Exploring ‘unelegant’ male bonding is funny: ‘The Hangover’ director (Interview)
New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Todd Phillips has made male-centric Hollywood comedies like ‘Road Trip’ and ‘The Hangover’. The director, whose latest outing ‘Due Date’ follows a similar path, says he finds it funny to explore the ‘unelegance’ of male relationships.
‘I find relationships between guys to be inherently awkward. When I watch a movie like ‘Sex and the City’, I like it and it’s fun, but I notice that the women have such an elegant way of interacting with each other,’ Phillips, 39, told IANS in an e-mail interview from Los Angeles.
‘And guys just don’t have that elegance. So it’s just funnier to me to explore that ‘unelegance’,’ he added.
Having made guy-centric comedies like ‘Starsky & Hutch’ and ‘School for Scoundrels’, Phillips hit a high with the stupendous success of the small budget 2009 movie ‘The Hangover’.
But he took a creative break by filming his second road trip comedy, ‘Due Date’ without fearing comparisons with his mega hit.
‘It was fun to dive into ‘Due Date’… I never think of it like, ‘Oh, it has to be as big as ‘The Hangover’.’ I like the comparisons because it’s a great movie, ‘The Hangover’, but this (‘Due Date’) was its own thing,’ said the director.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, ‘Due Date’ released worldwide last Friday.
Shot in Atlanta, Georgia, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, it revolves around soon-to-be first-time dad Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) who finds himself in Atlanta without a wallet, while his wife (Michelle Monaghan) is set to deliver in LA in just a few days.
Compelled by the situation, he’s forced to ride home with an airhead wannabe actor-cum-man-child Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis).
Phillips is sure ‘Due Date’ will also get its due just like ‘The Hangover’.
‘While I was filming ‘The Hangover’, the writers of this movie (‘Due Date) were working on the first draft at my office and I thought, ‘Boy, I really want to find something to do with Zach right away’, because you know he’s so great in ‘The Hangover’. And so that was how it started,’ said Phillips.
Commenting upon the presence of Robert Downy Jr., he said: ‘It was easier than I thought it was going to be.’
Not many know that Phillips has also made blink-and-miss appearances in ‘Road Trip’, ‘Old School’ and ‘The Hangover’. So any plans to take it further into a full-fledged role some day?
‘Well, I play the same character in every movie, sort of the guy named Barry, whom we also call Mr.Creepy… I think some directors like to put themselves in their movies as like a saviour. Like M. Night Shyamalan will do that sometimes. I like to be the most deviant guy in the film. I think that’s just more appropriate,’ said Phillips, who would love to come to India for ‘a pleasure trip’.
So, has he watched any Bollywood movies? ‘I may have seen a couple of them but don’t really remember names.’
‘The Hangover Part II’ hits the screens May 26, 2011.
Asked if ‘The Hangover’ brand would also see a franchise in the making with a third outing or may be more, Phillips diplomatically answered: ‘That’s to wait and watch!’
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at email@example.com)