Exclusive Bucky Larson: Kevin Nealon Talks to Movie Fanatic

Kevin Nealon met with the Movie Fanatic at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and gave us an exclusive look inside the world of the Happy Madison production team that created Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. Nealon also gives us an inside look at how Saturday Night Live shapes and centers a comic actor — a priceless addition to any performer’s toolbox.

Nick Swardson and Kevin Nealon in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star
In Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, Nealon plays the roommate of the title character played by Nick Swardson. The role allowed Nealon to let loose and show a side of him rarely seen on screen.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star follows the title character, as played by Swardson, an Iowa young man who without a job or hope, heads to his friends’ house for an evening movie. The film they take in is porn from the 1970s and it stars to Bucky’s amazement, his parents. Suddenly, Bucky feels he has a calling. He moves to Los Angeles and the film follows his exploits in becoming the star of the film’s title.

Kevin Nealon in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star
Nealon dishes what it was like to work with Swardson, as well as why he relishes his roles in the movies from Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison — who produced Bucky Larson. Nealon has starred in Sandler’s Just Go With It, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Anger Management and Little Nicky to name mention a few.


Kevin Nealon Exclusive Video Interview

Matt Damon Talks Contagion with Movie Fanatic

Matt Damon stars in Contagion and although his character is over protective of his daughter and rightfully so as an international epidemic had killed millions including his wife (Gwyneth Paltrow), he personally is not that affected by fear. Then again, his wife has a nickname for him. Read on to see what it is!

Matt Damon stars in Contagion
If Damon has reason to be protective, it’s because he has a beautiful family and a career that is anchored in superstardom. Each gives him cause for concern because as he knows, life and success can be fleeting.

Damon and his best bud Ben Affleck shot to stardom famously with Good Will Hunting and his since eclipsed his fellow Bostonian in the compiling of stellar roles department. From the Bourne series to The Departed to The Ocean 11 series, Damon does it like no other.

In Contagion, Damon is re-teaming with one of his favorite directors, Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, The Informant) in an all-star cast that harks of Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning Traffic. Damon visited with Movie Fanatic on one late August afternoon to talk about Contagion, why he has a new buzz cut and where he was on 9/11 in light of the attack’s tenth anniversary.

Movie Fanatic: Tell us how you, Steven and The Informant screenwriter Scott Z. Burns connected again on Contagion?

Matt Damon: We were getting ready to do something else — another project we’re still gonna do — and Steven called and said I’ve got this other thing and it’s… we really gotta make it now because it’s really timely. He said I think it’s the best thing Scott’s written, which is saying quite a bit. Obviously I think a lot of Scott. So he sent it over to me with a note that said read this and then wash your hands [laughs]. I just read that and I really wanted to be in this movie. It’s just a terrific, riveting, really fast read and really exciting and really horrifying — but managed to be kind of touching too.

Movie Fanatic: How difficult was it to wrap your head around this character in this situation that seems to many a million miles away?

Contagion Star Matt Damon
Matt Damon: It was kind of easy to relate to, it was just on the page. Working with Steven’s very different than working with anybody else. To give you an example of a day: We’d go and we’d shoot. We’d talk about what we were going to do. We’d figure it out and we’d execute the plan. And then we’d go back to the hotel, go to the bar and in the backroom of the bar, they’d deliver the footage. We’d just sit there and talk while Steven put on his headphones, opened up his laptop and kind of sat in the corner for 45 minutes or an hour. Then at the end he’d take his headphones off and turn the computer around and he’d show us what we shot that day. Cut. So, when you’re working that way it’s kind of like making a movie in your backyard with friends. The body is kind of out on the operating table and wide open. You just kind of talk about, “All right, what else do we need?” It’s very different from going off on my own, doing three months of research and showing up. It feels more like the hocus pocus is taken out of the experience.

One of my favorite scenes we did was the scene where I find out that my wife is dead very early on in the movie. I went to Steven and said, “I don’t know what to do. How do you do this scene? It’s five minutes into the movie. We’re not invested in me or her. You can’t have this big scene. What do I do?” And Steven goes, “The slump?” Everyone knows the slump [demonstrates a hunched over depressed look]. I said, “I don’t know. What do you do?” You’ve gotta have some shorthand. You can’t dwell on this thing. We’re five minutes into the movie. We had a guy there who’d done this a lot and we talked to him, this doctor who delivered the news. We asked for certain trends. And he said, “Sometimes people fall apart. But there is this other reaction that we get just as much.” I said, “What is it?” He said, “It depends on what kind of death it is. Is it the kind of death where you’re not expecting someone to be dead?” We said, “Right, exactly.” He said, “Oh, well, what you get a lot is absolute shock. It’s just too much.” So they have this specific way they put it, and Scott had written it in and it was close. But, he had written words like, “She passed away.” And this guy said, “No, no, no. She did die. You have to be completely specific and look at the person. You have the social worker with you.” There’s a whole script that they go on and they expect you to not even get it. They expect you to go, “OK, can I go talk to her?” Because that’s the reaction that they have. Working with these guys, I get up in the morning and I’m freaking out about how the hell I’m going to do this scene and I end up going to work and getting this scene that’s really interesting and I’ve never seen it done that way. I totally believe that’s the way. And these doctors that really do it say that’s actually the way it goes down a lot of the time. Great long-winded answer to a short question [laughs].

Matt Damon Contagion Still
Movie Fanatic: Are you an overprotective person when it comes to real life Contagion?

Matt Damon: In terms of an outbreak like this? With kids I’m probably more protective than I’ve ever been now that I have children. I try not to be. I mean my wife’s nickname for me is Red Alert. [Laughs] My tendencies would be a little overprotective without trying to be a helicopter parent.

Movie Fanatic: So do you like the buzz cut?

Matt Damon: Well, it’s for a movie. I’m doing a movie with Neill Blomkamp, who directed District 9. This is what the character looks like. I did shave my head once when I did The Brothers Grimm. I had a wig and it was easier to get the wig on rather than lacquering my hair down, so I just shaved my head and walked around in my regular life like this. I love it. It’s great in the summertime, real easy getting out of the shower [laughs].

Movie Fanatic: Do you have a favorite type of film genre?   

Matt Damon: If the director’s good and the script is good it all comes pretty naturally. And if those things aren’t in place, it’s impossible no matter what the role is.

Movie Fanatic: In light of the anniversary of 9/11, do you have any thoughts about that day you could share with our readers?

Matt Damon: I lived in lower Manhattan at the time. I just remember walking out of my apartment and seeing it and then going back in and watching CNN because I was so hungry for information, trying to figure out what was going on. I remember being glued to my television despite the fact that it was happening right outside my door.

Is a Third X-Files Movie in the Works?

While Gillian Anderson was promoting her turn in the Rowan Atkinson sequel to Johnny English, Johnny English Reborn, she said a little something that should have X-Files fans drooling in anticipation.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in The X-Files

Anderson admitted there was “something going on” in regards to a script being developed and that the “talk” about it seems quite serious. The actress even put a fine point on her sentiment about returning to the role of Agent Scully by saying, “You know what? Scully wouldn’t be so bad. I could do that again.”

Where the first X-Files film continued the TV show’s mythology, the second film could be thought of as a stand alone. In that manner, witnessing Mulder and Scully go at it once again would be welcomed news.

Movie Fanatic was recently thinking about what happened to X-Files’ Chris Carter and when we would hear from him next. His screenplay Fencewalker is in post-production, but it has been a few years since audiences enjoyed his work behind the camera.

X-Files ran for nine seasons before heading off into the television sunset, produced two films and legions of passionate fans in the process. Is there a hunger for another go from X-Files fans? You bet.

The question that immediately comes to mind is: Will David Duchovny be down for a third cinematic visit to the mysterious worlds of Agent Scully and Agent Mulder? Although the actor is killing it on Showtime’s Californication, there could be some serious interest on Duchovny’s part to get back on to the big screen — even if it means having to wield Mulder’s FBI badge once again.

Die Hard 5 Hires a Director

The only thing holding Die Hard 5 from hitting the screen soon was hiring a director. As Movie Fanatic previously reported, Die Hard 5 is a go, with a script written and Bruce Willis ready to be John McClane once again.

Bruce Willis at the Golden Globes

Die Hard 5 now has a director in John Moore. The man behind Flight of the Phoenix starring Dennis Quaid and Behind Enemy Lines with Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson has been tapped to bring Willis’ franchise back to the big screen for the first time since 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard.

The first Die Hard made Willis an international superstar when it premiered in 1988.  Although a script from Skip Woods is complete, no word as to plot points or where in the world audiences will find McClane in 2011.

Eddie Murphy to Host the Academy Awards?

After Eddie Murphy let his displeasure be known for not winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2003 for his role in Chicago, it now seems funny that it appears the Academy is wooing the actor to host their 2012 show.

Eddie Murphy Pictures

Yet, given its track record of hosts of late, maybe this news is not all that surprising. Last year, Oscar decided to give two actors the duties — James Franco and Anne Hathaway — to questionable results, according to some. Movie Fanatic didn’t find their performance all that bad, particularly Hathaway we thought shined.

Earlier this year, news started buzzing about Billy Crystal saying he was thinking of putting his hat back in the ring of people considered to be hosts for the 2012 awards. After appearing on the 2011 broadcast and witnessing the standing ovation welcome he received, Crystal said he got the hosting bug again.

But, Oscar needs new blood — that much is obvious. In Murphy they get a performer unlike any they have ever had as host. In fact, he possesses the perfect recipe of talents that could make an Oscars host for the ages. Murphy can sing and dance yes, but he has the stage presence and impeccable comic timing to make Oscars 2012 a night to remember.

Oscar producers Brett Ratner (who directed Murphy in Tower Heist, due in November) and Don Mischer could make an announcement before Hollywood heads to Canada for the Toronto Film Festival beginning September 8.