Among the sea of comedic actors currently working in Hollywood, one of our favorites is Bill Hader, if not for his uncanny talent and savvy mimicry skills, then for his desire to strike out as a multi-hyphenate comic talent. Logging big time minutes in “Superbad,” “Knocked Up,” "Paul" and even “A Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian,” Hader’s developed a solid rep as a guy who can bring the funny in some of the biggest blockbusters around.
The next time we see him, though, it will be assisting his wife on “The To-Do List.” Written and directed by Maggie Carey, the sex comedy features hubby Hader in a supporting role as an employer who "collaborates" with Aubrey Plaza's lead character, a straight-A high school graduate who seeks to conquer her sexual inexperience through a succession of bedroom behaviors that would, let’s face it, probably make your mother blush. Hader recently talked to us about the film, currently in post-production, describing it as a “raunchy ’Sixteen Candles.’ Aubrey’s character’s a real type-A character, a real get-things-together type. She really goes for it too. I play her boss, her employer, and I kind of help her on her journey, if you get what I mean.”
As for the original title of "The Hand Job," don’t be surprised if it resurfaces. “ 'The Hand Job’ was the title of the script, but you’re looking for locations and you’re telling people, hello, can we shoot here? The movie is called ‘The Hand Job,’ ” jokes Hader. “[’The To-Do List’] is still a working title, it will probably change again. It might go back to ‘The Hand Job,’ it might be something else entirely.”
But while the title may change, the cast remains the same, and it's packed with sharp talent with folks like Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), Johnny Simmons ("The Conspirator”), Donald Glover ("Community"), Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), Christopher Mintz-Plasse ("Superbad") and Scott Porter ("The Good Wife") all set to appear. A sex comedy from the perspective of a woman who is seeking out various sexual conquests is certainly refreshing, and we're excited to see what Carey, Hader and their cohorts cook up.
While “The To-Do List” comes together in the editing room, Hader’s also in front of the cameras in a much bigger film, “Men In Black 3D,” where he plays Andy Warhol. Hader was “in awe“ of the experience, exclaiming, “It’s so huge! You go to the set every day and everything’s so big. And I get to sit in a chair and have Rick Baker do my make-up every morning, it’s a huge thrill.”
In response to the fluid nature of the film’s script, Hader, who exclusively worked on the second half of the film’s famously bisected shooting schedule, clarified, “It’s not like there were whole new scenes.” In fact, he made it sound positively Apatow-ian, clarifying, "We would do one version, then we’d shoot a second version, then a third version, and we’d kind of mash things together. It was never a question of what scene we were doing, it’s not like there was a guy with a typewriter sitting in a corner in every scene. It was pretty cool.” Hader specifically singled out the work of Josh Brolin, here playing a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones’ K character. “Josh Brolin’s Tommy Lee Jones is scary good,” he clarified. “Everyone came to the table read and he does it, and we were all like, ‘Holy shit.’ ”
Hader continues work on developing a biopic about famous impersonator Vaughn Meader, though development has slowed of late. “We’re really excited about it,” he says about the project, which he’s developing with director Robert Siegel (“Big Fan”). "Siegel’s take on it is really entertaining. He was a big Kennedy impersonator. We’re trying to do it as a big traditional biopic.” Unfortunately, he remained tight-lipped about the project he’s working on with producer Scott Rudin and writer Vernon Chatman. “I can’t talk about that. I’ll tell you when we’re shooting,” he says of his collaboration with the co-creator of a number of cult cable series’. “I can tell you it’s not a ‘Wonder Showzen’ or ‘Xavier: Renegade Angel’ movie.”
The news was not so rosy for the project once known as “House Of Joel.” The slasher comedy, which once went by the name “When A Stranger Calls A Dude,” was a collaboration between Hader, writer Simon Rich, and producer Judd Apatow, featured Hader as a man who realizes he once dated the Final Girl from a slasher masscare and must deal with the killer returning to kill him. “No, I would say that’s dead, I can tell you that,” Hader sighed. “Me and Judd were trying to figure that out. We wanted to do ‘Shaun of the Dead’ as a slasher movie. It was supposed to be a slasher movie, but we figured it had been done in ‘Scream.’ Once someone actually gets stabbed, it’s hard to make it funny, you know? I actually don’t want to say it’s dead, we just haven’t worked on it in a while.”
Hader can confirm that he’s still attached to co-star in a spinoff of “Tropic Thunder” centered on Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman character. “I think they’re still writing it,” he says. “They’re doing that at Red Hour, Ben [Stiller] is excited, Tom is really excited. I know I saw [screenwriter] Michael [Bacall] a while ago, and he was like, hey man, we’re writing the script, and you are in it!” With “One Shot” gearing up, and “Oblivion” shortly following, this one may be a way off, but until then you can catch Hader when he returns to "Saturday Night Live" this fall, and keep an eye out for "The To-Do List" list in 2012.