Exclusive: Andy Dick Chats About Employee of the Month
by Alex Billington
October 5, 2006
Employee of the Month is a comedy opening this Friday, October 6th, about two employees at Super Club, a bulk-discount retailer, who battle against each other for the coveted title of "employee of the month" to win the heart of a recent hire. Employee of the Month is directed by Greg Coolidge. Read our other interview with star Dax Shepard.
Listen to the Interview:
Read on for the complete interview!
FirstShowing: Well Andy I wanted to start off just asking you, tell us about your character in Employee of the Month.
Andy Dick: Well, you know the whole thing takes place in a Costco-like mega-store, you know that right? Do you guys have Costco- where are you located?
FS: We're in Colorado Springs, we got Costco, we got Sam's Club, we got it all.
AD: Oh I filmed a movie out there with Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland. It was actually my very very first movie, it was called Flashback.
FS: Oh my gosh, I love that movie - yes!
AD: Well I was ultimately, and sadly, cut out. And I mean completely, the whole scene was gone. And they loved me, though. I remember I went out there, I filmed for a day, went back home. And then they called me back up and said they loved your scene so much they expanded your one page scene into a five page scene. They want to fly you back out because you were just so funny. I flew back out, I did this whole five page scene. And then it was all for not, because it ended up on the cutting room floor. But I remember it being absolutely gorgeous out there, just gorgeous.
FS: Yes sir, we'd love to have you out here some time.
AD: Take me, give me a reason, and I'd be there in a second.
So my character, his name is Lon. I don't know if you've ever been in a Costco, did you say you do have them out there?
FS: We do, we've got lots.
AD: They call it, cause there's legalities to using names, so we called our store Super Club. And so Super Club and all Costco's, you can get whale blubber in bulk, you can get anything. You can get flat-screen TVs, you can get missile launchers. You could literally buy a whole gym for your home. And also get some batteries. And the place is anything you want, anything you need. Including, and this is where my character fits in, a little island off to the side where you can go in, get your eyes checked, pick out some glasses. And your glasses, with your prescription in them will be ready in about an hour. And they really have those! In some Costco's… And my character is the optometrist. The irony about my character is that I have these coke-bottle glasses, so I can't even see my hand in front of my face, let alone here I am checking your vision for you. So that's the irony of my character.
And I have a scene, I think, with a bombshell blonde. I think you've seen it in the trailer. I actually am throughout the whole movie, I co-star in this movie, I play one of Dane Cook's characters, his character's name is Zach. I play one of his best friends, along with Harland Williams who is [whistles] top notch co-mode-ian. That guy's one of the funniest guys out there. Him and I spent a lot of time together, because all of our scenes were together. I don't know if you've had Harland on your show, if you haven[t, you've got to get him on, cause he is just a crack up dude. That guy is funny as- can you say the f-word on your little show? Well, the steam is gone, anyways, I was going to say he was funny as fuck, but the moment's dead. Dead as my gimpy leg.
FS: How was it working with Dane Cook on his first leading role?
AD: He's the most awesome man out there. The sweetest guy… he's intense, he is intense, I'll give you that. The other thing is he's never had a drink of alcohol in his life. And that is why he's so smart. He's got a handle on, like, what's up with the human psyche. I don't know if you've ever heard his stand up, but he really has some insight… especially like what it is to be in a relationship. His newest thing, Vicious Circle, was so funny. [Laughs] I really loved a lot of Vicious Circle. Right now I'm thinking how he's sneaking back into his house, holding that one key to the door between two fingers and all of the other keys are clamped in his fist so they don't make any noise, as he inserts the key and tries to sneak back, tip-toe back into the bed with his girlfriend, because he's been out cheating. Have you seen-have you listened to Vicious Circle or seen it?
FS: We have not yet…
How was it working with Greg Coolidge directing, since this is his second film.
AD: When you say second time, this was his second feature film, but he's done a lot of shorts. It seems like it's his 100th film, because he was calm, cool, and collected. He just had it together. The best part about him was he would let us do our thing, we could improvise, we could rewrite our lines, and yet he would always, as any good director should, he would take the smartest take, the most subtle take. A lot of directors, the bad ones, will have you get bigger and bigger and bigger. They hear the line, and they're used to it. He wrote the script as well. So what happens with a lot of directors, is you do the line, and they're already used to it. They don't get how funny it is on the page. And you don't have to do much, like my Scout Master used to say. When you're sawing a log in half, let the saw do the work. You don't put any pressure on it, just move it back and forth, let those teeth just grind that log right in half. And a good script is like that, you just let the script just speak for itself. Just let the saw do the work. And he just let us do it, let it flow out. And he never pushed us to be big, in fact the exact opposite it. He would always take the more subtle take. Cause I saw the movie, and I'm like, I'm so glad that he took that take me from and he didn't opt to go cracker bananas and go weewoohoo, hey look it's crazy, drunken Andy again!
FS: So you like the fact that you didn't have to be quite so intense in this film?
AD: Yea, that's really not me. My humor is much subtler. I don't know if you remember 'News Radio,' but I really like it a little quieter, a little subtle, and just more fun. When you see me on the Pam Anderson Roast or the Pam Anderson Roast Roman-Numeral-Two, a.k.a. the William Shatner Roast. That stuff is fun and out there and crazy and really inspired a lot by vodka. So those things are fun. But I really prefer to just work… it's more miniscule, and it's tinier. You can afford to do that in a movie because the camera is right up your nose. It's right there catching every subtle nuance, every little thing you do. The microphones are so sensitive, you can whisper, like this, and talk ever so gentle, and they can hear you. I'm like, you probably couldn't really even. In an iPod situation, whoever's listening to this is probably on some kind of elliptical machine, and unless I talk really loud like this, they're like 'what,' they can't hear what I'm saying.
FS: Very true. So do you think the fact that Greg had kind of an acting background, did that help quite a bit?
AD: Yea, oh yes, that definitely helped. I guess what they call that is like, he is an actor's director. Yes, that definitely helped. He's been in our shoes. He has walked more than a couple miles in our shoes. So he knows how to talk to an actor. He knows what to expect from an actor, he knows what not to expect from an actor. An actor can only give you what's in his repertoire. I used to have a joke with Maura Tierney, who's now on 'E.R.,' and she's just a very somber woman. She's bitingly sarcastic and very funny, but in a very dark way. And one time, Paul Simms, the creator of 'News Radio,' says 'I need you to be more,' I think he used the word 'excited, in this scene.' And I said 'excitement is not in Maura's repertoire,' she can't even mock it up. Actors, we can only do so much. And I guess the better the actor, the more crazy attitudes and emotions and accents and dialects they can do. I mean look at Robin Williams, he can do anything, any accent, any dialect, any emotion, any attitude. When you've got that as your equalizer, to play with the buttons, man you can just play any role. That's why he can do comedy and yet he can be some psycho, creepy killer.
FS: Andy, I'm curious, you mentioned 'News Radio,' what was cooler, working on 'News Radio' or 'The Ben Stiller Show?'
AD: I don't know what one. Those two, they carry equal weight for me, because they both meant a lot. And they're very very different. Because 'The Ben Stiller Show' was my first big gig, so that has a special place in my heart, and there's only 12 episodes. So we didn't even really work for a full year, so the very quick, very flash-in-the-pan. What just happened, what I'm on a show? Oh, it won an Emmy? It won an Emmy for writing. It's like 'what, oh, wow!' And then all of a sudden I'm on another show that turned out awesome - 'News Radio.' And that latest for 5 years. So we're talking about a little show that we did 12 episodes versus another show that I was on for 5 years. And when you're on a show for 5 years, your definitely going to go through some ups and downs. Maybe I wasn't quite ready, that was when I first entered rehab for the first time - by the way I've been in rehab 7 times since - that was when I first start having troubles. It wasn't as easy as I had thought, things were coming too fast, too soon. I've settled down so much more. I think things are coming my way again this time and I'm ready this time. I'm 40 years old. So We're talking 15 years later. I feel the same excitement that I had when I was doing 'Ben Stiller' and 'News Radio,' cause they really were back-to-back. They were in the same era for me in my career, 15 years ago. I feel that excitement once again, and like I said, it's 15 years later. I love where I'm at right now, I love how I'm feeling. I haven't been drinking ever since the Pamela Anderson Roast Roman-Numeral-Two, a.k.a. the William Shatner Roast. And I'm grateful, I'm feeling happy, I'm feeling excited.
Lionsgate did Employee of the Month. They've got a movie coming out that looks spine-chillingly creepy about a priest - I don't even want to get into it I saw it a preview for it not too long ago - oh my god. They just put out different kinds of movies. They're different, they're fun. And my point is, they bought my first movie. My directorial debut. I wrote, directed, and starred in a movie called Danny Roane: First Time Director. I made it with my own money, I had my friends do cameos for me. I flipped that gat-damn script, as opposed to me doing all these favors and whoring myself out like some cheap French floozy, and doing all these favors for them. I had Ben Stiller come in and do a quick scene for me, I had Jack Black come in, do a quick scene for me, I had Bob Odenkirk come in, do a quick scene for me. All these people are in my movie and then Lionsgate, they were so smart to snag it up, they bought that, and that should be coming out sometime next year. It's done, it's in the can. We filmed it, it's done. It's funny as hell, you'll love it. If I can, it's funny as fuck.
Also, just so you know, Jessica Simpson, really liked - and I guess, maybe more so her dad, cause her dad handles her career - what I did in Employee of the Month so much that I'm going to be doing Jessica Simpson's next movie. She's doing a remake of Working Girl, so I'm co-starring in that with her later along with Luke Wilson. It'll be my 4th movie I've done with Luke Wilson. I haven't had a big movie like this since In The Army Now, which was also around the same era as 'News Radio.' So that was 15 years ago as well. I've probably done 20 movies since then, and I've even been leads in movies: Best Men, Bongwater, but these are movies that never came out. You know, they went straight to DVD. Or I did cameos in big blockbusters. Like Dude Where's My Car?, Loser, Old School, Road Trip, Zoolander, also those funny little cute, cute - yea but that doesn't make a career, that does not make you a movie star. I'm on in a new era!
FS: Well, Andy are you ever going to do straight drama? We'd love to see you do something serious.
AD: Yes, one time I did, I was one of the leads in a movie called Larceny. I just gave it away, but I wind up being the serial killer there everybody's looking for. And that my character is the most paranoid about, like 'oh he's right around he corner!' yea, I know, he's you, I am the killer. So I've done that, that movie's called Larceny. But, hell yea, I would love to follow in the Robin Williams footsteps. I'd love that.
At this point I'm just going to do a little bit of everything. I've got Broadway in the works, believe it or not. And then I've got a comedy album coming out at Christmas. That's all done. That's ok… Somebody just recorded it live one day, and my live shows, they ain't much. I just get up on stage and I kinda meander around verbally and I talk and talk, like I'm doing now. And then I answer questions. They slapped it on a fucking CD and they're going to try and fucking sell it, and I'm like 'no one's going to buy it.' I said, here's what you call it. I was talking, and then I say, 'are there any more questions.' And the bartender at the club, from the back, and you can barely hear him, screams out, 'yea I have a question, do your shows always suck?' And that's the title of the comedy album, Do Your Shows Always Suck. That's a doubled-edged sword, 'no, they don't always suck, so this one's sucking now, and this is the one you bought.' No, they don't always suck.
And then I've got a music CD coming out, with Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century. I can actually play a song for you right now, though. We literally wrote last night, and we wrote it for Jessica Simpson.
FS: Would you, would you mind?
AD: Yea, I'd love to. I don't know how… Do you have your guitar? Good. I'm turning my AC off. Hang on one second.
[In the bathroom] So I got to tell you once again, we wrote it last night. I'm going to the bathroom. Can you hear that? It's coming in loud and clear.
FS: That's not something you hear on every interview.
AD: I have to keep the toilet lid closed, because my cats drink, they drink out of the toilet, and that's just nasty. Hang on one second, my son's calling.
[On the phone] Lucas I'm in the middle of a phone interview, what's going on? Medium size boxer briefs, medium size - black, medium size boxer briefs, and yea I'll take that pasta, hell yea.
I wrote a song for Jessica Simpson, cause I really like her. She's one of the sweetest girls I've ever met, and she's real, real pretty. So, I hope she hears this song, she hasn't heard it yet. It's kind of a… premiere, what's it called? It's like an exclusive debut, you get the first look to a song I call 'Jessica.'
Jessica, Jessica, you had a thing for Nick Lachey.
Jessica, Jessica, you didn't seem to mind that he was gay.
Jessica, Jessica, I too have a little bit of gay in me.
Jessica, Jessica, so I was thinking maybe we, could drink,
Beer. Lay on my bed and drink more beer.
Show me your double-Ds, and I promise not to drink too much,
Pass out and pee,
On your leg.
Jessica, Jessica, I hope you appreciate the things I do.
Jessica, Jessica, I left my 9-3-hab for you.
Jessica, Jessica, let's sneak off and drink some wine.
Jessica, Jessica, we could have a real good time, and drink, red wine.
You get naked and we drink more wine.
And I promise not to get too drunk, throw up in your,
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, blonde hair.
AD: I screwed up a little bit. I'm getting better, but… How long is this fucking interview?
FS: We are done sir, I appreciate it so much for you coming on the show.
AD: Your welcome. Oh, I forgot to tell you one more thing. And I know I just asked a question. But I have a Comedy Central show in the works as well. By the end of the year, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised.
FS: Outstanding, I'm guessing it's going to be a departure from the whole Carlos Mencia, Dave Chappelle vein of things. You're going in a whole new direction?
AD: I'm going to go backwards in time, and I'm going to re-visit Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, Jack Paar, and the original Tonight Show. It's going to be retro. Not only that, I'm going to show you how we make a show like that. It's what they call a 'hybrid show.' So I'm going to have the show and then I'm going take you behind the secret velvety curtain, so you can see the delicious buttery goodness and how it's all brewed up on the stove.
FS: That sounds awesome, I love the old school stuff.
Thanks to Andy Dick and Lionsgate for the great interview! Catch Employee of the Month in theaters this Friday!