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Exclusive Interview with Clark Gregg on "Choke"

Gregg Adapted, Directed and Plays a Supporting Role in the R-Rated Comedy


Exclusive Interview with Clark Gregg on "Choke"

Anjelica Huston in "Choke."

© Fox Searchlight
Were you surprised at the reception at Sundance?

"I was shocked. All during production, all leading up to production, everyone asked me, 'Why do you want to make this dark, twisted movie?' And I thought, 'I think it’s funny. I think it’s moving and funny.' It just felt like one of those things that it was like one of those jokes that, and there's plenty of jokes like this that I think are hysterical but they're usually too dirty and no one else likes them, and I had a feeling that that was going to be the movie. But I also knew that there's just so much at stake when you put so many years into something like this, that if you're going to get slaughtered in front of everybody in the country, in the entire movie business, you want to go out with your favorite joke - even if it’s a dirty one that nobody laughs at. So, you know, when we showed it for the first time to Chuck Palahniuk and 850 strangers at Sundance, at the world premiere, and people laughed, it was one of the greatest nights of my life. It was one of the greatest nights of my life."

With such a short shooting schedule and tight budget, do you have much in the way of extras for the DVD?

"Yes. There's not a ton extra. Certainly when you see how many sex scenes are in the movie, there's no extras. I don’t think that…there might be one actually. There's some very funny stuff that happened that’ll be on there, some of the gag stuff will be very funny. But there's also a couple of scenes that we tried to make work. They are peoples’ favorite scenes from the book that didn’t make it in. And I've already had to promise under a threat of death that they’ll be in, that those will be included so that people can see them."

Why didn't they work?

"I've kind of gone back and forth. There's a very grand scene at the end with the rock house that Denny built that I felt like on our budget we kind of couldn’t carry off. We just never managed to. We shot it twice and we never really were able to carry off the physical requirements, the special effects involved in the scene. But I cut together a version of it that worked pretty well, given how little of that kind of stuff we had, and it still didn’t feel like it really belonged in the same movie as the rest of it. It was one of my favorite scenes from the book and it suddenly felt like an extra thumb in the movie."

So what's the next project you're going to direct?

"I've got an original idea that I’ve been working on for a bit. It’s been so busy between the TV show and getting the movie out and finished finally. You know, we hadn’t finished the movie until three days before Sundance at the end of January and then, you know, I worked in it for months, for another couple of months, kind of just mixing and finishing and stuff. And here it is September and it’s about to come out. It’s been a crazy six or eight months. As soon as we kind of finish and release the movie, I’m going to go and kind of finish up this script to see if this is the next one."

You're not going to take some time off to rest and relax?

"No, because I liked it too much. I really want to do it again and if it’s anything like the last one, it’s probably not going to happen in the next six months. So the sooner I can get the kind of long-term ball rolling the better."

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