Stuber Trailer

It is funny that within this big action film, they have still put you in the role of this emotionally driven guy in a complicated relationship.

Kumail: Right! I think that the characters are different, in that the guy in The Big Sick is actually closed off in every way—closed of to his emotions. His head and his heart are completely disconnected, and the journey of his character is to put those together. But for Stu, it’s a little different. He’s in touch with his emotions, but he’s not comfortable expressing them or standing up for himself. He’s not comfortable being angry. He lives for other people and not for himself. Whereas, in The Big Sick, it’s the opposite—he’s selfish and doesn’t do stuff for other people.

How much of what we’re seeing here is actually you?

Kumail: Anytime someone is getting hurt, that’s Richard [his stunt double]. Anytime someone is whining, that’s me.

[Everybody laughs]

Dave: [Almost annoyed] That’s not true.

Kumail: Alright, I did some. I wanted to really, really learn—I really did. I was so excited about learning to do this new thing that I’d never done before, because I wanted to be good at it. A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to do an action movie. I wanted to be able to do a straight-up action movie, not even an action-comedy—I wanted to be an action hero. So I figured that an action-comedy is the way into that, so I learned a lot there. And I’m going to the gym a lot and hoping to do an actual action movie.

Dave: And you will do it. It doesn’t bother me that you don’t give yourself enough credit, but it does kind of bother me [laughs]. I’ve worked with actors who just can’t and they don’t have the pride or desire to step in there and do some action. Action and fighting is one thing; stunts are another. I’m proud to say, I have a great, qualified stuntman, and if it’s something that could result in serious injury, I’m more than happy to let my qualified stuntman do it because I’m not a stuntman. I don’t want to be set on fire or jump off a building. But I’ve seen actors who don’t want to throw a punch, and some aren’t qualified. I’ve worked with actors who, when you hit them, they spin in the opposite way of the punch. I’ve worked with those people, and you should give yourself more credit.

Kumail: Thank you, thank you. I did another movie after this where I actually get into fights. I’m not an action star in it, by any means, but it was good to apply a lot of the lessons I learned to that. I want to be good at it.

And to be clear, Stuber is not some half-assed action movie. There is blood and brutality. There’s a can of something that goes right into someone’s face at one point.

Kumail: [laughing] I’ll tell you, I was never sold on that beat and started having doubts and was like “What’s going to happen here?” And Michael was like “This can is going to go through this guys head,” and I was like “I’m not sure that’s going to work, Mike.” It’s so gruesome. And when it happens, it’s so funny. It’s this grotesque moment that totally works.

Dave: There are a couple of “Holy shit” moments in there.

There definitely are. But let’s face it, in some action-comedies, the action is superfluous because they’re trying to get to the jokes, but here it’s a solid blend of the two.

Dave: I remember saying to Kumail earlier, I didn’t know how good the action was going to be. I knew it was going to be funny, but I didn’t know until I saw it for the first time on screen how good the action was. It’s solid. We hold up to any action film.

Kumail: It looks great. And it really is firstly an action movie. The comedy is in it, but it’s structured and shot like an action movie.

Dave: With a lot of heart too.

With Michael or you guys, were there any touchstone films that you looked to in terms of tone?

Kumail: Yeah. For you it was Lethal Weapon.

Dave: Yes, but Michael also wanted me to go back to 48 Hours, because there was a certain feeling and vibe about Nick Nolte’s performance that was really unlikable [laughs]—he’s really surly and sully and insulting, and he wanted me to draw from that, not to that extreme because it’s a different time. But he wanted me to pick up that tone, and I used Nick Nolte’s character as a reference and being this big bull, grouchy and surly veteran cop, on the force way too long, obsessed with it. That’s all he knows, that’s all he wants to know, and he doesn’t really see outside that.

In a weird way, you need to get a heart, and Kumail needs to get courage; there’s a dog and something like a Wicked Witch. Can we fill out this Wizard of Oz connection? I’m sure that was at the forefront of your mind.

[Everybody laughs]

Kumail: I hadn’t made that connection, but you aren’t wrong. He needs to get in touch with his heart, I need to courage. Toto is in it.

Because of the nature and newness of rideshare, this isn’t a film that could have been made 10 years ago. Is it different making a film that is so of the moment?

Dave: I hadn’t thought about that until this moment. But I really just want people to be entertained and laugh a lot.

Kumail: Whatever you can use from the zeitgeist to create the situation, go crazy. You want to have these two guys handcuffed together, how do you do that? Well, rideshare is something that everybody uses and have become very reliant upon. Why not use that? I think some people might watch this movie and think it’s an ad for Uber. “Are you getting sponsored by Uber?” No, not at all. But the truth is, we probably said Uber more times today than we do in the movie. “I’m going to a party. Let’s Uber there.” That’s just how people talk now. No one says “Let’s go on the local search engine and look something up.” “Oh, you mean Google something?”

Of your great supporting players, I was especially happy to see Mira Sorvino back on the boards. What do you learn from working with someone with that much experience as an actor?

Kumail: You had more scenes with her.

Dave: We were also very happy to have her there. It’s still very surreal for me, and I felt that while we were there. I worked myself up a little bit on the night I first worked with her. “I have to be on tonight; I’m working with Mira Sorvino, Academy Award winner, Harvard graduate. Focus.” But I did work myself up a bit, probably too much. But I eased into it, because she’s such a sweetheart. Watching her do her thing is a privilege, but at the end of the day, she’s really just a good human being, and she makes you feel at ease and comfortable, so you don’t have to overanalyze things. You can’t get wrapped up in her achievements or the fact that she’s a beautiful woman, and there’s nothing she can’t do as an actor.

Kumail: We were lucky to have her. I remember there was one night, there’s a scene in the junkyard in the rain that was tough to shoot, and Michael wanted a lot of rainmakers. And we’re doing this emotional scene, and it’s literally the most wet I’ve ever been in my life. It’s like swimming pools are dropping on our heads, and I was like “Mike, it never rains this hard on earth! Where are we?” And we shot that scene until about 3am, and I was done, but he had to do this scene with Mira, and her call time was like 8am and we were running late, I remember. And I was drying off, and she was showing up to work, and I was like “How are you?” And she had such a great attitude, and she was like “If I have to do it, I’ll do it.” And in my head, I’m thinking that I would be livid if I had to sit in my trailer for seven hours and then had to stand in the cold rain for a very important scene for three hours in the middle of the night.

That could have been a very generically played character—and I don’t want to say too much about her role—but she brings something to it that you never expect, and it’s a great addition to the film. It was great to see you both. Best of luck.

Dave: Thank you very much.

Kumail: Alright, thank you. Does Captain America die? Don’t say anything. There’s no way Captain America does, right?

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: