INT: Wilmer Valderrama

Valderrama was a pleasant surprise, I must admit. I wasn’t sure what to expect when he sat down with us for an interview on the set of UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. He was polite, amusing, down to earth and absolutely adorable with his Spanish accent -- which by the way, I thought may be fake for "That 70's Show". Turns out it’s real and sexy. It’s no wonder this smooth, Latin charmer has a string of broken hearted celebs aching for him.

Valderrama talked a little (or a lot) about his recent scandal on the Howard Stern show, new and old projects he’s worked on, his family and film career and of course his desire and persistence in getting the role of flight attendant on UM. Before you continue to read, let me apologize for the length of the interview. Please do not scream or pull your hair out. One thing is for sure, the man can definitely carry on his own interview without the help of any one else. Check out all he had to say.

Wilmer Valderrama

So Paul told us that you found the script and chased after him for the role…

Yes, I did. I read the script. I’ve been doing comedy for 8 ½ years, and I’ve been brought a lot of comedies, so when I actually read the script it was actually one of the few family comedies that I thought was somehow speaking to our audiences today. When I talked to Paul about this, I said for the past 30 [or 3, not sure] years, we all know there’s this blueprint, this theory that, they assume they know what sells, they assume they know what movies are going to be blockbusters but at the end of the day the audiences have spoken. They’ve said ‘You know what, we need the next wave of movie making, the next wave of entertainment because movies are not making as much money as they used to make.

That’s why it’s really fascinating and it’s really exciting to find people like Paul. Especially Warner Brothers and the producers who were willing to take those chances and re-create the wheel a little bit. We all know when American Pie came out we were all like ‘What?’ and the kids were like ‘Exactly! That’s what I want to watch.’ And then you have all the drama that came out at the time that didn’t work. We don’t have the Pulp Fictions. We forgot about the Pulp Fictions, the Top Guns, all those movies that for decades we remember as the best of the decade. I think that when I read the script I saw the opportunity to do something very timeless and the style of it and the way he was presenting it was something very exciting because it was something I hadn’t really seen before.

He really wants to do a Christmas classic. The role in the movie is Zach Dabourgh so that being said, it was definitely not written for someone like me so I sat down with Paul the first time I remember, we were laughing about this the other day, I walked in wearing my leather jacket, my black t-shirt, my watch and my ‘cool’ wrist band. I walked in saying hi to everybody, cracked a few jokes, da da da. When I left, my agent, managers called about an hour later and said, ‘So, they’re having a tough time seeing you in this role’ I said, why is that? ‘They said that you were a little too, like, electric, and the character isn’t very electric.’

So they were thinking about a lot of other people, they were thinking about a lot of very obvious choices for this movie and the names they were throwing around I thought, okay, I see where they’re going with that. I said, ‘do me a favor,’ I was flying back in from New York at the time, I said ‘ask Paul if he will go to coffee with me. I really want to talk to him about the role and tell him how I see it and please send him my reel.’ So I sent him a reel and there were scenes from Party Monster, there were scenes from Summer Catch, there were scenes from a bunch of things. So he saw it and said okay, let’s meet again. So we met at this little coffee shop in Burbank across from Warner Brothers. I walked in, first of all, I knew what they meant. I walked into the [first] meeting with a Mohawk. That’s not Zach Dabourgh.

I decided to try something different so I didn’t do my hair. I combed it a bit to the side and I took all my jewelry off and wore just a plain grey t-shirt with a zip-up all the way to the top, very schoolboy. Plain light jeans and I walked up to him and said “Hi.” He was all ‘Wilmer, hello,’ very proper. And I said, ‘Listen, I completely understand your concerns but I haven’t read a script like this in six years. I’ve been turning down a lot of comedies because what I want my fans to see, what I want anybody who follows, anybody really, that whatever comedy I’m going to do next, it’s going to be something I want to be remembered by.

Comedy is a very easy sell in any studio… they know I have timing, they know I can do this and that. I sat down with him and I said I’ll just explain to you how I see this character. He never thought about this, but I said ‘Paul, he works at the airport and he has a fear of flying.’ He looked at me and starts laughing to himself and says, ‘I never thought about that, that’s really, really funny.’ And I go, he has a fear of flying and when he talks to his boss he can’t even make eye contact because he, Lewis Black, you know, he’s the nicest asshole in America. But when he talks to the kids, he feels like he’s an equal, so he talks to them like he’s a kid himself. So everything that I was saying to him was kind of making more and more sense and what was really fascinating was that he wasn’t looking at me as anything but an actor. And that was my goal. My goal was to have him see me as someone who could morph into anything, really.

So when I told him about the fear of flying and the way he suns bus, about the way with the kids and how I thought the journey, mentally, for him was, he just kind of got it and that I might be able to pull this off. Finally they called and said, we’re officially offering the role to Wilmer… talk about commitment, talk about being persistent and taking a chance, you know. If I would have walked away from the meeting when they said, Oh, well Wilmer was this, we didn’t see it very much and if I would have just said, ‘okay, on to the next thing,’ as opposed to pushing for something you really wanted to do, the moral of the story is if you want it you can go get it and this is a movie I really wanted and I gave Paul no option but to give it to me and I said, ‘Do not change the name of the guy because I have always wanted to be named Zach,’ but it’s impossible for many reasons.

It was really fascinating and Paul and I became this deadly team and we met up two days after we closed the deal at this restaurant called Jar, I think, it’s on Melrose, it’s really new. I walked in and it looks very new age, late or mid-60’s, it’s really hard to describe. Anyway, I sat down and he started to describe the look of the movie, what he wanted to create with it. What he’s doing is, even though it takes place today, what is so exciting is that everything visually, looks timeless. From the admirals club, to the airport, some of the visuals he’s building for this movie are so timeless and so rich that it just makes the movie look like it could work in any decade.

He’s bringing a lot of feels from the 60’s, as you can see, he’s very 60’s, and he’s bringing a lot of those feels to it which in retrospect somehow that sort of fashion, that type of style is sort of making a comeback and that’s what’s making the movie so rich and so exciting. Some of the scenery and airport scenes are so fun because, we’re not even at an airport, but he’s making it look so cool… the convention center, the colors they’re picking, everything is very rich. It’s just exciting to be in a movie like this where the director very specific with what he wants to make. Look, these types of comedies, they’re gonna sell because there are kids, and all that, and you know the master marketing people are gonna market it.

But what’s exciting about this one, as opposed to all those other family-feel-good movies, Paul is so talented and has been so incredibly aware of not missing the message in the movie… a lot of these movies become a lot of funny gags, funny things, funny scenes with adorable kids, but this movie has all of that plus, it takes you on this beautiful journey about family, love and most importantly the spirit of Christmas – why the holiday is so special to everyone. That’s why he’s so smart.

What’s it like working with all the kids?

Working with the kids is amazing. I think I’ve found something really beautiful in every single one of them and I try my best to be a good older brother to them. Most importantly, they’re so talented and such a privilege to work with. To see kids that age, just get what is having fun, being professional and being courteous, all at the same time, on a set, is really rare. They’re very innocent, they’re not yet jaded to this bullshit we call the entertainment business, or Hollywood, you know? They’re still having fun. To be honest, it’s a great tribute to the moms because the moms have been incredible with them. I’ve seen a lot of moms that are all over their kids, but what’s really great is that they’re really letting their kids make their own vibe, create their own reality when it comes to their working habits.

They’re there, supporting them, being really sweet to them, and they’re very aware of what their kids are doing at all times, but they’ve been so supportive of them that the kids feel free to make their own choices. They’re having a lot of fun with the job. So working with the kids is really refreshing for me. Like when I go to New York or LA for business stuff, I just can’t wait to come back to my kids, you know? It’s so much fun to be here. It’s refreshing, the pace is different, going to the arcade with them is like going to the arcade when I was 12 again. It’s really neat and I have three little girlfriends, which is exciting. Talk about headlines, right?

Speaking of Hollywood B.S., I caught some of the Howard Stern interview…

You caught it or you read it? Because a lot of people read it. I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to be on that show. I am a huge fan of Howard Stern and I think we all know what you’re going to get when you go to that show. You know exactly what he’s going to try and talk to you about and the only thing you can do as a performer or as an artist, when you come into his home, is to just play along and have fun with him and that’s what we did. We had fun, we played around and we made fun of a lot of general topics that eventually, in the transcripts, were completely narrowed down to a name and a statement. That was not fun.

But you have to know that anybody is going to anything to sell something. We all know the reason why they did that and why those transcripts were emailed to every tabloid possible. Look, I’ve been in this thing long enough… I’ve been in this business for about 9 ½ years and I’ve seen people come and go. I’ve seen the flavor of the month. I’ve seen the best TV shows get cancelled after 6 episodes. It’s in the most unpredictable thing you can find. I know right now that as flattering as when you read the good stuff it is, if you read and believe the good stuff you’re also going to read and believe the bad stuff. I have a greater responsibility than just… to be honest, none of those people who are either hating or saying all these things really pay my bills. I’m the only one who’s really responsible for that.

I have a family and three siblings who I want to put through college. That’s really where I work for. And I work for the people who are willing to see something I make. Anybody who also does, has a choice. Why would they really waste that much time on this kid, you know? You can’t take some of that stuff serious. You have to know that it’s entertainment and you have to know that half these people are trying to sell a magazine or two or five.

How many angry calls did you get?

You know, my friends are incredible. Everybody knows what this business is and they know what that type of thing is. You know what you’re going to get with Howard. There are going to be a lot of unnecessary headlines and that’s fine.

You don’t let backlash affect you?

No. At the end of the day I get it. I’ve had a really good last year. I setup my year very strategically. So as soon as "That 70’s Show" ended, I could go ahead and do my other things. Between finishing the last season of the show, which by the way, we’ve had an incredible year. We’ve had better ratings than the year before and we’re missing two characters. That was unreal, I was doing back flips. It was fantastic to see people come back and watch for this last year. So finishing that, to launching my MTV show, which was a huge launch for us. I mean, we had 50% more ratings than any other show on the network that night and we were the most watched program across all television for that 6 o’clock hour. So that alone is something to live/look for. From there, to do THE DARWIN AWARDS, to do FAST FOOD NATION, and then to do this, it’s just something I find to be so incredibly awakening. It’s just so refreshing to do comedy without an accent.

How difficult was it to put your MTV show together?

It was very tough at the beginning. It was tough because you had a lot of agents and managers sending their models and their actors thinking it’s a show on MTV, it’s great exposure. So then you would have all these actors come to the auditions and I would have a kid from Compton or Englewood just tear them apart. And I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ and they would say, ‘Well, my agent said it would be good exposure’ and they would be all humble and sweet about it and I would be like, ‘I’m so sorry. This is so not that type of show.’

But in the beginning it was challenging because people didn’t get what this type of show was going to be. A lot of people thought it was going to be a Punk’d where actors could go on and feature their improv skills. This is not that, this is for the people, by the people, and with the people, if that makes sense. I think that what was exciting is once the ball was rolling, because we went to high schools, we went to colleges, we put out emails, phone calls, stuff like that. People that were coming out of the high schools and the freshmen in college, those were the kids who were coming through with the heat.

Now that the show is out, it’s so much easier because people know what the show is. When we cast the whole season, you have to have your hits and your misses, some kids, as mean as they were or as good as they were zappin,’ some of them would just freeze in front of the camera or in front of the audience. And that’s just good TV. It was win-win. Whether you’re good or bad, it’s just good to see people crash and burn, especially when someone’s getting insulted in front of other kids, it’s a lot of fun. But it was a little challenging at the beginning because how do you describe it on a radio show? ‘I’m looking for people who can say yo mama jokes’ I went really against having professional comedians on this, I just wanted real kids.

When you see the show, you see that they’re real, I go to their homes, you see how they live. It’s refreshing, as opposed to some comedian who comes in with a Bible of jokes, tears it up and leaves. For me, my goal was to capture a little bit of what our streets look like and what our kids, the wise kids, the live kids are. At the end of the day, you have actors everywhere, especially in LA. Everybody wants to assume they can do this or that, but when you’re from the streets, you can’t fake that. These kids are not faking it. I was in Compton, at one of these houses, which wasn’t depressing for me at all because when I first came to America, I didn’t have any of these kind of opportunities or platforms. I lived just like they live. There were many nights where my mom would be like, ‘I’m not hungry, you have dinner,’ and I just knew the reality was something else. Somehow I hit the jackpot with "That 70’s Show".

Is it refreshing being out of LA and New York, being on location here in Utah?

Super refreshing. It’s a great change of pace. There’s absolutely nothing to do here and absolutely nowhere to get in trouble.

Do you miss working with your cast mates from That 70’s Show?

I do. I do miss my costars but I don’t. We talk everyday. Laura [Prepon] and Ashton [Kutcher] we were just two-waying today. Laura ’s back in LA and Ashton just finished his movie. We were all we had when we first started. We were, literally, all we needed when we first started. We didn’t have to go through any kind of bullshit where people were trying to tell us their definition of what Hollywood was or what cool was or where you should hang out. If we wanted to go have a drink we would go to a bar together. You would see all of us in a bar just drinking together, or going to dinner together or going to the movies together when we first started back in 1998.

We re-created what the whole young Hollywood look was supposed to be. We were the first young real cast on television. We were kids who you would see at the clubs, like anyone else, dancing like a fool, you know? You would see us at the mall like everyone else. We weren’t the kids who were roped up in those VIP areas, we never were those kids. So in that sense, we were able to kind of stay ourselves and hold each other down because we never changed for anyone. The moment anybody said anything that was a little weird, people would be like, ‘Ah, A…’ backhand. So nobody got out of line. We helped each other during the most crucial days of our careers.

We were 18 and 19 when we started. I had just turned 19 when I started; I’m 26 years old now. It’s unreal. Having that standard, having those brothers and sisters to look up to and vice versa, it’s so refreshing so I miss being on set. Look, one of the most heartbreaking moments of my career was seeing the basement being torn apart piece by piece that last episode. I remember sitting there with Danny [Masterson] and Ashton. We were called the Three Muskateers. We used to make every trip together. But we were sitting in the audience stands looking down at everybody working away after the last episode… it was 4 a.m. and we were all quiet, watching our grips pulling the set apart and realizing that you’re never going to see that basement put together like that again.

You’re never going to see that driveway, that living room and kitchen put together like that again and we will never do a scene as Fez and as Kelso and as Hyde ever again. So that was definitely one of the most emotional days, but at the same time so exciting, because we still have each other to con with. We hang out ALL the time.

You might get punked again…

I… definitely won’t, just so you know.

Do you own clubs and restaurants with the guys?

We don’t own clubs, we don’t do clubs, we do restaurants. We own three restaurants. Well, I own three, but I own two with Ashton and with Danny. One is Dolce, the other is Geisha House. The third one we just opened is called the Lodge. It’s so good… the steak, the big ass crab legs. Plus it’s so cool inside. When I walked in I thought, ‘Shit, I own this?’

When will you bring one to New York?

We’re talking about bringing a Lodge to New York but I know for a fact we’re opening a Geisha House and Dolce in Atlanta. And then we’re looking into Vegas. I plan to open another two restaurants, probably one in New York… actually; there are three on the horizons right now, I’m thinking Miami and Vegas for my next two restaurants. We have crazy ideas, but it’s a lot of fun because building the credibility with Dolce was great because people knew what they were going to get every time. They knew a restaurant owned by us was going to be a very safe bet. And that, to me, is super flattering because all we do is love food. They give us a great plan for a beautiful restaurant and we go ‘Okay, that looks cool but is the food good?’

Do you get to decide on the food?

They give us a big menu and ask us what we think of everything, but we have a great management team and great chefs, who we stole from the best of the best. They’re just great. It’s good to just let them do their thing. But we get to pick what the uniforms are… the Geisha uniforms, we did that on purpose for the guys, we just thought that would be funny. The girls look beautiful but the guys are hating it. They look like sailor boys. But hey, the restaurant is great, it’s really good.

How do you stay so grounded, because you are very much in the Hollywood scene, yet you’re very in LA?

I live in the Valley. I live in Tarzana, 818! It’s funny, I love the Valley. You know I just bought Chuck Norris’ house, the f*cking coolest thing in the world! I mean Fez owns Chuck Norris’ house! It’s funny though, I still have some of my friends I went to high school with and I still have some of my friends who were there at the beginning but most importantly, I live five minutes away from my mom. I feel really bad saying this, but my mom won’t let me do my laundry.

She wants to come over to my house and do my laundry every day. I’m like, ‘Mom, I can have it done somewhere else,’ and I feel bad, but at the same time good, because my mom tells me… it’s really what my sister said that ‘look, she still wants to feel like she’s involved in your life’ So how do I stay grounded, you ask? When I come home and my mom is at my house… when I see my sister’s car out front, which means my mom is inside. I walk in and I see my mother with that look and I go, ‘Oh no, what mom?’ And she says, ‘Come here, follow me,’ up to my room and she goes, ‘Mira! Mira! Your socks, your pants, everywhere!’ She’s yelling at me because I’m leaving things all over the place, but I’m like, ‘Mom, I just got in from New York.’ And she’s like, ‘You got back from New York a week ago!’ My bags are still there…

So your mom has a key?

Oh yeah. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. She knows the days when she should come. My mom and my dad are very important to me. When you have two parents who sold everything they had in Venezuela to just bring us to the states, because I was born in Miami, but just to come back to get a better education and a better future, a better shot at something. To be honest, it’s impossible to not try your best to make them feel proud. Any son’s dream is to eventually have your dad or your mom say, ‘My son, I am very proud of you,’ you know?

When I got "That 70’s Show", first of all, none of my family had done any kind of acting before or any kind of performing. All I was doing was dancing and singing and acting since I was 6 years old, only because I lived in a town that only had 10,000 people, like this little. When I tell people I come from Venezuela, people are like, ‘Are you shitting me? How the fuck do you come out of that? It’s impossible.’ But to see those sacrifices makes you a little more driven, you know? Because if they’re able to say, ‘Forget about our life, it’s now about them,’ and for them to sell everything they had, just to bring us back, that’s huge. So it’s hard for me to forget where we came from and it’s hard for my to forget that my family, we lived in a two-bedroom house and it was five of us, for many years.

It’s hard to forget those days where we were struggling a lot here in the states. And now that we’re not, it’s so much more exciting to be grateful, rather than to be like, ‘This shit belongs to me, of course I’ve got a bendi, which I do. But it’s really… look, it’s as simple as this. I never had any of this shit before and it’s been nine years of me working my best, doing my best… if I had one line a show, this goes back to ’98 when I had one or two lines a show per episode I said I want to make sure that this line is the one that’s quoted when people watch the show. I worked my ass off to make it the funniest one I could find, the most endearing whatever it is. Because my character it could be that either you love him or you hate him and I was very fortunate that a lot of people found him endearing and I worked really hard for it.

And then little by little you saw the evolution of his character slowly into having his own plots and leading the 100th episode, doing the musical and the dancing, so I’ve never forgotten to have fun with my job. I m seriously making the most and the best out of my opportunities and when I hear about people hating here and there, when I read a good article about me or whatever, to me, it doesn’t make much difference when you remember where you came from and what you had and what you didn’t have, to be honest. Because none of this makes any sense unless my family has a roof and food. You can say whatever you want about me and I’ll still laugh about it and find it humorous.

But, to be honest, as long as my mom is smiling and going to the mall and buying everything for everybody except her, even though I give her money for herself, as long as they’re happy and they’ve got food and a roof, bring it. Hate. Hate. The only people I really work for are my fans, who want to see me do good and for my family, who did everything possible for me to have a clean shot at a better future. I didn’t take it for granted and I took 100% advantage of that platform my dad gave me to use the good. You almost feel destructible when you accomplish something like your family’s happiness. At age 18, when I got That 70’s Show the first thing I did was buy my mom a house and we didn’t have to pay rent any more and ‘I was like dude, we don’t have to pay rent anymore, do you know what that means? We can have a lot more snacks now!’

What did your mom think about you going on Howard Stern?

She said the same thing, you know, because the show is so famous, Howard Stern is so famous, everyone was really excited for me to be on it, but at the same time they were scared. You guys see me, I didn’t do anything different there that I’m not doing here. She’s like, ‘Look, your real friends know what type of entertainment business you’re in, ‘ but she doesn’t really have an opinion about it but she loves my show ‘Yo Mama,’ though. I had her call on TRL when I was promoting ‘Yo Mama.’ She called to ask a bunch of questions. She speaks English, but she’s very shy about it so she’d rather speak Spanish. She’s so embarrassed of her accent and I’m like, ‘Mom, who cares? Was I ever embarrassed of my accent?’ So she called in and, because it was live, she was like, ‘I’m seeing you on TV, you look so cute!’ so I was like ‘Thank you,’ and I’m really embarrassed in front of the entire MTV audience, I’m trying to be all hard core, Yo Mama jokes… it was very funny.

Is Topher on the last episode of "That 70s Show"?

Yeah. Everyone came back.

Do we find out where Fez is from?

I don’t know. But I will tell you this, we do have one of his best friends come to visit him from his home country. Actually, I called in a friend of mine... A lot of networks, they’re really into the stunt casting, you know? And look, we’re on That 70’s Show, what more stunt casting do you want to have on the show? The cast is enough. So we figured let’s bring in really talented people, good friends of ours to just kind of come in and share the last year with us, so I called in my friend Justin Long, and, he’s fantastic, and I said ‘Dude, you need to play my best friend in the show.’

It became so unpredictable because, you know, he has a blonde wig in the show and is the best friend from my country, but white and blonde, it was really f*ckin’ funny, it was really good. Look, Justin and I, we’re trying to find things together right now trying to find a buddy comedy movie or something because he is seriously one of the funniest guys ever, very very talented. If you guys ever get a chance to interview him, ask him about this, he does the most incredible impersonation of Wilmer Valderrama. He’s left me messages as Wilmer Valderrama, which is hysterical. He does a great job with that, he’s hysterical.

Seth Green is another one of my best friends, who by definition, is one of the best performers of our youth, he’s incredible too. But Justin is the next one in line, I tell you, he’s another one I’m really excited to see what he’s going to do next. We’re in the same agency, so we’re trying to find something to do together, he’s one of the people I’d really like to work with so we’ll see. You might just see him on Paunch, Paunch and John in the CHiPs movie, but we’ll see.

Can you tell us about the CHIPS movie?

We start shooting this summer. Trust me, there was one superhero I wanted to play, it’s Poncho. He’s the man, dude. So it’s actually very flattering. The studio, Warner Brothers, have taken me in as one of their own and I’m doing a bunch of pictures with them, this being one of them, CHIPS is the other one. It’s exciting because we’re really keeping in mind all the mistakes that every other remake has made, and not going to make them in this one.

Is it going to be like the show, a hyped-up version with special effects?

It’s going to be, we’re really going to do it right. It’s an action-comedy but the comedy comes from the chemistry, the comedy comes from a very organic place. We don’t want it to be funny gags or funny costumes because, to be honest, in doing the research for this movie, we realized the worldwide ChiPs is still a huge phenomenon and a huge drama for them, and a serious drama, so if you were to disrespect an idea like that… look, one thing we did right on That 70’s Show was we never made fun of the 70’s.

We always grew up, we were growing up during the 70’s and we were always doing very human, kid-like things. We never made fun of anything. And I think with this type of movie, you don’t want to make fun of, but you don’t want take it too serious either. One of the things I want to do for this movie, that we wrote in there, we have huge stunts, motorcycle stuff, but at the end there’s always some sort of human, real payoff. Whether it’s hands shaking, after a huge jump… Things like that where, it’s not in the movie, but for example, we did a huge jump from one building to another and we land, the close-up is on the hands-shaking and us saying ‘Okay, let’s just not do that again.’ So we’ll do things like that, to make sure that even though it’s an action-comedy, I want to definitely cater to the people who want to take that light as well. And the story is awesome. I already read the first draft… and it’s actually going to take place today.

Do you have a director yet?

We don’t have a director yet. We’re tossing around a few people right now, seeing which one is going to be the one. But it’s a movie that, lucky for us, everyone wants to be in it. It’s so exciting to see so many great actors… we’re talking Oscar-winners who are saying, ‘I gotta be the chief.’ So we’re very excited. I don’t know who’s going to be John. I know I definitely have two people that I really want, I’m not going to say the names, but they are two friends of mine who I know, we have good chemistry, and we’ll make it really funny. but they have to be believable that they also can get in a fight. There are so many factors, but we’re excited.

Are you producing it?

Yes and no. I don’t take a producing credit but Greg Silverman and Warner Brothers have been so great about letting me in with the writers and telling them what I think the character would be, what I think the movie would be. The writers are incredible too, so they really captured it. He’s been really great about letting me get involved in the casting and all that stuff too. So I guess in a way, silently I’m doing it. Because I brought it up to Warner Brothers when I went up to them I said, listen, I don’t have much of a base on how perfect I am for this role, but the only thing I can do for you is this: [Eric Estrada impression] and that totally sealed the deal. After that he goes, ‘Let’s do it!’

We heard there was a lot of improv, is that something you like to do?

I gotta tell you, Thank you, Paul. A comedy like this one, there’s so many unpredictable things happening throughout the whole movie, with all the kids, there’s so many last-minute things that happen whether it’s forgetting a line, or someone adding it in and we’ve been very quick at jumping on those things. We’ll do like one or two takes scripted and then he comes back to me and goes, ‘Dealer’s choice.’ And I’m like, ‘Hmm… dealer’s choice. Okay, give me an action.” So I start improvising a bunch of things and he’s laughing. We high-five after each take.

We’re having so much fun and yesterday, the day before yesterday we had a great scene where the kids start throwing all kinds of food at me, start taking advantage of the fact that I’m the only one taking care of these 400 animals and I just went on a rampage… I said every possible line, like, ‘There’s kids starving in Africa!’ and ‘This is for eating!’ All my costars took turns behind the camera throwing food at me, really wailing me, by the way. M&M bags really hurt, by the way, they really do hurt. And after they said cut the crew started clapping and all that stuff, so we’re having a good time. Creatively, I’ve never been more inspired.

"That 70’s Show", I was so inspired with doing this character, but we were very by the script, because the writers were so great. Here, we have a writer that is so great, a director that is so willing as well, a writer/director, actor as well, so he kind of understands where to go with it. So we’re having a lot of fun with it. Trust me, we’re, my goal is to make this movie is one of the most memorable movies yet. I’m working my ass off to make sure that this is what it is because it’s the next comedy people will see me in, besides the show. But I’m being a guy you’ve never seen before too, so that’s cool.

Source: JoBlo.com



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