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Bill Hader Talks Working With Pal Greg Mottola On 'Paul' & 'Ghostbusters 3' Rumors

Photo of Christopher Bell By Christopher Bell | The Playlist March 17, 2011 at 5:02AM

Comedian Also Discusses Two More Potential Mottola Projects: 'Dog of the South' Adaptation & An Untitled Vigilante Doorman Film
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Comedian Also Discusses Two More Potential Mottola Projects: 'Dog of the South' Adaptation & An Untitled Vigilante Doorman Film


Though we haven't decided to change the name of the site to something involving Bill Hader, it seems we've talking about him non-stop lately but not without good reason. The funnyman has a very entertaining part in the upcoming "Paul," not to mention wealth of promising projects in development that he was more than happy to talk about including "Vaughn Meader," "Henchmen" and "The Hand Job." Plus, there's always that inevitable "Ghostbusters 3" question that everyone of a certain age froths at the mouth for. Needless to say, there were plenty of topics to cover, and below, Hader talks the uncertainty of certain projects and working with close friend Greg Mottola for a third time.


The Playlist: So you are rumored to be a part of "Ghostbusters 3." How did that come about?
Bill Hader:That would be pretty amazing. That was all news to me, I probably read about it on The Playlist. Like 'Whoa, that's neat,' but I have no idea about that. No one's called me about it. I mean, my agent said, "You know they're working on 'Ghostbusters 3,' right?" and I'm like, "Yeah, that would be amazing" and he's like, "Yeah!" but that's about the extent of the conversation. I honestly haven't heard from anyone [in that camp]. I mean it would be cool to be apart of something like that, that was obviously a huge movie for me growing up, but whatever happens, I will still go see that movie. If the 15 year old me told me that Dan Aykroyd mentioned me I'd be like, "Shut up!" It's very flattering.

You and Greg Mottola are also working on adapting Dog of the South Any updates on that?
I think now it’s me and [writer/producer] Rodney Rothman ["Undeclared," "Five-Year Engagement"] trying to figure out what our next step is with it. All three of us are writers so it’s like trying to figure out who would do it. I think it would be Greg, maybe. It came out in a really interesting way because it was when I was doing "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and Rodney asked me, "Have you ever read "Dog of the South"? Turns out we all loved the book, and the next question was and 'What are the rights situation with that?' And then suddenly we had it. But it’s a difficult book to adapt in a way.

How so?
Just comparing it to "True Grit," which has such a clear kind of goal and is such a clear journey/revenge movie. "Dog of the South" is kind of like that but it’s also kind of like this meandering… you think it’s going to go this way, it’s actually going to go that way. It reminds me of a Preston Sturges film in that way like "Sullivan’s Travels," you’re like, okay alright he’s going to go be a hobo and it’s like oh wait, he goes back to his house and it’s started all over again, then Veronica Lake’s living with him and it’s like, oh I didn’t see this happening! But it's great. But we'll buckle down, right now we don’t know what’s happening with it, but I hope something soon because I think it could be really fantastic.

Then there was a "Vigilante Doorman Comedy"...
I don’t think that’s happening. I think me and Greg just talked about it a couple of times. You never know it might come back, but as of right now, no we’re not really talking about it.

In 'Paul,' your character in this was evil and against type, was that fun to do?
It was my third movie with Greg and he wanted every character that I play for him to be different. So when I did "Adventureland" he was like, I don’t want this to feel at all like the guy in "Superbad," and for this he told me to get into shape, cut my hair short, and be really bad. My wife was like, "I was so shocked that you just fucking shoot John Carroll Lynch, it’s very brutal" and I was like, "Yeah, man it was good." [Laughs] So to answer your question it was very fun.

Did you look into anything for this role?
I thought about "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" a lot. Like George Kennedy and Jeffery Lewis, how those guys are in suits and get into the shitty car chase around the protagonist.. George Kennedy in that movie is evil, but by the end of it he’s crazy. Which I told to Greg and he’s like, "Exactly, yes."

How was it working with Greg Mottola again?
He’s the best, he really is. What I like about working with Greg is that, at least now, we’re so comfortable working around each other that that’s kind of what you always want, that you can feel comfortable and you’re loose and you can try stuff. And he doesn’t really talk to you a lot, he doesn’t preemptively give you a lot of direction before you show up. He kind of lets you do it yourself and see what your choices are and then he goes off of that which is interesting. He’ll say, "I would kind of not be so aggressive here, you’re not fully evil yet." It's nice that he has a lot of trust in you as an actor. I love that about Greg. I think he’s definitely one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with.

"Paul" hits theaters tomorrow.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Interview, Ghostbusters 3, Paul, Bill Hader


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