SANTA MONICA, California — Long gone are the days when the world's most popular stand-up comedian was also its biggest box-office draw, but, in the case of Dane Cook, you sure as heck can't say that it's for lack of effort. The man with 2.5 million MySpace friends was in a Jude Law-esque three movies this year: "Mr. Brooks," "Dan in Real Life," and the new-to-DVD "Good Luck Chuck."
In an exclusive look-back-and-look-forward interview with MTV News, Cook talked turkey on the sex montage in "Chuck," what he makes of Jessica Alba calling the movie "porn," what special ranking the flick earned from Roger Ebert, and what it's like being called one of the most influential people in the world.
MTV: First off, congratulations are in order. I saw you just set a world record. [On January 1-2, Cook broke Dave Chappelle's comedy-endurance record at West Hollywood, California's Laugh Factory].
Dane Cook: I don't know if it's a world record, but it's a Laugh Factory record. It was accompanied by the greatest sleep of my life.
MTV: You and Dave Chappelle are like the Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire of this record. So what sort of performance enhancers are you on?
Cook: [He laughs.] No, no, it's purely flat water and a little pasta before I hit the stage. It just kind of happened. But, yeah, they're all busting my chops down at the club, like, "Listen, how much time you gonna do tonight? Four hours? Five? Do you want a short set?"
MTV: For the "Good Luck Chuck" DVD, you have some pretty crazy special features. The sex matrix?
Cook: The first thing I did when they showed me the rough cut of the sex matrix, I said, "Somebody's got to go through frame by frame and make sure my [privates] aren't swinging around. I know someone's gonna freeze-frame it, some DVD person who's got a program on their computer is gonna find my bits and pieces. But the sex matrix, how do you really explain the sex matrix? It's something that needs to be experienced ... with adult supervision.
MTV: Frankly, my favorite part of the sex matrix is how it's described on the box. I need you to explain this to me: "16 fierce thrusting positions"?
Cook: [He laughs.] Yeah, you can credit that all to our wonderful director [Mark Helfrich] and his lascivious imagination. We all really pushed the limit. When the movie was finally done, the first time that I saw it, I thought this sex montage was ... it kind of takes your breath away.
MTV: So where does it rank in the history of film montages? You know, the "making-it-happen montage," etc.
Cook: I hold every montage against the "Revenge of the Nerds"-building-their-own-frat-house montage, the Delta Delta Delta house, Omega Moo, if I may. So I don't know if it holds up to Poindexter and Booger and Wormser painting that dilapidated old run-down shanty, but I certainly think it's in the top sex montages of all time.
MTV: Actually, I think it's the only sex montage of all time.
Cook: Roger Ebert said it's the dirtiest movie of the year based on that sex montage. And g--dammit, that's what we set out to be.
MTV: That's not really a thumbs up.
Cook: [He laughs.] It was something up.
MTV: On that note, have you read what Alba said about the movie to Elle? She knocked the film, saying, "It's porn. ... It wasn't supposed to be like that."
Cook: First of all, we all read the script. We did what we read. I guess to that I would say, she's watching some really silly-ass porn.
MTV: How do you even deal with something like that, when your female co-star comes out and slams the movie you're now promoting?
Cook: We all cared about the project, Dan [Fogler], Jessica and myself. Not a day went by that we weren't in communication with each other and having a blast. And then you walk away from it. And when it's done, it's up to a lot of other people to complete it. You may not always care for the final results. It's just the facts. I haven't spoken to her about whatever she may have said. And who knows, that might be one little piece of a lot of things she said. Personally, I think she's incredible.
MTV: Here's what you need to do to mend fences: be in a movie with Alba again. Be in "Fantastic Four 3" and play the super-villain.
Cook: That would be fantastic. I got to play this darker role in "Mr. Brooks," and it's fun to be bad once in a while after you've been the funny guy.
MTV: What would your power be?
Cook: I could probably shoot fire. [He laughs.] What would be worse, [that] or doing a dance in the middle of your superhero film for absolutely no reason? Right? What just happened? This movie just turned into "Chicago."
MTV: When you personally reflect back on "Good Luck Chuck," what are some of your thoughts now?
Cook: I kind of came up through the ranks primarily as a stand-up comic, and it wasn't like I had a television show or [was on] "SNL" or something that put me on the map and these guys really trusted me to come in there and show different sides of my performances. I really wanted to make a sex romp, a raunchy sex romp with a sweet center. So perspective-wise, I was so happy.
MTV: You're being humble. Just two years ago you were named one of the 100 most-influential people in the world by Time.
Cook: Yep, and every girlfriend that ever broke up with me got a copy of that. I guess maybe that's just my nature. I try to save the bravado for the stage, and in real life I'm a little bit more focused on honestly just trying to develop myself the same way I did with my comedy. I appreciate that it came along at the time it did, because it set me off to other opportunities that I'm doing now. I couldn't ask for a better time in my life and career right now. I definitely am having a good go.
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