Andrew Tom says: Paul, what was the biggest surprise moving from directing TV to directing movies?
A very good question! Directing TV you're more in service of the show runners
and writers, and with movies you’re more of the storyteller, so ultimately more in control. But fortunately I have been involved with shows that have allowed me more input than most shows do, like Arrested Development, The Office and so on.
Greenpeace says: Chris - how did you become involved in the film?
Chris: I just auditioned for it like any old bum, and then through a selection of repartee and sexual favours things worked out.
Paul: I was a massive fan of Chris's because of the IT Crowd, so I nearly fainted when he walked in, plus his chemistry with Kristen was immense.
Groomzilla says: Hi Chris! I saw you at Seinfeld the other night (do not be alarmed I am NOT a stalker, although that can be arranged for a small fee). What did you think? Did Jerry knock it out the park?
Chris: I thought he was great, he was really wonderful. In fact, he did this funny thing afterwards, when I went to get my picture taken. Actually, I was just backstage and he asked me over to say hello. He'd seen the movie and loved it. I went over and stood with him, and while the photo was done, he said: "You know, it's not necessary for one man to put his hand on another man's waist."
Andrew Tom says: Chris, based on the success of Bridesmaids in the US, will you now be taking over Matthew McConaughey's and Gerald Butler's rom-coms?
Chris: That's more than I can possibly hope for!
Quentin_Cappucino says: I hear there's an amazing diarrhoea scene in Bridesmaids. What's the secret to pulling off a great diarrhoea scene? And did you shoot stuff for that too rough to include in the final cut?
Paul: We shot a lot of stuff, some of it was rougher, because we knew we were going to sort it out in the editing room, but ultimately we thought it was better to imply most of it.
David Callipygous Smart says: I have a question for Paul on behalf of my little sister who I made an instant die hard Freaks And Geeks fan recently: Had it gone on past that first glorious season, what would feature in the plot, particularly in the budding or perhaps fading romance of Lindsay and Nick?
Paul: Hmm... I knew I wanted Kim Kelly to be pregnant, and I wanted Neil to join Swing Choir, but now Glee has taken that dream away. And I knew I wanted that season to begin with Lindsay having overdosed at the Grateful Dead concert, but aside from that we were wide open...
OddDaze says: Do you guys get annoyed about how much press the film is getting due to it starring women and it actually being funny? Would you prefer if the press just took the film at its own merits? P.S. I've seen it and I thought Chris and Jon Hamm were very funny, both are male I believe.
Chris: "You believe"
Paul: I'm thrilled that it's a movie that "proves" that women can be funny, and I kind of wish that people stopped comparisons with Hangover, to be honest...
Chris: I find it weird that people talk about women being involved in the movie as if it were like dolphins were starring. "Will humans not get it? Will this work out?"
OddDaze says: Chris has now wooed both Kristen Wiig and Anna Faris onscreen, does he have any tips for a hopeless romantic like myself?
Chris: Blondes are easy. No, really, I have no tips. Thinking about it, after talking about having sex with Kristen on Conan, I haven't spoken to her since...
bridesmaid says: Paul, how much of your memoirs, Kick Me / Superstud is actually made-up? Some of that stuff seemed totally unbelievable! How flexible were you with the truth? And what did you leave out?
Paul: It is ALL true. And my wife is horrified that I would write Superstud.
Chris: You are such a talented bastard. I had no idea you had memoirs!
|Chris O'Dowd with Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids|
lucy f says: How's the new series of IT Crowd coming along, Chris?
Chris: It's not coming along yet, but we're talking about doing something at the end of the year...
bridesmaid says: Paul, do you have a favourite American Office episode? Which episode did you most enjoy directing?
Paul: I loved the dinner party the most... My second favourite is probably the wedding. The most emotional one is the final Steve one, recently.
OddDaze says: Paul, were you involved right from the get go, or did Judd Apatow ask you to come on later?
Paul: He had Kristen write it right after Knocked Up and asked me to come to the first table read to think about directing it, but then the project kind of went away and I would check in about it every so often and ask him what's going on. Then out of the blue last February, and he said: It's going to happen, are you in?" and I said: "Yes!"
LOADING says: What TV shows are you both into at the moment?
Paul: I like Boardwalk Empire, personally.
Chris: I just watch A LOT of The Office.
Paul: I also like Miranda Hart's show, I just find her funny.
Little Big Flan says: You're both major players on the Twitter scene. But who do you most enjoy following on there?
Chris: I really like Jenny Johnson, she's really funny. She's like a news producer in Texas, and she just makes jokes about how much she hates her step kids.
David Callipygous Smart says: Paul, the most recent episode of The Office you directed (Steve Carrel's last, for those that didn't know) made me cry. Curse you. Oh sorry, that's not a question. Um, anything you know/can tell us about the next season?
Paul: I know nothing! Honestly!
TeamZissou says: Paul, will we ever see Kristen gracing the offices of Dunder Mifflin in the near future? Maybe tied in to the new regime? I'm hoping for Arnett to get the job! GOB needs a comeback.
Paul: I love Will Arnett! I don't know if I'm going to be doing much on The Office though, to be honest. I love it, but I thought I kind of wanted to leave with Steve. But I love that cast and all those guys over there...
emma says: Any chance of Bridesmaids part 2?
Paul: One never knows... in Abu Dhabi? Or Thailand?
Chris: The party favour is actually going to be someone leaping over a shark.
JimJam says: Paul, I read you directed an episode of Mad Men, what can you tell us about that. A lot different from The Office I guess?
Paul: Yeah, I did one in the first season called Shoot, and yes, it's less funny (intentionally) but because of it I got to befriend Jon Hamm, and so that's part of the reason why he's in Bridesmaids. That and his friendship with Kristen via SNL.
Pig Bimpin' says: Chris, you play a cop in Bridesmaids. What did you learn about police work for the role and are you now itching to make a citizen's arrest?
Chris: Well I lived as a policeman for three years in anticipation after hearing that the role of a cop had been considered -- also I'm a big fan of The Bill -- actually, the one piece of acting advice I took from drama school was one director saying: "The problem with The Bill is everyone keeps acting like a policeman."
OddDaze says: Paul, do you have fond memories of your time on Sabrina the Teenage Witch?
Paul: Ah, good times... It was a lot of fun until they unceremoniously wrote me out of the series in the first season. But that's good because that kicked me out of the actors' nest and into the director's chair, which the world has greatly benefited from. You're welcome, world. (I'm joking, of course)
Little Big Flan says: Paul, I recently read the chapter in Judd Apatow's book (I Found This Funny) about your horrendous experiences with the TV network while making Freaks And Geeks. Was working with the studio execs nicer this time around?
Paul: Um... Oh yes! On this movie it was great, Universal was 100% supportive of this project, and all the casting decisions, hence: Chris O'Dowd.
David Callipygous Smart says: Chris, how did you react to Graham Linehan's hoax purporting that Osama bin Laden was an IT Crowd fan?
Chris: So funny... I missed the story in the morning, so spent an hour checking the entire timeline and took a long time before deciding it was fake. I thought the way he handled it was so funny, bringing in The Big Bang Theory too and everything.
WillD says: Chris, what was the reason you chose to get into film, and acting outside the UK, after being in a quite successful sitcom?
Chris: I dunno... I wanted to work with people I admired! And was facilitated by Britain being bereft of a film industry.
PeterPeterPeter: Guys, who/what makes you laugh? I'm thinking stand-ups and/or favourite comedy?
Chris: To widen it out... I laugh more at animals. Funny cats, dogs. Just does it for me.
Paul: British comedy!
Chris: Louis CK makes me laugh I must say.
Paul: Always been an enormous Lenny Bruce fan, which sounds heady, but I used to listen to him all the time.
Chris: I'm really glad you left mentioning Lenny Bruce until AFTER I mentioned funny cats.
Quentin_Cappucino says: I am eating a sandwich and wondering what is your favourite sandwich?
Chris: A shit sandwich!
Paul: I eat those all the time!
Paul: I'm gluten free, so I can't eat sandwiches... thanks so much for bringing it up! *silently weeping, eyeing plate of sandwiches next to Chris*
Quentin_Cappucino says: Oh, and your favourite Muppet? What is your favourite Muppet? (Mine is Pepe the Prawn)
Paul: Hmm... I do love The Muppets.
Chris: The guys in the thing, in the balcony. Statler and Waldorf.
Paul: Beaker is my favourite.
Chris: I went to watch Rainbow Connection on Jason's new film, it looks fantastic.
odddaze says: Paul, have you ever considered (with it doing so well on DVD and all) making a new Freaks and Geeks style show, maybe a Next Generation type thing?
Paul: It's been talked about in the past, but I'm so happy with what we've done I want to step away before I ruin it.
Groomzilla says: who would win in a fight: Kristen Wiig or Tina Fey?
Paul: Oooo... wow. I know them both, so...
Chris: I'm going to say... COMEDY!
Paul: Or Lenny Bruce.
odddaze says: Any plans to release Kick Me or Superstud in audiobook form? I do so hate to read.
Paul: I would love it if some book company wants to pay me to do it. Or I could just read it into a tape recorder, I guess.
David Callipygous Smart says: Chris, were you asked to alter your accent at all for the film's American audience?
Chris: I was *forced* to do my own accent. Finding my American accent characterless and drab, like all Americans (*Paul and Chris fight, comedy loses*) -- I was given Irish accent lessons. Weirdly, by the character who plays the Lucky Charms guy...
bridesmaid says: Chris, what's it actually like behind the scenes at the Empire Done In Sixty Seconds awards? Really, really? Also, how did it feel to meet Chris Hewitt for the first time?
Chris: Thanks for emailing, Chris Hewitt! It was a really fun, Jameson-themed event.
TeamZissou says: Real important question here: is Jon Hamm as beautiful in person? There's nothing wrong with a bit of guy love right?
Paul: He's even more beautiful than you could imagine. When he goes to the bathroom, kittens come out.
Chris: Which isn't actually as nice as you would imagine. Because, you know, he means the *front bathroom*.
Pig Bimpin' says: Since you're in the Empire office now, can you tell us whether they are freaks or geeks? And is there any cool stuff lying around that you're going to steal?
Paul: It's all very cool. Wonderful people. There's a stack of CDs in front of me, which is confusing.
littlemooo says: Chris, how long did it take you to read The Crimson Petal And The White before you took on the role of William?
Chris: Oh God, I'm still reading it! No, really, it was like six weeks.
|Chris O'Dowd enjoying February issue of the Empire iPad edition|
David Callipygous Smart says: James Franco... Seth Rogen... Jason Segel... Were you aware, Paul, that you had today's stars in your hands when you were making Freaks And Geeks?
Paul: Is that what I had in my hands? I knew they were great, but I didn't know if America would figure that out.
Pigeon Army says: Chris - According to the glorious database that is IMDB, you had an early role in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake as "Sid's Customer #4". Do you see a return to your dramatic roots in the near future?
Chris: I am going to work my way, chronologically, and creatively, to 'Customer'.
Chris: Thinking about it, that was one of those films, where Mike Leigh doesn't tell you what the film is about unless it was relevant. So I went in and did a funny scene, did a little dance. Still had no idea what it was all about as it was about to come out, and someone I knew had seen a preview and said how dark it was. "What do you mean, dark? It's about abortion? WHAT!?" I did a diddley-eye impression. He kept it all in, which was weird. It was an abortion buffer. I'm an abortion bufferer. Another title for my memoirs, I guess.
bridesmaid1995 says: Paul: Arrested Development is awesome. Thank you for your contributions! Did you enjoy doing it as much as we enjoyed watching it?
Paul: Yes I did! An extremely funny group of people. And lots of laughs behind the camera! Did I mention I just shat my pants, by the way?
David Callipygous Smart says: My brother and fiancee are getting married next month. Any advice for the wedding? Will seeing Bridesmaids scare them?
Chris: Are you not jealous? Does your brother like your fiancee? There's nothing we can do to help here. So you might as well see the movie...
odddaze says: Do you guys have any views on the recent news that the BBFC has banned The Human Centipede 2?
Paul: I never saw the first one, but some people thought it was so insane it was almost funny because of that. That said, I am against censorship of any ******** kind.
adamdfisher says: Chris, with the 'Little Crackers' which one apart from your own was your favourite?
Chris: I like Julian Barratt's.
JimJam says: What was it like working with so many women?
Chris: I didn't! I just worked with Kristen and Annie, the writers, and Paul.
Paul: And I'm the girliest of them all.
Chris: So what I'm trying to say is, I didn't have to dumb down at all, really.
Paul: I loved it, personally. Though I can't follow Chris's answer there.
TeamZissou says: If either of you could work with one person you never have before, past or present, who would it be?
Paul: Ghandi! I hear he was very funny.
Chris: I'm going to go with the editor of Human Centipede 2.
Scarecrow Asylum says: Chris, big fan of the IT Crowd. How often do you get your lines quoted to you on a daily basis and is it annoying or great to be appreciated as the comic talent you are?
Chris: People are so, so nice. Very positive about the show, I really appreciate it. Twitter has meant that I am asked about turning things on and off more than I feel comfortable with, mind.
Pigeon Army says: Chris, Paul, this one's for both of you for ten points - Do you have a favourite Pokemon? If so, what is it, and why? I will be grading your answers, so please, no cheating.
Chris: Ichicock. Definitely.
Paul: The Human Centipede 2.
JimJam says: What's the last movie you watched and enjoyed?
Paul: I just saw Senna, it is awesome. So good.
Chris: In America. Loved it.
edible_animal says: I'm going to Bridesmaids tomorrow, should I dress up in a frock? Did you for the premiere?
Chris: Thanks for the question, Clive. Why not? Go for it!
TeamZissou says: As much as I'm sure I'm gonna love Bridesmaids, I have to say that my favourite comedy of the last ten years is the remake of The Wicker Man. Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Paul: Mine is Breakdown. With Kurt Russell with truckers. Smart guys vs dumb guys. Two hours gone there if it's on TV for me.
Chris: The one film I've seen more than any other over the course of the past two years is my girlfriend's favourite movie, a beautiful story of masculinity and triumph in an enclosed vehicle: Con Air. She just can't say no.
Paul: Thank you so much, readers of Empire for being so cool and I hope you all like Bridesmaids. Peace out!
Chris: Thanks for having us, losers!