STARSKY & HUTCH - Q&A with BEN STILLER, OWEN WILSON and director TODD PHILLIPS
Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
Todd, what attracted you to the film?
Well I am a big fan of the series and I was very excited about working with both Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Ben, you really immersed yourself into the process of making the film, watching tapes of the series and so on, why?
It was a way of learning to play the character, I really had no clue about what to do so I needed to watch him and then I realised that I would not be able to do it the cool way Paul Michael Glaser did it so I tried to at least learn to run like him. Owen and me also worked on our interaction to try and emulate the two characters.
Owen, which did you prefer, the singing scene or the kissing scene with Carmen Electra and Amy Smart?
BEN STILLER: Owen actually turned up early for the kissing scene for the first time ever.
OWEN WILSON: Yes we had a lot of takes and plenty of rehearsal for the kissing scene. For the singing I said that I couldn't sing so they put my voice through some voice machine and they made it so that my hands could not be seen playing the guitar, and then of course once the girls found out that I couldn't sing they lost interest in me.
Ben and Owen, in the movie you really bond and you hug, do you think that this will make more men hug on the street and will this be good?
BEN STILLER: I think that it is a good thing for men to hug both in private and in the street. It is good for guys to show their emotions.
OWEN WILSON: Well the hugging is fine but I am not so sure about the crying and then denying the crying.
Todd, Ben and Owen, at what point did you want the original stars to be involved in the film and how did it feel to meet them?
BEN STILLER: We always wanted their involvement and so we had lunch together and Paul Michael Glaser was very supportive and cool, he is naturally cool even from the way he flirted with our waitress so cool and chilled. He just said we should go out and have fun and when they came to shoot the scene we had already done most of the shooting so we were quite relaxed with our characters, and it was cool but weird.
OWEN WILSON: I told David Soul to not expect too much from me and he was very generous, probably because he realised that I was not much of a threat.
TODD PHILLIPS: It was very important to involve the original actors and it was a real sweet moment, a clapping moment for the audience, very sweet for the audience.
Ben how possessive were you of the car?
OWEN WILSON: Ben would only let me sit behind the wheel of the Ford when he had the keys in his hand. It was like being a child again.
BEN STILLER: The car was cool and I learnt how to do certain things that I had no idea about before. I am not such a good driver so the stuntmen took me out and showed me a few tricks.
OWEN WILSON: Ben is not a good driver, he has bad reflexes and I came to learn that what we call fender benders, he has a technical term for that, which basically implies that it is all just good driving.
Ben, you had a dance scene in ALONG CAME POLLY and now here as well do you plan to have one in every film you do?
BEN STILLER: No, in fact I may never actually have a dance scene again.
OWEN WILSON: Ben wanted to do it again, he asked for it.
BEN STILLER: I am not inclined that way. I just can't remember the moves. It is too much hard work for me. But in this case Todd said, oh don't worry this is totally different because you're high on cocaine this time.
Ben and Owen how did you cope with the 70's wardrobe?
OWEN WILSON: One time we went to dinner and I went wearing one of the shirts from the wardrobe and Todd noticed and asked whether it was one of the shirts from set, so it was weird to start with but then I started to get into it and I started getting compliments.
BEN STILLER: The jeans were tight and the sneakers were cool, in fact I kept the sneakers.
Ben and Owen how good is it to work with each other?
OWEN WILSON: It is good to have someone you can rely on and who possesses a similar sense of humour.
BEN STILLER: Owen always makes me laugh.
Ben, does Owen have more respect for you when you are directing him?
BEN STILLER: No, he thinks that because I am telling him where to go and what to do then he can do the same. Owen likes to get out early, so he'll say things like maybe his character shouldn't even be in that scene, and if that doesn't work then at least his character should sit down in that scene.
OWEN WILSON: Yeh, take a load off.
Todd, how did Snoop Dogg come up for the role of Huggy Bear?
Well he was our first choice, he is pretty iconic in the states and he is very cool so it was quite a logical choice.
Todd, any sequels planned?
That depends on the global reaction to the film but we are open to it.
Ben and Owen has this film increased your sex symbol appeal and maybe increased your gay fan base?
BEN STILLER: Do I have gay fans?
OWEN WILSON: It is too early to tell. Give [it] a couple of weeks in New York and get back to me then and I will give you an update.
BEN STILLER: Owen has to sample it on a case-by-case basis.