STUCK ON YOU - Q&A with MATT DAMON & GREG KINNEAR
Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play co-joined twins in STUCK ON YOU, the outrageous new comedy from The Farrelly Brothers.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly became one of the most successful writing and directing teams in Hollywood when their debut comedy, DUMB AND DUMBER, was a box office smash in 1994. Since then, their own distinctive brand of humour has proved to be a big hit with audiences worldwide. KINGPIN, THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, ME, MYSELF AND IRENE and SHALLOW HAL - all penned and directed by Peter and Bobby - have made more than $1 billion.
IN STUCK ON YOU, the Farrellys tackle a subject very close to their hearts - brothers. And in this case, the brothers couldn't be closer sharing not just an emotional bond, but a physical one too. Walt and Bob Tenor are joined at the hip and do absolutely everything together.
The Farrellys first had the idea more than ten years ago. "We wanted to do a movie about co-joined twins who really have it made," says Peter. "There haven't been many movies about co-joined twins and certainly not with humour and a positive message. For the first five years we pitched the script, everyone was terrified of the concept. Over the years, people gradually warmed to the idea but for one reason or another, the timing was never right for the film to come together until now."
Matt Damon plays Bob Tenor and Greg Kinnear plays Walt. Damon is one of Hollywood's favourite sons. He won an Academy Award for Best Original screenplay, with his close friend Ben Affleck, for the critically acclaimed drama GOOD WILL HUNTING. He was also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for playing the title role. Damon has also starred in THE RAINMAKER, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, OCEAN'S 11 and THE BOURNE IDENTITY amongst many others.
Greg Kinnear successfully switched from hosting a popular chat show, E ENTERTAINMENT'S TALK SOUP, to acting with his debut in Sydney Pollack's remake of SABRINA. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance alongside Jack Nicholson in the comedy AS GOOD AS IT GETS and has also starred in such diverse films as Neil LaBute's black comedy NURSE BETTY, with Renee Zellweger, the supernatural thriller THE GIFT, the romantic comedy SOMEONE LIKE YOU and more recently, Paul Schrader's AUTO FOCUS and the Vietnam war epic WE WERE SOLDIERS with Mel Gibson.
You spent some time attached to each other before filming. How was that?
KINNEAR: Yeah we did. We spent some time at Carrie Fisher's house playing tennis, cooking burgers.
DAMON: Yeah playing tennis was fun.
Why Carrie Fisher's house?
DAMON: The Farrellys know Carrie Fisher and she had a tennis court. That's how it works with these guys. 'Go over to Carrie Fisher's tennis court, she'll be waiting for you, don't worry about it...'
KINNEAR: That's how it is and usually they call you fifteen minutes before they want you to do something.
Did you actually know each other before this film?
DAMON: Actually we had signed up for the movie before we even met each other.
KINNEAR It was a dangerous exercise. It could have gone horribly wrong. Oh let's not kid ourselves (laughs), it did go horribly wrong!
How is the fact that you look so different explained in the story?
DAMON: You know, they originally wanted Jim Carey and Woody Allen and that would have meant they needed an explanation as to why they looked so different. So they came up with one has more liver and the other was aging a lot worse. That was it really.
So they think about that kind of detail?
KINNEAR: Their movies have an element of the outrageous but there is an element of reality to them.
How did you prepare for being joined together like that? Did you train?
DAMON: When you say 'train' it suggests something methodical (laughs). But there was no science in this. They tied us together and they just pushed us so it was just time spent walking around together and getting used to it. Once we started shooting we were together 12 hours a day. At first, before we would even sit down, we would go 'one, two three...sit!' But a week into it we could stand, we could walk, we would sense what the other was doing.
KINNEAR: And we weren't sure who was moving who. It was like on a Ouija board. Everyone puts their hands on and sure enough this stupid thing starts to move. Somebody's pushing it. There are no spirits, OK. (Laughs). Actually, we did some work with a trainer for the tennis, the sports.
DAMON: The baseball, the hockey, the cooking, we kind of made up that routine.
How does it work with the practicalities of life when you are tied together like that? What happens with the bathroom?
DAMON: Well, truthfully the bathroom scenario for guys, I mean we do it all the time, I mean at least half of the bathroom scenario we do anyway.
KINNEAR: Yeah and let's take the other half of it out of the scenario right away, that's not in the equation (laughs).
Was there anything in STUCK ON YOU that you thought might be over the top that didn't make it in the final cut?
DAMON: No, the farthest we went is in there. I mean, playing goalie in the hockey team is in there, we had a sex scene, you know, all be it tastefully shot. It's all in there.
KINNEAR: The script is pretty representative of the movie and obviously it's a tricky subject matter but they have dealt with this kind of material before and they've kind of gone to the line and straddled it a bit and I felt that was what was happening here. And really, if you know these guys a little bit and I've known them for a lot of years, I knew that they would deal with this right and it would be coming from a good place, they have a lot of people with disabilities work on their movies and a lot of actors as well. And they handle this OK.
The Farrellys were saying that they got a lot of criticism over SHALLOW HAL from people who hadn't even seen the movie. Are you expecting the same with this?
DAMON: I would not but you never know. I remember doing DOGMA with Kevin Smith and there were protest rallies and at that point nobody had even seen the movie and Kevin who is a practicing Catholic was out there going 'I don't understand, how can you protest about a movie you haven't even seen?' Not that would happen on that scale for this movie but you know I would hope people would at least see the movie before they have something to say about it. I mean, when we first heard the pitch we were like 'ohhh..' But it's a really warm movie and you know it's got a lot of heart, as they say in the business.
What about bearing your chests, stuck together like that, it's not the most flattering look...
DAMON: Well those chests are not ours. Or our hairy backs. That whole thing is a prosthetic, front and back, it's a fake body. So I know everybody is going to think that's us, but it's not, it's a fake, man. It's a fake.
Did you miss each other, once the film was over?
DAMON: Well, Greg's been stalking me since the end of the movie. I see him every night standing outside of my window crying...
KINNEAR: That's right, I'm stalking him. It was sad when the movie was over. Rocket, who is in the movie, kind of gives the final speech when the movie is done. The Farrellys put the whole speech into the end credits if you wait long enough.
What is it about the Farrellys?
DAMON: Well, it starts with looking at the movies they do and if you laugh and think they are funny you're half way there. For me, they always start the films in New England which is where I'm from. Actually, this one mostly takes place in LA but we shot in Miami.
KINNEAR: Yeah, rather than shoot in LA and save millions because LA actually looks like LA because, well, it is LA. So we shoot in Florida! There's a Hollywood and Vine sign somewhere in South Beach that we left behind.
What are the Farrellys like on set?
KINNEAR: Bobby's the more boisterous. They watch the take and kind of confer. They have different styles. It's very collective, if you watch them it's hard to work out which is the alpha brother. In a lot of ways they are the story of Bob and Walt, in lots of ways. And they are open to the idea of improvising.
Did you ask them about where the film might be a little autobiographical?
DAMON: That's way too philosophical to mention to Peter and Bobby. You know "is this about you guys?" And it would be, "Huh? I'm going to get another beer. This is hurting my head..."
KINNEAR: They wouldn't take to that conversation too well but I think whether they know it or not there is some underlying truth. As artists they could go solo. They could go their own way, their separate ways. And they are probably always struggling with that question. "Should we separate?" So I think there is some element of them in there.
Did you worry that the Brothers would cross the line with some of this material?
KINNEAR: I think the point is that they never tell a joke at the expense of someone gratuitously. If they don't think it was a character quirk or true to the story or whatever, I don't think they would ever be maliciously, intentionally mean.
DAMON: They live on the edge a little with their humour but there isn't anything wrong with that.
You've worked with some great leading ladies. How does Eva Mendes shape up?
DAMON: She is awesome. She's right up there. She is going to be as big a star as she wants to be. She is so beautiful, she is such a good actress, she is so smart, she's really funny and she's a normal person too, the world is her oyster basically.
Do you have people you are that close to?
KINNEAR: I will never have anyone in my life that I was as close to as Matt Damon in the spring of 2002 (Laughs).
DAMON (laughing): I would have to agree. I don't think I would ever invite someone that far into my personal space for that amount of time. I guess the only way to do it would be if you had a new child.
Question & Answer Text Copyright Twentieth Century Fox