Sundance 2008

Sundance Q&A: The Cast of ''Hamlet 2''

Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and David Arquette talk about their high-school-set comedy, likely to remain the fest's biggest acquisition

STEVE COOGAN (left, with Catherine Keener) on Hamlet 2 : ''Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It's not a film that makes you…
STEVE COOGAN (left, with Catherine Keener) on Hamlet 2: ''Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It's not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can''

By the eighth day of this year's Sundance Film Festival, director Andrew Fleming's comedy Hamlet 2 remained the biggest acquisition, selling to Focus Features for $10 million. The comedy revolves around a high-school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who stages a sequel to Shakespeare's play in order to save his department from budget cuts.

On the afternoon before the film's premiere, EW.com chatted with Coogan and his fellow cast members David Arquette and Elisabeth Shue at EW's photo studio. (Sadly, Hamlet 2 costar Catherine Keener did not make the trip to Sundance this year.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you excited for tonight's premiere?
DAVID ARQUETTE: I haven't seen it yet, so I'm nervous. It seems like people have been enjoying it, though.

And you play...?
ARQUETTE: I play Gary. I'm the guy who lives at [Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener's] house. They only let me live there because I have a car. They don't have a car. I drive them everywhere. I think I'm supposed to be a trainer in it. I'm very fitness-oriented, but I don't have any actual clients. I have a small part. I only have about 10 lines in it. And I think one of my scenes got cut, too. I was sad. I play a dumb guy in it. Which I tend to do well.

Well, you're playing against type.
ARQUETTE: I hope so. [Laughs] Or maybe I'm just dumb.

[Arquette gets called to get his picture taken. Elisabeth Shue steps up.]

Hello. Are you enjoying Sundance?
ELISABETH SHUE: It's really fun to be back. The most moving time I've had at Sundance was two years ago because Davis [Guggenheim, Shue's husband] premiered An Inconvenient Truth [which he directed] here. That will go down as the most meaningful trip to Sundance. I remember the first screening of An Inconvenient Truth, they gave it a standing ovation. I was crying so much. It still makes me cry thinking of it.

It'll be hard to measure up to that ever again.
SHUE: I know, it'll never measure up to that, but it doesn't have to. I love this movie, actually. It's really funny. Unique and different. And I just think Steve is a brilliant comedian. I want to do another comedy — and with him. [She points to Coogan, who's been sitting nearby, ostensibly minding his own business.] I want him to write me a movie where we can be lovers. [Laughs]

[To Coogan] Would you like to join our conversation?
SHUE: Don't you think he's hot?

He's not bad.
STEVE COOGAN: I'm not too pale for a Brit.
SHUE: With his new haircut! He's got really funny hair in the movie.
COOGAN: It's kind of '80s: long, wavy. I had this long, fair hair. It was dyed and bleached and straightened. And then it got so brittle I just had to get rid of it all.

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