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Jason Lee Talks About "A Guy Thing"
by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel


Jason Lee in "A Guy Thing"
Photo© Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures - All Rights Reserved.


 More of this Feature

• Interview with Selma Blair ('Karen')
• Interviews with Shawn Hatosy ('Jim') and Lochlyn Munro ('Ray')
• Interview with Director Chris Koch

ADDITIONAL "A Guy Thing" INFORMATION:

• "A Guy Thing" Premiere Photos
• "A Guy Thing" Trailer, Credits and Websites
• "A Guy Thing" Production Photos
• Jason Lee
• Selma Blair
• Julia Stiles
 
 Related Resources

• News on Upcoming Releases
• New in Theatres or on Video
• Movie Reviews
• Casting News
 
 Elsewhere on the Internet

• MGM
 

What would you do if you woke up the morning after your bachelor party and found yourself in bed with a complete stranger? To make matters worse, what if the complete stranger turns out to be the cousin of your future bride? That's the premise of the romantic comedy, "A Guy Thing," starring Jason Lee as the future groom, Selma Blair as the bride-to-be, and Julia Stiles as the cousin who comes between the two.

Here's what the stars of the film and their director, Chris Koch, have to say about making a romantic comedy and what sets this one apart from other films of the same genre.

JASON LEE ('Paul')

How was the physical comedy in "A Guy Thing" different than the verbal comedy you're used to?
I've never done anything like this with that much kind of physical/high energy. I thought it's either going to be funny, all the facial expressions and hand gestures and high energy, or I'm going to look like a complete a**hole. Those are the kinds of risks you take when you want to do something that you've never done before, and you want to see if you can pull it off. It's ultimately up to the audience in the end.

How do you think you came off?
I think there's some pretty damn funny moments in there. I felt confident about it and I improvised here and there, which I'd never done before. I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. That's ultimately the first reason why I do a movie, whether it be a low budget movie or a drama. If there's something about the situation or the character that I feel I've never done, that's when I say, "I want to try that."

What did the director, Chris Koch, tell you in your first meeting?
He said, "Comedies are difficult. I understand whatever concerns you may have. It's make or break, especially with something like this. I'm going to try my best to make it have a little bit - at least a little bit of a core there and make it as genuine as I can." And I was like, "Wow, that's a really cool approach, so let's do it and see what happens." It was kind of a challenge for both of us because comedies are difficult.

What was it like working with Selma Blair and Julia Stiles?
Selma was a bit much to handle after a while, but funny and sweet. [She] just liked to roll around on the floor a lot and eat too much sugar and tell dirty jokes all day. Julia was a little more laid-back but funny at the same time. I thought they were both sweet.

Was there any scene in "A Guy Thing" where you couldn't keep a straight face?
Every day, all the time, especially with Larry Miller who was just awesome. You're tired, you're delirious, it's the end of the day and you're trying to finish a scene, and once you get into that thing of laughing, it doesn't matter why you started laughing. You're just looking at the person and the camera's over your shoulder and you're off camera and they're looking at you and you're trying your best to not laugh. Sometimes you have to hide behind the camera and say your lines. It gets out of control.

What makes you laugh?
Bill Murray. I like every single thing he's done. Is there better delivery and cynicism and facial expressions and just deadpan smartass than Bill Murray? Has there been a better bad, flapping combover than in "Kingpin?" I watch comedies a lot. One of my favorites is "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." I like "The Jerk." I love s**t like "Dumb and Dumber." I love that just goofy s**t - Jim Carrey, I love "Saturday Night Live."

Would you do a Farrelly Bros. movie?
I think so. But of course it would have to depend on what the story is about and who's in it. They've done really good ones and they've done not-so-good ones. I think a lot of it is cast and stuff. You put Jim Carrey in there, it's going to be funny. You put Ben Stiller in "Something About Mary," it's just f**king awesome.

Are you in Kevin Smith's "Jersey Girl?"
Yeah, for a small cameo.

Do you play a new character?
It's a new character. I think it's PR Executive #1 and Matt Damon plays PR Executive #2. We had about three or four lines each.

Any insight into the Ben Affleck/J-lo love affair?
No, I think I saw them together for five seconds.

Can you talk about working on "Dreamcatcher?"
That was awesome. That was pretty brutal. There's a scene in a bathroom at the cabin that all the friends go to, where I get attacked by stuff made out of s**t. And they have fake s**t all over me, and tubes and blood. Man, I was covered in fake blood for days, but that was cool.

I like working with [director] Larry Kasdan. I'm glad he wanted me to be in that. It was really interesting that he directed that kind of movie so well. I mean, he could do the special effects stuff but then when it was just the actors, it was like how he directed "Mumford" or "The Big Chill." He could go back and forth and I'm sure that's not the same with, let's say, a similar film, another director who's used to doing those big movies like that. I've heard actors say when they work on big movies like that, there's really no paying attention to character; it's more about the movie, like a big action movie or something. So, it's amazing that he handled both sides of it so well. That really impressed me.

Did you read the Stephen King book "Dreamcatcher" before you got involved in the film?
No. I heard that [Kasdan] was doing a new movie and I said, "Why aren't I in it? What the hell is going on?" And then he called and said, "Yeah, we're doing this movie called 'Dreamcatcher' and I want you to be in it." "What's it about?" "It's based on a Stephen King novel and you play this really nice character." I said, "Okay, that sounds great."

Are you still in line for "Fletch Won?"
Who knows? That's up to the powers that be. It's a business and if I'm not "bankable" then why would I get hired? I think that's a fight for Kevin [Smith].

Have you had any disappointments yet in your career?
There are disappointments. "Almost Famous" was a disappointment. That just kind of wasn't as accepted as it should have been. "Vanilla Sky" was a huge disappointment for me because I thought it was an amazing movie. But that's the thing - when you're inside the thing and you're working on it every day and you understand it really, really well, you think this is just an awesome, awesome movie.

But it made money.
Yeah, that doesn't always matter though. It comes out and it's just basically s**t on and you just wonder how that's possible. It's easier to be biased and to take the side of the project that you're working on. Then other people from way outside of it, they say they don't like it. That movie got really trashed.

Those movies have became cult favorites.
Yeah. "Chasing Amy's" had a great life and "Mallrats" has had a great life, and "Almost Famous." Even "Mumford." I mean, "Mumford" made like a million bucks opening weekend. Fortunately, it caught on when it came out on video and DVD. I've gotten a lot of good responses from that movie.

Who is the most exciting actor you've ever worked with?
In "Almost Famous" I was really impressed with Billy Crudup because he's a real actor's actor. I was really taken aback by his approach. It was kind of influential in a way, just watching his approach and his professionalism. Serious but not too serious, with just an absolute and utter respect for the material and the character and the director to the point where I have to do everything I have to do to find this guy and not compromise, no screwing around. He had that presence about him and was very humble, and just a really nice guy, one of the nicest actors I've ever met. That was really impressive to me.

Did he change your perspective about acting?
Didn't really change it, but it's nice to see that people take it seriously instead of just being used to making money and working. It just becomes a job, you take it for granted, and it's better to be around people that have that kind of presence than to be around people who are like, "Yeah, where's my f***king limo."

What have you learned about acting and how did you initially get involved in the profession?
I got into acting because I was getting, in my mind anyway, a little too old to keep skating. I didn't want to milk it and be the old timer still trying to hang on to the dream. So I thought, "What the hell, I'll try acting. I know some actors and we'll see what happens." [I] got an audition for "Mallrats" and got that. That definitely helped. And then about a year later I called it quits with the skating.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Huntington Beach, skateboarded most of my life, played baseball, hated high school, dropped out, became a professional skateboarder, did that for eight years. I moved to LA when I was 21 and then started acting when I was 24. Quit skating when I was about 25 or 26. Now I'm 32, born in 1970, April in Orange, California. I lived for a little while when I was a baby in Salem, Oregon.

When I was in Salem, Oregon, my mom used to take me on walks in a stroller around an old hospital where they shot "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." They were shooting while I was there. I was in the stroller - I was a little kid - and my mom was around the crew just taking a walk. Jack Nicholson came up and said, "Oh, that's a sweet little kid," and patted me on the head. That's a true story.



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