I love Monty Python as well. You have to say Monty Python, right?

Arnett: No one will take you seriously if you don't.

Poehler: It's too stressful to name your comedy heroes.

Arnett: Yes, because there are people reading it who go, 'God, my name better come up.'

Poehler: Like any of those people are reading our interviews.

Got questions? Got comments? Send me a line at: quigles@joblo.com.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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12:39PM on 03/28/2007
I envy the interviewer. It's pretty neat how they play off each other. Not just as a couple, but as friends.
I envy the interviewer. It's pretty neat how they play off each other. Not just as a couple, but as friends.
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