Exclusive: Tyler Labine Talks SOMEONE MARRY BARRY, Raunch-Coms, and New Lingo
Someone Marry Barry
(LIMITED / VOD)
February 7 / 13, 2014
someone marry barry
WRITER / DIRECTOR: Rob Pearlstein
someone marry barry
Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans Jr., Lucy Punch,
Hayes MacArthur, Thomas Middleditch,
Amanda Lund, Frances Shaw, Wyatt Oleff
someone marry barry
In this hilarious romantic comedy, a trio of childhood friends schemes to find a wife for their socially inappropriate pal Barry (Tyler Labine, “Monsters University”). Their plan completely backfires when his new girlfriend Melanie (Lucy Punch, “Bad Teacher”), turns out to be just like him. The raunchy comedy features Damon Wayans Jr. (“Happy Endings”) and Hayes MacArthur (“Bachelorette”).
In his 20+-year career, famed funny-man Tyler Labine (IMDb | @TyLabine)—best known for TV series Reaper (2007-09/The CW) and Invasion (2005-06/ABC), and horror-comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2011)—has done it all: movies, TV, comedy, drama, action, sci-fi, and horror. Labine has been seen/heard (or heard) in recent studio projects such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Monsters University (2013), indie films including A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011 / TFF 2011) with Jason Sudeikis and Best Man Down (2013) with Justin Long, and will headline the upcoming, supernatural series Deadbeat for Hulu (April 9).
In his latest comedy Someone Marry Barry, Labine stars as the film’s eponymous ‘Barry,’ described by his friends as a man without propriety or couth, who can always be counted on to bluntly say what others are thinking but would (almost) never say out loud—in other words, ‘that guy.’
I recently spoke with the hilariously insightful Labine, who shared thoughts on the state of indie film, Someone Marry Barry anecdotes, his take on character creation and doing on raunchy comedy, and some new words to add to your repertoire. Here are some of the highlights.
someone marry barry
You’ve done a number of indies—specifically indie comedies and dramedies—over the past few years. What do you think about the recent emphasis on video-on-demand and digital distribution, and how that impacts whether these movies are getting made at all?
[F]or a while . . . you could make a small indie comedy for $25 million. That . . . just doesn’t exist right now. You can make a small indie comedy for $2 million. You can make a small indie comedy for three or four if you’re lucky. But nobody’s making the $25-to-$35 million small comedy film anymore. So, once people started to realize that that was the case, they started finding other ways to make their comedies for much less money, and that includes making movies that are on video-on-demand. It doesn’t have that stigma anymore of the old straight-to-video [movies], because On Demand is where people are watching movies now. People are in bed with their computers—that’s where people watch movies. . . . [People] want to watch movies at home, and they want to watch them when they want to watch them and how they want to watch them.
someone marry barry
[N]ew media is inventive . . . . [V]enues like Netflix and Hulu and all that, . . . they’re just being smart. They’re providing people with what they want, and I think as a result, you are going to see a lot more content. You’re gonna see a lot more movies that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get made in the studio system because it’s just not giving people money to make movies like that. So I think that’s why movies like Someone Marry Barry which was made for like less than a million dollars can be out there and getting this much exposure. Ten years ago that wouldn’t have even been possible. So I think it’s good for smart, talented filmmakers . . . . Yes, we’ll get more content, but there’ll be more sh–ty filmmakers being able to make films. But, in a way they’ll almost serve to single out the good ones even more. Because there’ll be so many people making them that you’ll really be able to notice the ones that are good, that are making these movies for nothing, . . . doing them really well, and . . . actually competing on the international market. . . . I think it’s going to help change things for the better.
Complete this sentence: If we like you in ______, we’ll love you in your new series Deadbeat.
If you like me in Reaper and Tucker & Dale, you will like me in my new series Deadbeat.
Someone Marry Barry is writer/director Rob Pearlstein’s first feature film. How did you get involved with it?
[Pearlstein] stopped me [at] a kids playground. I know it sounds like I’m lying, but it’s the truth. . . . There’s this kid’s playground down here in Santa Monica, and he was there with his kid and I was there with my kid, and he came up to me and was like, “Hey, you’re… Aren’t you Tyler Labine?” And I was like, “Yeah. Who are you?” And he was like, “My name’s Rob. I’m kind of a writer.” He was really like casual about it. He was like, “Anyway, nice to meet you, and maybe I’ll see you down here at the beach again.” And he kind of mentioned that he was doing a movie maybe. . . . [L]ittle did I know that . . . when he saw me roll up to the park with my kid, he was like, “Holy f–k. That’s Tyler Labine.” He had just spent a week like stalking me on YouTube watching everything that I had because he was like, ‘I think I want this guy to be the lead in my movie.’ He showed incredible restraint. . . . He seemed like he couldn’t have cared less that he met me . . . . And then like two days later, I get this phone call saying, “Hey, Rob Pearlstein wants to meet you at his offices and talk about this movie.” And I was like, “Oh, that guy! I just met that guy.” So super naïve. . . . I went in and met with him, and . . . it was really fun . . . . [W]e’re like a couple of chatty Cathys when we get together. We were on the same page about how that movie should go and how Barry should be portrayed.
What did you think about Barry the first time you read the script?
I was like, “Oh, okay. I’ve done this.” But, I’d never done it as a leading man. I’ve done like, you come in and steal a few scenes, and you’re like the asshole sidekick or whatever. But this was that character fleshed out, this was like this three-dimensional version of that character as a leading man, and I was like, “Oh, that would be a really fun opportunity to show that that kind of character is not just like a one-trick pony.” I always approach it as a three-dimensional character, but you can only ever show a certain amount of that because there’s only enough time in a half-hour sitcom or on a movie that’s about two other people—it’s like you always have to just get in where you fit in, but this was all about Barry. I just thought that was such a cool idea: Give that sidekick his own movie. I thought he was really likeable, but it was also going to be a challenge because I was like, “Well, there’s a really fine line to walk there between getting too disgusting and trying to maintain his likability.” So, it was a challenge I was willing to accept.
Was there anything specific that you thought might cross a line?
There were a few moments where . . . I was like, “Oh, s–t. . . . How do you make those words come out of your mouth and not sound like a pervert or a dick head?” There was nothing really in particular in the script that I thought was un-doable, but then oddly enough, ironically, when we get on set and start shooting, all sorts of inappropriate s–t starts flying out of my mouth, and . . . between [Rob] and I and everybody, we had to sort of keep reestablishing these lines. Like, “Yeah, that’s really funny…but that’s really douchey, you can’t say that. You can’t do it.” But most of the stuff that’s in the movie that really like…almost crosses the line is stuff that we came up with on the day.
So, we’re gonna get some good deleted scenes on the DVD?
I think so. Apparently though, Rob said a lot of the . . . stuff that we improv’d ended up in the movie. A lot of improv in the movie.
By you, primarily, or Lucy Punch or other specific cast members, or just really everyone?
Everybody. Everybody. It was like that whole cast me, Lucy, Damon [Wayans Jr.], Hayes [MacArthur], [Thomas Middleditch]. Everybody is either a writer or a stand up comedian or an improv actor. So, that wasn’t coincidental. Rob really wanted everyone to come in and like put their stamp on it, so we did. We f–king did, man. There were like lots and lots and lots of takes. . . . It’s funny when you think about comedy being this very spontaneous thing. It’s not, really—a lot of times it’s not. It takes a lot of forethought and a lot of discussion, and then you go up to the cameras, and . . . try and make it funny. But there were lots of like round-table discussions about improvs and where we were gonna put things . . . . [T]hose guys are all really great improv actors. Everyone I worked with was outstanding.
Do you have any personal tricks for keeping a straight face when you’re either saying or doing or hearing really ridiculous or really raunchy things?
No, I feel like if you’re doing that, you’re not in it. . . . If something really makes you crack, just crack and quickly recover and get back into it. Sometimes you can’t do it. Some of the s–t that Thomas Middleditch was doing on certain days . . . . [I]t’s just back and forth. You’re just like literally spit-taking at each other’s faces over and over again. . . . Once you start one-upping each other with the comedy, it’s like nobody wants to back down. . . . But . . . I really pride myself on being sort of free in the moment. If it makes me crack, then I’ll just go for it: I’ll crack. Or, if I’m gonna crack, I’ll turn it into something that can live in the script. ‘Cause people laugh in life, right? People f–king crack, so just throw it in there. But . . . I do pride myself on cracking other people, that might be my trick. Maybe I’m always looking for somebody else to crack or break up.
What lessons about friendship, or love, or both do you hope audiences take away from Someone Marry Barry?
This movie is akin to a biblical parable… I’m just kidding. Look, it’s not reinventing the wheel by any means . . . . [T]he ideas are age-old. [Y]ou’re always better off when you’re truly being yourself, and that when you tell [it] like it is, it’s the best medicine. . . . [B]e honest, be real, and be good to your friends, and to your partners, or your loved ones, or whatever. Just be real and be honest, and you’ll always thrive.
Do you think audiences will react differently to a male character who does some of the things that Barry and Melanie (Punch) do, versus the way they might react to just her doing it? Are some audiences likely to judge her more than they’ll judge you for some of the things she says or some of the things that come out of her body?
I think, if you’re talkin’ a pre-Melissa McCarthy world, then, yeah. Post-Bridesmaids, I feel like people are like, “Yeah, give me more. I wanna see that girl fart.” [T]here’s so much more leeway. It’s funny, even though I’ve played all these male characters, being the boob or the fat kid or . . . the gross-out guy, [and] even though I will never play the female version of that, because I don’t have the required parts, I always watched those female actresses that were doing it really well and I was like, “They don’t give them enough. They don’t let them do it.” You can tell there’s always some director going, “Well, you’re still a lady, you gotta really pull back a little on that.” But not these days. I feel like ladies have been given full reign, and it’s about time. Let them be gross, man. Let the girls be gross.
It kind of seems like in Someone Marry Barry and A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, you have characters that are very…
Yes, that…but also very much themselves, regardless of what others think, with a soft side to them. Do you seek that out or do you add that to characters? Or have you just had good luck that way?
A bit of both. I feel like sometimes I’ll read a script where they’ve got a character written like McCrudden in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, where you can’t just be this Sherman tank of disgusting-ness. There has to be a human quality in these characters. [With] these side-kick, gross-out characters . . . that I play, I always maintain that you have to let a little . . . humility shine through, or just some reality. . . . You’ve gotta let a little bit of their humanity shine through. But, in Someone Marry Barry, . . . the whole idea was that this [is] character that we’ve seen in so many movies as a side-kick, [and] Rob Pearlstein wanted to flush that guy out and let the audience see [that] there is a three-dimensional character there, with much heart and humility and disgusting-ness…and a raging boner 12 hours of the day. He can have it all, he can really have it all.
Is there a real life inspiration for this version of ‘Barry’?
Yeah, . . . from both me and Rob. Rob’s real-life ‘Barry’ is a guy that he went to university with, who was actually at the premiere the other night. I can’t say who it was, ‘cause I’m not allowed to, but I met his Barry and I was like, “Whoa, cool man.” It would’ve been nice to meet him before we shot the movie. But [I think] the term, a ‘Barry,’ . . . is really funny. I think people should start using it. We all have a Barry. I have a Barry; I’m certainly not exempt. I have couple of Barrys in my life. I used a little inspiration from [them], a little bit of art imitating life. . . . These people in your life where you are like, “Why am I friends with you?” There’s something, . . . an indescribable thing about those people that makes you still want them in your life, and that was the thing I had to . . . bring to the character of Barry. I had to make sure no matter how kind of f–ked up I was, or how douchy or disgusting or whatever, that there was still a likability there. . . . [L]ike, “There must be some reason why I let you almost destroy my life.”
Are there any other terms people should adopt from the script?
“Twunt.” We couldn’t stop using it on set. Once . . . that word was cracked open, it was really out there on the table. Twunt’s fun. Throw twunt around. Play with the twunt. Let twunt free. It’s a good word. It rolls off the tongue. You can make it be like, “Good for you.” You can make it sound really harsh. It’s one of those really great, rare expletives. It’s like a new one. How many new expletives do you know that are fun to use? So, I say, embrace it, embrace the twunt.
Someone Marry Barry is now playing in select theaters and
is available for rent on iTunes, Amazon, and other VOD platforms.
★ Theatrical Release – Cities & Dates ★
someone marry barry
Featured Image: © 2014 FilmBuff
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