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Dax Shepard Discusses "Zathura"

Interview with Dax Shepard at the LA Premiere of "Zathura"

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Dax Shepard Discusses

Dax Shepard in "Zathura"

© Columbia Pictures
Dax Shepard on Playing a Hero in the Family-Friendly Film, "Zathura:" "Usually I play the loser who can’t get his s**t together so this was definitely different for me. It was a blast. I got to rocket through the ceiling with a rocket pack on. I had a cool outfit and I had a helmet - so it was the blast."

Dax Shepard Supports Director Jon Favreau's Use of Practical Effects in "Zathura:" "I would not have been interested in doing a movie that was CGI based because I personally do not connect at all emotionally with computer generated stuff. It’s possible that kids of the current generation do, but for me, I grew up watching practical effects and I just can’t relate to the CGI stuff. So I was just really grateful that Favreau chose to go the practical route. And it’s much easier acting because there were really harpoons flying through the wall and there was really fire behind us and the house was really shaking, so all those things made it far easier for us."

Shepard laughed when I asked him if, with all that going on on the set of "Zathura," things were safe. "It was not safe. In fact, these are the fourth set of child actors we had," joked Shepard.

Speaking of Kids, Dax Shepard Says He'd Do It All Again: Shepard said he had no problem working with his young "Zathura" co-stars, Jonah Bobo and Josh Hutcherson. "No, in fact it was one of the better experiences I’ve had in my life. Both kids were incredibly focused and smart and really good actors and present in every scene. It wasn’t bad at all. It was wonderful."

Dax Shepard on the Freedom to Improv in "Zathura:" "I did do a lot of improv. You know I think that was one of the things that factored into [Jon Favreau] picking me for this movie is that he is from Second City Chicago training and I’m from the Groundlings here in LA. He loves improv and he knows that any improv actor wants to do better than they did do in the last take always, so I think he likes that kind of energy."

Dax Shepard Offers Up a Brief Description of Favreau's Directing Style: "He’s very, very relaxed and calm and keeps the set very relaxed."

Dax Shepard on Comparisons to "Jumanji:" Both "Jumanji" and "Zathura" are based on books by Chris Van Allsburg, but "Zathura" isn't considered a sequel. It does however follow the same sort of storyline as "Jumanji" in which kids find a mysterious game, start to play it, and then weird things begin happening all around them.

Although Shepard plays a substantial role in "Zathura," he had no interest in seeing "Jumanji." "I didn’t want to see the original. Just like Steve Carell never saw 'The Office' before he did 'The Office.' I don’t want to know about it because this isn’t a sequel to 'Jumanji' so to me it wasn’t very relevant."

Dax Shepard's Upcoming Movies: Shepard confirmed "Car Wars" with Dustin Hoffman is still in the works. "We’re just waiting for some script changes to come in and hopefully that will come together. But I just finished a movie called 'You’re Going to Prison' and I have a movie called 'Idiocracy,' that’s a Mike Judge film," explained Shepard.

The Mike Judge comedy movie seems to have tried on a few different titles before settling on "Idiocracy." "Yeah, it was '3001.' Now it’s 'Idiocracy.' I play a man 500 years in the future who is maybe the dumbest man in the future. But Mike Judge, of course, is the star of that."

Dax Shepard, Jonah Bobo, Producer Peter Billingsley, and Screenwriter John Kamps Interview Video from the LA Premiere of "Zathura" - Play the Video

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