INT: Craig Bierko

long as


keeps churning out bad horror films (and they will ALWAYS churn out bad
horror films), the Scary Movie franchise will be there to poke fun at them.
The latest installment of the series, SCARY
, trains it satirical eye on Saw II, The Grudge, War of the
Worlds and others. Easy targets, to be
sure, but also rich sources for the kind of raunchy parody that made the
first three films so successful.

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.


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
wasn’t 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 he’s done.
It’s really funny. And
I have to say I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know because I was unfamiliar
with those movies. And I just wanted in.

was no trepidation about joining a successful franchise?

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 wasn’t trepidation, but whenever you
jump onto a moving train, you kinda hope well, the people already know what
they’re doing, they have their thing down. Hopefully they’re nice and
they’ll be supportive, because I don’t want to be out there on my own.
It’ll 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…it’s a
different acting style, so I wasn’t 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.

seemed like there wasn’t a lot of improv in the movie.

the script is…I read the script and it’s laugh out loud funny.
These guys know what they’re doing.
You read the script and it actually reads the way the movie looks,
with all the sound effects and everything.
And I’m such a fan of those movies anyway, that I can actually
picture it. There wasn’t
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. We’ll
just keep the camera running.” And
then he’ll just use whatever it is he likes.
The Oprah thing, I mean there’s probably a version that’s four
and a half hours (long). We just
went nuts.

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 weren’t going to be parodying anybody’s
beliefs or personal life or that there wasn’t 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 that’s the area for parody, but anything
beyond that is not correct for me.

nobody in the world who looks less like Tom Cruise than me. Nobody. And so I
didn’t think they hired me to do Tom Cruise. They didn’t. It’s
basically a movie hero guy who’s in that situation. But I didn’t have
any interest, nor did they, of doing an imitation of Tom Cruise.

you run into Tom Cruise on the street, who owes who an apology?

of all, if I run into Tom Cruise on the street, nobody’s 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 I’m very upset about it. He beat us to the punch.

were some of your favorite scenes in the movie, as a viewer?

Brokeback stuff really made me laugh, and that was really funny because I
thought, this is something that’s gonna get parodied – and is parodied
so much – but it’s 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 I’ve never seen anybody do that
before. That alone is funny, but
the fact that there’s spaceships…it’s so annoying that it’s more
annoying than the spaceships outside. That I loved.
There’s a version of it that’s three times as long, but they
wanted…it was making the movie too long.

played a boxer, did you give Anna Faris any advice for her boxing scenes?

would have been a great way to start: “I’m Craig Bierko. Listen…some
notes…” [laughs] No, no.
I wasn’t 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, “I’m 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 didn’t have the time, unfortunately.

Anna a good sport? What’s she like to work with?

oh god. It’s very nice to go
to a set and somebody who’s…she’s the one who’s been in all these
movies. She could ask for a lot
more than she asked for and get it. And she’s really just a team player.
Doesn’t want to be the president. Just wants to have fun. She’s there to
have fun. And I get it. She’s 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. There’s just a
lot of goodwill there.

you stage experience come into play here at all? Does it help you in a movie
like this at all?

I discovered I don’t have to talk nearly as loud, because I got a
microphone right there. They’ll hear me. No.
Only in a sense that in both places, they’re both ridiculous
situations. In one, you’re standing on an elevated platform while 1300
people are staring at you during an intimate, pretend moment. And the other
is, there’s a camera right here while you’re trying to have a personal
conversation. Ignore the fact
that there’s a giant machine on your head. They’re both ridiculous.
It’s a ridiculous situation to be in. It’s insane, and I think that
that’s the only thing for me that they really have in common, is that
you’re trying to pretend to do something very personal in an
extraordinarily stupid situation, while ignoring that it’s happening.

done this for so long, what do you do now to keep yourself from getting
bored with the whole acting process?

I draw. That’s 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. I’m disappointed now when
the plane lands, because I want to finish this thing. So that’s 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.

the scene where your character shoots himself twice, did you think it was
about time someone did that?

the thing that is genius about David Zucker, is that you see that and you
go, “Yeah, why hasn’t 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 didn’t anyone…nobody thought of that.
That’s so obvious. To me, that was classic. That was like Marx Brothers
funny, to me. That was great.

have a diverse resume. What do
you get recognized most


I’m that level of fame where they go, it’s either “Weren’t you with
the wedding, Joyce and Glenn?” And I’m like, “No, no. I’m not.”
And the other one is, “What did I just see you in?” And I’m
like, “I don’t know.” “Well,
list the things that you have been in.” And I’m just like, “No. Why
should this be an exercise in humiliation?” Because I’m gonna go, “Sex
and the City?” “No, I don’t watch television. What else?” “Scary
Movie 4?” “No, I don’t go to see scary movies. What else?”
There was this one time I almost said, but I didn’t because it just
would have been too mean, because it’s kind of humiliating, it’s just,
“Do a little chicken dance for me so I can figure out where I’ve seen
you before.” And I almost said something like, “I’ll do that,”
because this woman was with her husband, “but you have to mention every
time that you’ve had sex with somebody before you got married.” That’s
basically what this feels like. So I’ll do that, and you have to say,
“Earl.” But I didn’t go there.

not one project that people would guess more than others?

now, I think it’s 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
don’t know either?

per view?

per view. There it is. That’s
ridiculous that I don’t know that. What is it with the wood, when you make
it hot? Fire?

not sure if you have children…

not sure either. I’m pretty certain I don’t, but you know how it is.
The ‘80s.

you like children?

I do.
The character in the movie doesn’t. It’s 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 can’t do that in a
movie nowadays. Of course, nobody thought, “You can’t show that. Now
people are going to be kicking children out of rooms.” I think in this
movie it’s funny because I haven’t seen that in a movie.
There’s a little girl who just keeps getting the crap knocked out
of her, and it’s funny. I don’t think anybody’s gonna go, “You’re
advocating violence. Now people are going to be filling suitcases up and
hitting children because of you.”

Questions? Comments?
Manifestos? Send them to me at [email protected].