I love Simon Pegg so I’m excited to see him in the lead for this. How did you think of him? Did you ever consider acting in it yourself?
I love Simon, too. He’s brilliant. We worked together in a few things and have been friends for a while, so he was my first choice. And no, I really didn’t think about acting in it — I just wanted to focus all my energy on one thing: directing.
What’s more challenging: directing or acting? And what’s more rewarding of the two?
Actually, I have to say I love both equally, and find both of them rewarding. I just finished a movie called “Nothing But the Truth” playing Kate Beckinsale’s husband, and had a great time. I kind of needed to get back to acting, after spending a year and a half directing the movie.
How do you feel about social class representation in film? It seems, from the trailer, that Mr. Pegg’s character is a down-on-his-luck average guy; while Mr. Azaria is the well-to-do gentleman. Is social class a personal interest for you, and something you might want to explore more as a filmmaker?
While our film is a fun-loving romantic comedy, there is one aspect of social class that does come into play. As you point out, the character of Whit is a very successful broker, and lives in a ridiculously expensive penthouse apartment — while Dennis, a security guard, is slumming it in the basement flat of a two-story walk up in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood.
What matters, we learn, is not how much money these guys have; rather, the film tells us that the more important thing is a person’s character. It becomes obvious that Dennis is the better choice for Libby because of his having learned from his mistakes, his reclaimed sense of self-worth, his being present as a loving and dedicated father, and his fighting spirit.
I really enjoyed your performance in “Band of Brothers.” Do you have any plans to participate in the upcoming Pacific War follow-up?
Thanks a lot, that was one of the most memorable projects i’ve ever been a part of. I’d love to be in the Pacific War follow-up; maybe e-mail Tom Hanks and give him a little head’s up for me. Seriously.
In the commercials for “Run, Fat Boy, Run” I noticed that your name is never mentioned. Are you intentionally staying low-profile in the promotion for this film like Ben Affleck did for “Gone Baby Gone”?
No, I’m pretty out there publicizing the movie. I’m really proud of it — it’s just i find it comes across a bit pretentious sometimes when ads or commercials have “a film by such and such.” It always seems to me, when i’m watching the trailer or ad, that it’s a big ego stroke.
I’m not into it.
Check back Thursday for the second part of David Schwimmer’s answer column!