ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com sat down with the chummy duo as they talked to us about starring in the superhero comedy:
CS/SHH!: You know they talk about courage in a role, but I think it took a tremendous amount of courage to wear that gray suit.
Tim Allen: Oh, boy, the movie would have been, actually, getting into that suit. I actually told the producer and the writer, who happened to be my partner, because he and I wrote one draft of this, that the superhero movie should be watching guys get in superhero suits. Because it took two guys literally moving my privates around, going ‘ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!’ and I thought the movieâ€¦there’s a lot of stuff that didn’t end up in this cut. It’s more like Knightsâ€¦superheroes to me. That’s what I thought. This was set up to be a parody of that. Because puttin’ the suits on and then you’d have a trailer like Batman would have, ‘oh, look at Batman’s trailer, he’s got a huge semi and six people’â€¦you’d actually dress in that stuff then go fight and get out of it – ‘Batman’s got to hydrate. Bring him back in.’ And, ‘god I’m so hot. I didn’t realize the Flash was so strong.’
CS/SHH!: Which superhero did you relate to most growing up and talk about the correlation with being different like superheroes vs. being an actor?
Courteney Cox: Was Bewitched a superhero? [Tim says “YES!,” while we think “no!”] Ok, goodâ€¦well she was my favorite.
Allen: Which husband?
Cox: I liked the first one.
CS/SHH!: Why was she your favorite?
Cox: Well just ’cause I love witches and she was pretty and she could you know go from place to place with just a little twinkle of her nose.
Allen: (Laughs) These people don’t like you already.
Cox: But that first answer about the superhero suit-that was a good oneâ€¦(everyone laughs)
Allen: It was. I just didn’t talk about my sack or anything. I wanted to be Flash. That’s why this character came up. I read comic books when I was a kid all the time and all of them had problems. Superman was a little creepy because of the Kryptonite thing. Because he could be brought down by a frickin’ green rock, horrible. That Lex Luthor already seemed to have an endless supply of, so you always bring out that. But the Flash, they never really examined how fast he could go. And that’s where Matt Carol and I designed the back story of Zoom – is that there really is no end to how fast he can go. The balance of this shifted-skewed a little younger ’cause the real sci-fi had to have a lot of pipe laid and the studio said it would just get too long. But the idea is that Zoom, if he starts running, he really doesn’t know how to stop. And that’s how the original problem arose because he sent the guy into another dimension because he could barely stop himself, and he scared himself so he kind ofâ€¦when you do something terrible, you put a limit on yourself and you don’t want to go back again and that’s why I always liked the Flash. Because no one ever discussed how fast could the Flash run. And we thought if thisâ€¦here’s a geek-I’m still like an 11-year-old-if this guy Zoom, when says ‘I’ll be back in a second,’ he literally would be standing there and goes, ‘got it.’ And the studio went, ‘well, how do you show that?’ And I go, ‘that’s not my problem. My problem is I think it would be funny if the guy was [Allen makes a bunch of sound effect noises of a guy moving quickly] No noise, I’m back because I can run that fast. I literally had the studio look at me like you people are looking at me now, (mockingly) ‘wow, that’s interesting.’
CS/SHH!: Can you relate to that whole feeling of being different?
Allen: Look at her face. Has she ever been not accepted? She was in that popular group.
Cox: When I was a kid I didn’t feel like I fit in because-this is really silly and I probably shouldn’t say it, but, I didn’t think anything was funny. So I used to go home and literally cry to my mom and my step-dad at the time. I didn’t think anything was funny-I couldn’t laugh. And all my friends thought everything was really funny and I didn’t. So that was really a big thing for me to be able to learn to laugh. And then of course I got to work with Tim Allen.
Allen: Like years later though.
Cox: That’s true. I got to work with some funny people and it really helped me because I’m not kidding. I just am a snob when it comes to humor.
Allen: Bruce Springsteen’s funny (everyone laughs)
Cox: Does that apply at all my way?
CS/SHH!: Who helped you find your humor?
Cox: Jim Carrey was probably like…
Cox: No, Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, all the cast of “Friends” and Tim Allen.
Allen: It’s not ’cause I’m just sitting here-yes it is. The thing about that I like is when kids, especially boys are a certain age, they feel powerless because you don’t have any control over your emotions and your testosterone. Comic books are an outlet for kids and that’s why-because they feel powerful andâ€¦this is a weird thing to say but that horrible situation in Columbine with two kids that never had any adults that would ever tell them that what they were thinking was not unusual-all that megalomania stuff and the fascination with Nazis. For some reason in a certain area of a boy’s life they feel powerless, and you look at those, the boots and all that military stuff and you get fascinated by it and that’s why superheroes were an outlet for me. And if those kids had just had some mentors-I still believe if they had just had some older guy to say, ‘that’s creepy stuff you’re thinking. It’s even creepier to act on it, but it’s not abnormal. You’re not different. You feel powerless about girls.’ I remember reading that kid’s diary. There was just recently in [it] where he said he could never meet girls. It’s so sad that something like that will fester. But when I was kid, we just dreamt-the powerlessness you feel for some kid at about 11 or 12. Spider-Man, one of the best ever. Is that he’s a fallible guy, always twisted, and he’s always deciding whether he’s going-when I was a kid, ‘I’d steal some money. I’d take just a couple cars, you know, and still be good.’ I wanted to kind of do both-rob from the rich, but keep a little bit in your garage and then give the rest to the poor. Sorry I said that. That just came outâ€¦(aside to the press)’he wants to rob from the richâ€¦’
CS/SHH!: Tim were you aware of the “Galaxy Quest” parallels?
Allen: Yeah, this was all about that. But it was a real tough sell because “Galaxy Quest” was real delicate, and the parody reality of it. And I’m saying it out of respect for Sony, because it was tough to tell them that this was what it was all about. The underlying thing and there’s still-and I’m being even conservative-85% of the Galaxy Quest-ish look at Superheroes is still in this. They still wanted to skew it so kids would understand but they left a lot of the adult references in it. The only thing that we’ve kind of glossed over, and I’ve literally, in my life, ’cause I love comic books, is what would superheroes really do right now with what’s happening Lebanon? If you had flames that could come out of your eyes, just stand there and, ‘look out!’ Have you ever seen a bus fall off a bridge? Anybody? Anybody ever seen trains derail? The reality is that superheroes would sit in superhero firehouses and wait for s**t to happen that just doesn’t. And eventually one gets bored and goes AWOL, and then you got to go get him back. That’s what superheroes do. And I had this long speech in the movie, explaining that essentially that you just go get rogue guys. That’s what superheroes doâ€¦you don’t actually do anything. You’re never around burning buildings. Is there an alarm? Superman can get there quick-he’s the only guy that can do that. But how busy would he really be? He would be so busy. You know blowing out fires, stopping domestic disputes, come on? Please, don’t make me break your back with my little finger. The reality is that superheroes couldn’t do what civilians get ourselves into and that’s where I wanted this parody to go. There’s just not much for us to do. And that’s why this guy was angry and had that speed shop. He just went AWOL himself and just didn’t really want to be part of that and I said there is still and element, like the flying saucerâ€¦there isâ€¦you know it’s a 100% of what I wrote in there. I want it exactly like that 50’s spaceship but that they got the gag, and we never really figured out how fast we could make it go so it only goes this fast. There’s all these little references to – if that was a real world what would superheroes be? They wouldn’t be the X-Men. I mean literally I want to get into, ‘what are you wearing, what is that sh*t you wear? Who designs that?’ The best example unfortunately was written about the same time this concept was, was The Incrediblesâ€¦remember that whole series about how they had to make that wonderful woman in there-actually it was a man’s voice. But they did try to make why they have the S’s and all that stuff. It’s kind of stupid really. The X-Men, it’s because they all had that weird leather thing going on, but remember there was a kid in X-Men that looked at Magneto’s hair and said, ‘creepy head.’ But yes, this wasâ€¦and it was real struggle for us because all the way through it we had to keep changing because X-Men, actually, they were making itâ€¦leaning on us-they didn’t get the parody aspect. So they were saying you can’t have this, you can’tâ€¦because they own every single superhero attribute. You can’t have a guy wearing glasses in a movie with one eye or something, it was like weird, so we’d have to change the script all the time. So it was real struggle to keep it a satire and a parody and have a through line that kids and adults would enjoy.
CS/SHH!: Courteney, you have some pratfalls in this? Did you get lessons from Chevy Chase?
Cox: I didn’t ask for lessons from him. Tim, you helped me with my pratfalls.
Allen: I pushed her down a lot.
Cox: But it was fun. I was glad that that was part of my character as opposed to just being the girl in the movie. It was fun to play kind of a klutzy scientist obsessed with comic books.
CS/SHH!: You actually pushed that yourself? More of that flipping and falling.
Cox: It was one of those things where I read the script and I knew that I wanted to work with Tim, and I thought it was really sweet and fun adventure film. But I thought that the girl’s character was a little too much like the girl’s character who at first she’s not attracted to the guy and whatever. I remember Tim saying, “I would be attracted to that.” But I remember saying to him, “But I wouldn’t be attracted to you.” Not in real life but [laughs] But he was wondering how he’d be attracted to me. I’m like, “It’s a movie. Deal with it.”
Allen: That’s a good acting note. “It’s a movie. Deal with it.”
Cox: No, but I mean he wanted me to be really strong and beautiful. And I’m like, “No, I’m a nerd. I should be obsessed with you.” Yes, I’m a little goofy but maybe I’m funny and you’ll find me endearing. I think it worked out.
Allen: It did.
Cox: But I just didn’t want to play the typical girl.
CS/SHH!: Being around Chevy Chase and Tim Allen, was there more improv in this?
Allen: Tell him how funny Rip and Chevy were.
Cox: Well, yeah, this movie was definitely quite a place to hang out because we have Rip Torn and Chevy Chase and Tim Allen and then myself. And we have some younger kids. Just the personalities were pretty fascinating. Rip is something, very talented and he’s kind of out there. Then Chevy who is always doing, not pratfalls now, but everything is a joke. And generation gaps. And then Tim. It was crazy.
Allen: I like stirring stuff up.
Cox: And Tim likes stirring stuff up.
Allen: Yeah, baby!
Cox: By the way, Tim cuts up all day. The only time he gets a little not nice is around 4 o’clock. His blood sugar drops and he needs some food. Other than that, it’s non-stop jokes from the time you get up until the time that they call wrap. Except for 4. It’s like, “Tim, what happened to your personality?”
Allen: (imitating flatline sound) Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
Cox: Get him some protein, people.
Zoom opens nationwide on Friday, August 11.
Source: Heather Newgen