Where would Christopher Guest be without his regulars? The Mighty Wind and Best in Show costars gab about filming the director’s latest, the Oscar-season satire For Your Consideration.
JANE LYNCH I don’t think we actually had a moment of ”Nice to meet you.” Familiarity just bred. It was, ”Oh, you’re working with Fred this time [in For Your Consideration].”
FRED WILLARD Christopher said, ”You’re going to be the host of a show like Entertainment Tonight, and Jane Lynch will be your co-host. I thought it’d be funny if you just talk over Jane.”
JL [Chuckling] Not unlike now.
FW I said, ”Uh, okay, Chris, could you tell Jane I’m going to do that?” Chris, being Chris, kinda smiled and said, ”I think it might be funnier if she doesn’t know.”
JL The first day we got to improvise, I barely got anything out. After the editor saw the dailies, he said to me, ”Are you going to speak in this film at all?”
FW Oh, God, now I feel terrible!
JL No, don’t! I really like what we ended up with. It was kind of subtle, how I look like I don’t care for you much and want to throttle you.
FW Someone said my character [is] kind of mean-spirited. It hurt my feelings. He just thinks it would be fun to interview people who are not even nominated for Academy Awards but who thought they should be — that’s great television!
JL It’s all Christopher…. I was 40 when I did Best in Show — that really took me from one level to another.
FW People in the industry love these movies. You know, [people] in Idaho may not know who you are, but the people [in L.A.] like it, and that
JL Did Spinal Tap open doors for you?
FW Not really, [but] that was a watershed movie that started that whole [improv] thing.
JL I prepare more for these films than I do anything else, so I can improvise.
FW [In other] movies, the director will say, ”Look, you don’t have to stick to the script too much.”
JL [Whispering] I hate that. ”Oh, right: She’s in the Guest movies, she’s going to come up with something brilliant!” Guys seem to be better at it, I’m sorry to say. There’s a reason guys do Whose Line Is It Anyway? They’re fast, they’re aggressive. Women, who by nature let things breathe a little, get slammed against the wall on that show.
FW I always see four guys, and I think, ”It never hurts to see an attractive lady up there.”
JL I played Will Ferrell’s mother in [Talladega Nights]. They needed someone who could span [a broad age range]. I thought I looked every day of 60 [Lynch is 46; Willard is 67]. I was looking at myself, thinking, ”Whoa, they didn’t have to do any makeup augmentation!” Them lines are mine!
FW You just got a short night’s sleep the night before.
JL [Laughs] Yeah, exactly!
FW That’s another good key to keep your career going: Try to get into a movie that’s going to make $140 million.