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article imageZach Galifianakis on fame, feeling fat, sequels and 'Due Date' Special

By Earl Dittman     Feb 27, 2011 in Entertainment
Zach Galifianakis is quickly becoming a fave with comedy movie lovers across the globe. While Zach doesn't mind the clout films like 'Due Date' (on Blu-ray/DVD) bring him, he's not that thrilled with the fame and success that comes along with it, too.
Zach Galifianakis just wants to make people laugh. And, from his appearances in Due Date, The Hangover and the cable series Bored To Death, he's been doing one heck of a job. These days, he's one of the most sought-after comedians in Hollywood, which is great news to him. Zach likes the fact that it's brought him more work (like G-Force and The Hangover: Part 2 sequel) but as far as he is concerned, you can keep all the attention, recognition and fame.
The Wilkesboro, North Carolina-native says he has been dealing with the double-edged sword of fame with some success. "I just ignore it," the 41-year-old says with his deadpan delivery. "I figure if I just make good movies and pretend the press aren't there, they'll leave me alone." Maybe, but not if he keeps making raucously funny movies like Due Date.In the outrageous road comedy, directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover, Zach and Robert Dowwney, Jr. portray one of the oddest couples ever seen on screen.
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey  Jr. in  Due Date
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Due Date'
Warner Bros
In Due Date, Downey plays Peter Highman, an uptight, expectant father who should become a dad within days, when his wife gives birth to their first baby in Atlanta. However, Peter, an architect, is in Los Angeles and wants to be by her side on the Big Day, so he needs to get to Georgia -- quick. While on the plane to Atlanta, Peter meets Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), an aspiring actor and something of a disaster-magnet. Ethan's rather strange personality causes he and Peter to be thrown off the plane and put on the very top of the no-fly list. Not only can they not fly, but Peter leaves his luggage, wallet and ID behind, so he can't even rent a car to the East Coast. Desperate to get home, Peter decides to catch a ride with Ethan and his doggy traveling companion -- all the way to Georgia. It's not an easy ride, though, because while on their cross-country road trip several things end up being mangled and destroyed: from cars and friendships to Peter's sanity. Due Date also stars Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor), Juliette Lewis (The Switch) and Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx (Ray).
Shortly after wrapping up filming on Due Date, Zach hung out with the press in a California hotel to talk about working with Downey, his past projects, his upcoming sequels and Zach reveals his true feelings about becoming a famous comedy star.
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey  Jr. in  Due Date
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Due Date'
Warner Bros
With all the success you’ve had over the past two or three years, what does it feel like to be Zach Galifianakis right now?
"It still feels fat. (laughs) It feels the same, to me. I just forget that I’m in stuff, so I just live my life inside my own mind, and I forget that I’m in movies now."
Is success funny to you?
"No, it’s not. It’s a major inconvenience. People are coming and putting things through my mailbox."
Like what?
"Just notes from neighbors, like death threats. (laughs) No, none of that. But, all that’s kind of new. I’m trying to figure that all out. Hopefully, it won’t be too big of a deal."
What was it like working with Robert Downey, Jr. in Due Date?
"It was great. He's really cool, and we had a really cool time doing it. We hit it off. I also liked doing the movie with Jamie (Foxx), Michelle (Monaghan) and Juliette (Lewis), too. (Director) Todd Phillips is really good at the art of casting movies. He really gets the best, most talented and the coolest people to work with. That's probably one of the main reasons his comedies are always so funny."
Did spending so much time with Robert in the close confines of an automobile lead you to discover any deep insights about the man?
"No, not really. (laughs) I mean, we talked a lot and got to know each other, and we were always joking, trying to lighten up everything. He was constantly making me laugh. I would laugh about things that weren't even supposed to be funny. He's a funny guy, he really is. But, I didn't learn anything profound about him, if that is what you're asking."
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey  Jr. in  Due Date
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Due Date'
Warner Bros
Why did you decide to go ahead and do (director Todd Phillips' upcoming sequel) The Hangover: Part 2?
"Mainly, because it was a great script, and we wanted to work together again."
Would you have done The Hangover: Part 2 if you weren't one hundred percent happy with the script?
"No, not if it would have been anything less than a script that we all loved. Early on, there were some decent scripts being written, but we weren't sure that it was going to happen, because we all told each other that we would only do a sequel if the screenplay was just as good as the first one or even better. I think the script they finally came up with is better and funnier. Of course, that's just my opinion, but I like it a lot."
Is it important to enjoy the people you make a movie with?
"Oh yeah, because it's a real drag going to the set every day if you can't stand the people you are there with."
Now that you’re famous, who are some of the most famous people on your speed dial?
"I used to tell people it's probably three of the members from the band DeBarge. Nobody remembers them, do they? Nobody. I don’t hang out with famous people. I think they’re pretty much jerks."
You are good friends with Bradley Cooper, aren’t you?
"Is he famous now? Bradley is a friend of mine. Nothing has changed between us. Believe it or not, he still likes to come over to my house and take naps, which I find weird. Not with me, but he just will nap."
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey  Jr. in  Due Date
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Due Date'
Warner Bros
Does he give you any advice about how to deal with fame?
"I don’t talk to Bradley about that kind of stuff. It’s his fault that he’s a pretty boy. I don’t have to deal with that stuff. That’s his fault."
Did you like doing the Bored to Death cable series with Jason Schwartzman?
"Yeah, I had another great time doing that series."
Why?
"I loved the character. He’s just this angry, early curmudgeon guy that is frustrated with his existence. It’s really easy and fun to play. It’s a very fun, nice character to play. He’s not a nice guy, in particular, and he’s not socially gracious, but that’s really fun and easy to play."
Were you a fan of Jason Schwartzman, prior to Bored To Death?"
Yes. Jason Schwartzman was a big reason that I wanted to do the show. I think he’s very good, clever and subtle, and a very nice man."
How long have you known Jason?
"I only knew him right before working. He gave me a phone call and said that he was very happy that we were going to work together. Gentleman are hard to find these days, especially in show business, and he and Ted Danson are just gentlemen. And, I’m not necessarily a gentleman, but those guys really are. How nice they are on set actually makes me kind of upset, because then I’m like, ‘Oh, God, I’ve gotta be a nice guy now!’ They really are just gentleman. They’re really nice people."
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Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey  Jr. in  Due Date
Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey, Jr. in 'Due Date'
Warner Bros
How has your life changed after all of the success with of films like The Hangover (and Due Date)?
"I can get a really good table at Arby’s now. My life really hasn’t changed that much for me, honestly. It’s hard when you’re doing comedy, and then you get in this kind of world now. It’s a dangerous thing, with comedy, to be going to Hollywood parties, and all that stuff. If you forget what brought you here in the first place, it can be a very dangerous thing. And, I’m old enough now to be aware of it. I’m trying to not think about it too much. It hasn’t changed. I can pay my parents to leave me alone. No. It’s nice to spend money on your folks and people that are close to you."
Have you splurged on anything at all?
"No. I don’t spend money. I still have my 1998 Subaru that I will probably drive until it runs out. Hopefully, I’ll drive it for ten more years. My goal is to keep my same Subaru. I also like the car."
Are your stand-up shows more packed than they used to be?
" I don’t do shows that I announce. I just show up at hole-in-the-walls."
Do you anticipate that there will be any stand-out jokes or lines in Due Date like you had in The Hangover?
"There are some really good jokes in it that I will not spoil, but yeah."
You also did the animated comedy G-Force, which ended up being such a big family hit. Have you gotten a call to do G-Force 2 yet?
"No, not yet, but I am waiting by the phone."
G-Force would be a great franchise to be a part of. Is that something you’d be interested in?
"When I was doing the first G-Force, the Disney people took pictures of me, just in case they wanted to make a toy out of my character. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, if this ever became a ride at Disney, you would just see my cut-out before you get in line, and it would say, ‘If you’re this short, you can’t ride this ride,’ -- that’s my nightmare." But, having said that, I don’t know the answer to that question.
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Warner Bros
Up to this point, I’ve just gotten work and it just falls into place. I’ve never really been drawn to anything. I just go and audition. And then, I got lucky these last couple of years, to be quite honest. Everybody is always like, ‘What drew you to this?,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, I needed a job.’ There’s nothing that draws me. Now, hopefully, I can have those choices. But, if there’s a G-Force 2, and I get to talk to more guinea pigs, I don’t think there’s a problem with that."
Due Date: Combo Pack Bonus Features: Complete "Two and a Half Men" Scene Featuring Ethan Tremblay; Gag Reel; "Due Date Too Many Questions Mashup"; "Due Date Action Mashup"; Additional Scenes; DVD version of the film and Digital Copy of the film on Disc. Available for Download at http://bit.ly/DueDateFB and for clips and more info on the film, check out it's Official Site at http://duedatemovie.warnerbros.com
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Lionsgate
Nurse Jackie: Season 2
With each new episode of Nurse Jackie, you begin to wish that every comedy/drama series could be this brilliant. Witty, cool and inventive, you'll continuously laugh, you'll probably cry and run through a gamut of emotions throughout every 29-minute peek into the life of the painkiller-popping, acerbic, comforting and wise emergency room vet Nurse Jackie Peyton. We all know the strong, smart, sexy and weak and worn Jackie -- she's our best friend, sister, next door neighbor or our good pal from work -- and that's what makes the realistic and funny Nurse Jackie so compelling. We love this functioning addict, no matter what she's done or is still doing. Gloriously brought to life by former Soprano mob mom Edie Falco (who has already picked up several well-deserved Best Actress awards for playing Jackie), she is sensational in a role that will leave you angry, happy, heartbroken and always smiling. In Season 2, Jackie is still cheating on her husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa), but her boyfriend Eddie (Paul Schulze), the hospital's former pharmacist has discovered her dual love life and threatens to go public with their romance. At the same time, the quick-witted Jackie is trying to deal with her daughter's increasingly dark mood swings, while fending off unwanted advances by the breast-grabbing Dr. Coop (Peter Facinelli) and helping her best friend, the stunning Dr. Eleanor O'Hara (Eve Best) get over her break-up with her lesbian lover. And, Jackie's drug-seeking morning isn't even over yet. There are several great series on television, and Nurse Jackie belongs in the top three if not at the Number One spot. Looking for one of the best times of your viewing life? Watch all twelve episodes of Season Two in a row, by yourself, or with someone you love, and I promise you, it'll end up being a day you'll never forget. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Cast and Crew Commentaries; "All About Eve" and "Perfecting an Inappropriate Touch" featurettes; Main Title Music Montage and Gag Reel.
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Lionsgate
Weeds: Season Six
In six wild, scary and hysterical seasons, everybody's favorite suburban pot-selling mom and cartel concubine, Nancy Botwin: the Queen Of Green -- flawlessly portrayed by the award-winning Mary-Louise Parker -- has kept viewers entertained and on their toes with her crazy, outrageous and often dangerous antics. Life as the wife of the corrupt politician and druglord Esteban is not all it's cracked up to be. And, with the Mexican Mafia getting closer to slicing her and her family's necks (at the very least), Nancy decides it time to leave the old U.S. of A. for safer ground. Renaming themselves "The Newmans," they adopt new names and identities and pray for a new start in Europe. However, at the end of Season Six, only her teenaged sons Shane and Silas, and her love-sick brother-in-law Andy, make it up into the international friendly skies for their European escape. At the very last moment, Nancy realizes the only way she can keep herself and family alive is to stay on American soil and turn herself and her baby, Steve, into the hands of the FBI for protection. It's a surprising finale, especially for a woman who has become a pro at keeping her life and family under the radar, but does she have an ulterior motive? We'll have to wait until Season 7 (scheduled to air later this year) to find out what's really up her sleeve. A little outlandish, a tad bloody but wonderfully sexy and always hilarious, you'll easily get yourself hooked on Weeds, and believe me, you'll want more. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Cast and Crew Commentaries; "Kevin Nealon & Justin Kirk: What Do We Have Left To Say?" "Fandamonium: Weeds Creators Tell All" and Bye-Bye Botwins" featurettes and Gag Reel.
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Paramount
Eddie Griffin: You Can Tell 'Em I Said It
Eddie Murphy is always funny on the big screen (Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Undercover Brother, Scary Movie 3), this top-notch comedian is really at home on the stand-up stage. You can catch him in all his uncensored, balls-to-the-wall glory in this side-splitting, wet-yourself, Comedy Central stand-up concert special. When the naughty and hilariously hip Griffin isn't professing his true feelings about America's First Lady, Michelle Obama, offering his true opinions on the Tiger Woods debacle or revealing why the city of Cleveland should understand LeBron James, then he's getting political on us -- revealing who he thinks makes up the membership of the Tea Party. Sure, you can hear him say nasty words on uncensored DVDs like You Can Tell 'Em I Said It, but unlike other stand-ups when Griffin uses expletives he says them for a reason -- like a battle cry to emphasize his point. There is no such thing as filler or boring when it comes to Eddie Griffin's onstage declarations, he'll have you laughing the whole time through -- regardless of skin color or nationality. Getting his start at the Comedy Store, Griffin can now sell-out venues as large as Madison Square Garden. After watching this gut-busting Comedy Central special, you'll understand why so many people want to hear and see him live. (Only On DVD) Bonus Feature: "Backstage Pass" -- exclusive 28-minute behind-the-scenes tour.
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Vivendi/The Weinstein Company
Killshot
Elmore Leonard is the man. One of the best writers of our generation, screen adaptations of his best novels and short stories have always ended-up mixed affairs in terms of quality. They have either been turned into great movies like Get Shorty, Out Of Sight and Rum Punch (AKA Jackie Brown), films that lack the excitement of his writing such as Touch or just bad celluloid reinterpretations like Glitz. Luckily, the John Madden-directed Killshot belongs in the first category, recalling all the deceit, sex and blood of the original story. Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) stars as the infamous mafia hit man “Blackbird” Degas, a hired assassin with perfect aim and the man who doesn't believe in leaving witnesses. It's a credo he steadfastly lives by until he meets Carmen (Diane Lane) and Wayne (Thomas Jane) Colson. The pair catch a glimpse of Blackbird -- they see him at the scene of a brutal botched murder, making them his first living witnesses and his next targets. Fearing for their lives, they decide to enter the witness protection program, only to discover -- a little too late -- that members of law enforcement can always look the other way for money or favors. At the end, Carmen and Wayne realize the only people that are going to keep them alive are themselves. Rumored to be one of Elmore Leonard's favorite films based on his writings, this explosive thriller also stars Rosario Dawson (Unstoppable) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception). Blu-ray Special Feature: “Sparks” – A Film By Joseph Gordon-Levitt Based On A Short Story By Elmore Leonard.
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CBS/Paramount
Have Gun Will Travel: Season Five, Volume 2
Actor Richard Boone brought even more class to a role of Paladin, a man of refined tastes and suave sensibilities, a gunman who has set up shop at the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco during the fading days of the Old West. A gunfighter-for-hire who always tries to settle things peacefully, Paladin is quick on the draw and doesn't think twice about bringing down the bad guy. A dark knight of sorts, in 1962's Season Five, the U.S. State Department pays Paladin to help stop a political rebellion, as bloodless as possible. And, as progress begins to change the face of the Old West, Paladin is still an old-fashioned heroic gunslinger, but he now finds himself on the case of a female bandit who is determined she can steal just as well as the boys. In one of the most thrilling episodes of the season, Paladin helps out the inventor of nitroglycerin after he loses the dangerous, highly-explosive chemicals in the heart of Old San Francisco. Count on the courageous Paladin -- no matter if it is in the middle of a big city or deep in the wilderness -- to get the job done. The ladies dig him, he strikes real fear in the heart of outlaws and he is one of the last genuine believers in justice, honor and being an all-around good guy. And, best of all, he doesn't mind traveling to get the job done. Have Gun Will Travel is a '60s hit that has stood the test of time -- it's still as exciting and thrilling as it was nearly five decades ago. (Only On DVD)
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Lionsgate
Sword Of War
Adventure star Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins, Blade Runner) stars in this legendary tale of battling kingdoms and fearless warriors. In this Italian-backed motion picture, Hauer portrays the iconic German Emperor Barbarossa, a warrior who fears no man and decides to embark on a quest to revive the powerful European empire that was once ruled by Charles The Great. But Barbarossa has enemies and people who want to stop him on his bloody trek. The Company Of Death, an army of approximately 900 warriors led by a mysterious fighter from Milan, are willing to risk their natural lives in order to stop the German emperor from dominating any land on the European continent. Filled with incredibly captivating and realistic sword battles, compelling snapshots of the rich and lush European countryside and powerful performances from Hauer, Raz Degan (Alexander), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) and Kasia Smutniak (From Paris With Love), Sword Of Power is perfect for fans of sword-and-sand movie epics. (Only On DVD) Bonus Features: Behind-The-Scenes featurette.
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Universal
Les Miserables
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this eight-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from legendary producer Cameron Mackintosh, a special performance of the musical -- with Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers in the role of Marius -- was filmed at the O2 in England for posterity and its release on this Blu-ray or DVD. In the musical based on Victor Hugo's famous 1862 novel set during the French Revolution, this special production (of over 500 performers and musicians) features the talents of Elfie Boer as Jean Val jean, Lea Soling as Fan tine, plus Norm Lewis (Avert), Matt Lucas (Headier), Jenny Galloway (Madame Headier), Camilla Keepsake (Colette), Ramón Carrillo (Encores), Samantha Barks (Eponym) and several members from the various British casts of the musical that originally ran at London's prestigious Queen's Theatre in the West End. If you are not one of the 60 million people who have seen the musical on stages around the planet, you don't know what you have been missing. But, if you are a big fan of Les Miserables, then you will have to own a copy of this spectacular production. They pulled out all the bells and whistles for this commemorative package to add to your collection of various Les Miserables movies and filmed productions. Get it! Bonus Feature: "A Whiz With Miz" featurette.
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Acorn
Fresh Fields, Set 1
A funny empty-nester comedy from England, Fresh Fields stars Julia McKenzie (Agatha Christie's Marple) and Anton Rodgers (Lillie) as Hester and William Fields, a happy husband and wife who are learning to adjust to the trails and tribulations of middle age. With of twenty years of a good marriage behind them -- complete with raising two wonderful children who have moved out -- Hester is ready for a new challenge in her suburban life. She doesn't know what her new start in life should be, exactly, so she starts off light by taking classes in activities such as pottery, jogging, fencing and painting. William just isn't interested in change. He's quite happy going to his job as an accountant and returning home like he has for the past two decades. Somehow, though, he is always getting pulled into Hester's new hobbies -- which don't always go smoothly. A hilarious look at how the British deal with becoming middle-aged, Fresh Fields was a hit on the English airwaves and the crazy misadventures of the Fields are just as funny here across The Pond. (Only On DVD)
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Warner Bros
All-Star Superman
Although there is another live-action Superman about to go into production, until it hits theaters, the animated, full-length feature film All-Star Superman will keep you just as entertained and on the edge-of-your-sofa as any other flesh-and-blood motion picture could. Set during the Man Of Steel's final days on Earth, this brilliantly-animated film includes the stellar vocal talent of James Denton, Christina Hendricks, Anthony LaPaglia, Frances Conroy and Linda Cardenelli. In the film, Superman heads towards the sun to save a mission that has gone terribly out of control (thanks to the meddling hands of Lex Luthor). Although he is successful in saving lives, Superman didn't realize the radiation from the sun was over saturating his inner body, wrecking havoc on his cells and causing fast degeneration. Realizing his days may be numbered, and he is truly facing death, Clark reveals who he really is to Lois, tries to change Lex's feelings towards humanity and in one selfless act, he finds a way to make sure Earth will be safe after his death. Exciting, enthralling and exhilarating, All-Star Superman (a part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series) is filled with the best in computer-generated animation, a dazzling story and incredible vocal performances. Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Incubating The Idea" featurette - with writer Grant Morrison; Audio Commentary with Animator Bruce Timm and Grant Morrison; All-Star Superman Digital Comic Book; Standard and High Definition versions of the film and a Digital Copy on disc of the feature film.
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Lionsgate
Memento
Even with the release of this 10th Anniversary edition of the classic film from director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) there are still people -- two decades after its theatrical release -- still debating over the meaning of the twists and turns that occur in the film. There's no doubt about it, Memento is a masterpiece, but it is a film that requires you to think. Even if it means exerting some brain power, the pay-off is worth it. For those of you who have seen it already, there is no need for me to discuss the story-line. For those of you who have never, ever caught Memento, for some ungodly reason, I don't want to ruin the surprise ending. But, I can tell you this much. It's wonderful that it has finally made it's way onto Hi-Res Blu-ray, it stars Guy Pearce as Leonard, a man who suffers from a rare brain disorder, his wife is murdered and he takes viewers on a wild and trippy journey to find out who really killed her. Taken from Nolan's original short story Anatomy Of A Scene, once again, all I can say is don't miss out on this anniversary Blu-ray because you will want to see it several times to figure it out, even if you have seen it several times already. There is no doubt about it, Chris Nolan is a patron saint of cinema. Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Remembering Memento" and "Anatomy Of A Scene" featurettes; IFC Interview with Writer/Director Christopher Nolan; Commentary with Nolan; "Memento More" - short story by Jonathan Nolan; Feature Script; Tattoo Gallery and Leonard's Journal.
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