Robert Downey Jr: "Let me put it this way, I'm 85 times more professional than Zach but I was hoping that we'd have some good gag reels so maybe I'd chuckle a little bit more. He might not actually know how funny he is sometimes, too."
Todd Phillips: "Yeah. Zach doesn't really break up. He'll read his line halfway and he goes [cough] and start over."
Robert Downey Jr: "He has a ghastly tic. It's my favorite thing about him, to tell you the truth, particularly when we're doing press and it takes him 45 years to answer one question. He's trying to think about what the answer is and then he stutters and then he judges himself."
Todd Phillips: "And then he starts over and that would make Robert laugh."
Robert Downey Jr: "'Sonny stop it, we’re going to be late…[clearing his throat], Stop it sonny, we're going to be late [clears his throat]…' I’m sorry, ‘Sonny, late we’re going be… Sonny, stop it. Stop it, Sonny. Stop it, Sonny, we’re going to be late. Stop it, Sonny, we’re going to be late.’ and I'm just there, like, 'This is an anthropological study.' 'Now what are we supposed to do?' 'When will you be done? That will be my cue.'"
Zach Galifianakis: "I know my face is turning red. I don't want you to interpret it as being embarrassed. It's rage. The color of my face is rage."
Can you talk about the opportunities that have opened up for you as a result of The Hangover? People went to parties in costume as your character from the movie at Halloween last year. Can you talk about that, being an iconic character?
Zach Galifianakis: "We were shooting Due Date in Albuquerque last year for Halloween and I went to a Halloween party. I didn't really know anybody. I went with a couple of people from work and I was just dressed like this and there was a guy there dressed as the character from The Hangover. I thought that it would be interesting to walk up to him and say, 'Hey. You're dressed as me. I'm the real person.' He goes, 'Yeah, right,' and he just walked away. So that was a bit freaky."
"As far as opening opportunities, well, Todd has told me as of late that I've never thanked him for anything and I'm here just to say that I'm probably not going to do it today. In all honesty, it's strange to have a little bit of [this]. Todd helped me. He took a chance, I think ,in plucking me out of the standup scene. Nobody knows a movie is going to be so big and we just kind of got lucky, and I'm thrilled that it happened."
Your character, Robert, has an awful lot of insight into acting for an architect. Was that part of his background? And thinking about your character in Tropic Thunder, you seem to take great joy in poking fun at the actor's process. Is that true?
Robert Downey Jr: "I think that Todd and I said his neighbor was a casting director. So it's like I tell you that the Guggenheim opened in '59 or whenever it was, '69. You tell me about what’s going on, casting a show and everyone wants to be an actor, but everyone knows that everybody thinks that they want to be an actor and has no chops and is going out of the... I think I'm worried for him and so my fear that this moron that I'm stuck with, I'm actually trying to give him some insight. I'm just mad at him when I give it. But also I mean, and this is a disgusting thing to say, and it speaks to my – it's not as bad now – but my hugely inflated ego at the time, I felt that it was my duty to teach this guy to f--king act. But he already knew how."
Zach, we all know you as a comedic actor but you have a pretty powerful scene in this film, too. Was it hard to switch gears in that scene?
Zach Galifianakis: "No, it's not. It's fun to do. I think probably, editorially, it might be difficult to put together, but I don't know. If you can make people a bit emotional watching a scene and then make them laugh prior to that, I think you don't see it that often. I think Todd got it right. But the whole thing about that scene, the bathroom scene I guess is what you're talking about, to me it's not so much what Ethan does but it's the look on Robert's face that I think sells that - as Robert told me yesterday."
Todd Phillips: "It's true. It's not the action. It's the reaction. Robert is watching this all happen and to me, I agree with that. It's just all on Robert's face as he realizes, 'Wait a minute, this guy is actually going through trauma and having a breakdown.' So it was very cool to watch."
Do you think your actors leave their comfort zones?
Todd Phillips: "I don't know about that. I don't know if Robert leaves his comfort zone because I think that Robert is capable of anything, quite honestly, as an actor and I think even Zach has so much that we haven't even seen yet in Due Date or in his other roles. I don't know that we left our comfort zone. I do think what Zach just touched on is the key to Due Date, which is that the movie takes these tonal shifts that I don't think you see in a ton of comedies. Which, for me, was the fun part of making it, the challenging part of directing it, and I think for these guys possibly the challenging part of doing it. You're in a bathroom scene. He has a breakdown. This guy is actually feeling emotional and in the next scene he's masturbating with his dog. The audience, to stay with us, and stay on that ride is what makes the movie connected and work. That's what I'm most proud of with Due Date."
Todd and Zach, a Details magazine article said there's talk of a John Belushi project in the works. Can you talk about that?
Todd Phillips: "Well, it's not something that Zach and I have really talked about. I don’t know that I’ve ever said... Here's the deal. I'm not going to Zach with it and I feel…no. Anybody but Zach. No, the truth is that's a project like a lot of projects that are developing and talking about it and I'm working with this phenomenal writer Steve Conrad who wrote Pursuit of Happyness. And Zach, honestly, is the guy we talk about. But Zach and I haven't spoken about it. It's so in its nascent stages that I'm not sure when that thing comes to fruition if Zach would be interested or what. So we'll see."
Robert, how do you feel about Iron Man 3 going to Disney?
Robert Downey Jr: "Love it. What's that mean?"
That it will be released under Disney's deal with Marvel?
Robert Downey Jr: "Well, you know what? I really loved our relationship with Paramount but to me, the main thing, I don't care about any of that. They're going to make those - all those movies. I just want to make a great movie and thanks to my tutelage under two guys who know how to play with power – Zach and Todd – I know exactly what to do with Iron Man 3. That was almost mad with power."
People get fired from movies all the time. Can we get your reaction about how big that whole thing blew up for The Hangover 2?
Todd Phillips: "Just for clarification, no one was ever fired. It's a term that is so obscene to me. Someone was doing me a favor to come in for a two minute cameo and we changed it. I mean, it wasn't like we fired somebody. It was doing a favor from the beginning."
Did the papers get it wrong?
Todd Phillips: "Well, yeah. If they're using the term 'fired', absolutely."
Robert Downey Jr: "Shocking."
Todd Phillips: "To use the term fired in that situation, it's certainly not that."
How did you get Liam Neeson who we don't think of as a Hangover guy?
Todd Phillips: "As was the intention with Mel [Gibson], the scene is not maybe what you'd expect in The Hangover. The Hangover 2 will be an epic comedy but not every scene, just like in the first one, is full of comedy. This had a little bit of gravity to it, and I thought both guys really can add that gravity - and that was where we're at."