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Interview: Tyler Labine Talks A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, New TV Show

Posted by bsimon On September - 15 - 2011 0 Comment

“A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” and “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil” costar Tyler Labine has the physicality, wit and jester’s eyes that mark him as the latest garrulous inheritor to the comedy scepter wielded previously by the likes of Chris Farley, Dan Fogelman and Zach Galifianakis — which is to say a big guy with a bigger personality. In person, however, the thoughtful, soft-spoken Labine hardly seems a performer, let alone the likes of one who’s already carved out an impressive comedic presence in a relatively short period of time. ShockYa recently had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with the actor and burgeoning producer, about “Orgy,” sexual swinging spanning the last several decades, the correct quotable line from his “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” cameo (notice an emerging theme here?) and also his new TV pilot with Ryan Reynolds. The conversation is excerpted below:

ShockYa: First off, you killed as the drunken Steelers fan from “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.”

Tyler Labine: Thanks! It’s a role that I’m familiar with.

ShockYa: It occurs to me that there you stumble across these people having sex, making a porno, and in this movie you actually get to get in on some of that action.

TL: That’s true. It’s funny, because Kevin Smith and I knew each other through this show I had called “Reaper,” where he directed the pilot and was a producer on the show. And he called me up and asked me if I wanted to come out to Pittsburgh and shoot a scene in this Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks movie. And I was like, “Oh, I don’t know… maybe I’ll come do that.” Of course! But he wouldn’t tell me what the part was, he was so locked down with his script. He just said, “Trust me, you’re going to like it. I don’t want you to know.” It was scripted as literally three lines, where he comes in and asks for coffee and [gets run off]. The one line that was scripted was, “Were you guys at the game tonight?” He told me to do whatever I want, that he trusted me. I didn’t know if I could go toe-to-toe with Rogen and Banks… but it turned into that whole “Roethlisberger/fug-it football” thing, which everybody quotes all the time now. I don’t even know where that came from. I knew Ben Roethlisberger a little bit, because he dated Missy Peregrym, who was on “Reaper” with me, and I thought for a little while that it was funny to constantly bring his name up in a mocking fashion in shows that I was doing. He apparently didn’t think it was that funny. But it was supposed to be nothing, and it turned into the thing I’ve done that’s probably most quoted back to me. But people get it wrong, too! They think it’s hug-it-chug-it, or hike-it-chuck-it, or fuck-it-chuck-it. But it’s actually “huck-it-chuck-it football.”

ShockYa: So what do you think people will be quoting from this?

TL: From “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy”? Oh, wow — well, one of the good things is when Martin Starr says that we’re the lamest generation, that we didn’t get it on the way our parents did and the way that kids now are sort of going for it. But other quotable lines… I’ll have to think more about it. Maybe the orgy T-shirts that my character makes, where Lindsay says, “Where are we going to wear these?” and I say, “Anywhere!” because I just don’t get it.

ShockYa: So this sounds esoteric, but take it where you will — I’m interested in your perspective on orgies spanning time. Most people probably think of a certain time period when they think of orgies, but what sort of conversations if any did you and your peer set have about orgies or swinging?

TL: It’s a thought that’s marginally eluded me. I didn’t really think about orgies that much growing up. I think people most associate them with the 1970s, and lots of fondue. I certainly was a very sexually active young man, but I think the only time I ever thought of doing it with friends, I camped out for AC/DC tickets for the Ballbreaker Tour in 1994 with some friends in a van. We all had a make-out in the car — not with each other, but just at the same time. And that was the first time that crossed my mind, like, “I wonder if you can fuck multiple people at the same time?” I wasn’t really aware of the concept of an orgy, but immediately I was like, “Nah, you can’t do that.” I’m not sure if orgies were really prevalent, but it sure seems like there was a time when everyone was just fucking everyone. Maybe it goes on still, just not in places that we frequent.

ShockYa: In talking with other cast members they mentioned that the movie always had this title. What was your gut reaction when you first heard about and/or read it?

TL: I do want to say, first, that Sony did try to change it, to “Out With a Bang,” and [the writer-directors] were like, “Nope, can’t do it. Not gonna happen.” But when Sony and Goldwyn bought it they said they weren’t going to use the title. But I think for the exact same reason that they were so adamant about not changing was the reason that I was intrigued, you know? When a movie is called “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” it’s a conversation starter at the least. When I first saw the script I said that I didn’t want to do a sex romp, and so I just threw it aside. But then I thought about it more, and went and read the first 10 pages, and said, “Yeah, I don’t want to do it.” The writing was good, but it starts out with this crazy party and I thought, “Yeah, it is what I thought it was.” But my agent told me I should at least read to page 30, and then it became a real page-turner, and a movie about real relationships and people with deep-rooted insecurities, and maybe what not to do with your friends. I just really loved the idea of this character I play, Mike McCrudden, wanting to mature, but [not knowing] how people would perceive that. Maybe I’m getting too deep into it, but I felt like [he thought], “How am I going to fit into the gang if I’m not [that guy]?” I thought it was a really cool role, and I could approach the character as a sort of reluctant slacker who doesn’t know how to show people that he wants to grow up.

ShockYa: You mentioned the [themed] party that opens the movie, which seem almost like the logical, extreme extrapolation of “The Big Chill,” where these guys are bound together by a shared part but all get off on these giant bacchanals. Do you have any friends like that, who are major party planners?

TL: I like to throw a good bash, but I’m not a theme party guy; I’m just like come as you are, bring some booze and some meat and we’ll do it. But Pete Huyck, one of the directors, is a consummate party monster. Every Thursday night he does these crazy parties down at the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax, and he’s still going to that even after we have our premiere. And so [Jason Sudeikis'] character is based on him — whether it’s crazy pants, or everyone has to wear pink, or a crazy moustache or whatever, he’s a real party guy. But he always keeps it together, he’s the consummate host. And that’s a unique trait.

ShockYa: What’s next on deck for you?

TL: “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil,” which is really good — I’m really proud of that movie, and I hope that people go watch it because it’s worthwhile for sure. And then I have a new TV show idea that I sold to Fox, with Ryan Reynolds and Alan Loeb and Tim Dowling. We’re all producing it. Ryan is going to make some recurring cameos in the show. We sold it as a put-pilot, which means that they’re guaranteeing that we’re actually going to make the pilot. So we’ll be shooting that in the new year. It’s a half-hour single-camera show called “Guidance,” about two guys who go back to be guidance counselors at high school after their careers have taken a really bad turn. They both have these psych degrees that they basically got in college to pick up chicks. And they figure it’s super-easy to get a job as a guidance counselor, and that no one ever talked to them. And then they get wrapped up in giving the most unconventional advice to these kids, which of course riles up the rest of the faculty. It’s a cool idea. And then I have “Lumpy,” a cool little indie movie which I shot with Justin Long, as well as a small cameo in “Rapturepalooza,” which features everyone who’s anyone in the comedy world. I was just flattered to be in it.

Written by: Brent Simon

tyler labine good old fashioned orgy Interview: Tyler Labine Talks A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, New TV Show

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