John C. Reilly Interview

When /Film last spoke with John C. Reilly, it was for the recent alternative western The Sisters Brothers, in which he co-starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix. At the end of that interview, Reilly did briefly discuss the narrower focus of his current film, the Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie, which centers on a months-long tour the comedy team took throughout Great Britain and Ireland, transforming some of the classic bits (and some newly written ones) into live routines for the stage. By all accounts (including the movie), the tour was a rousing success after a rocky start, all of which is documented in the film, directed by Jon S. Baird.

With the impressive assistance of some flawlessly applied prosthetic makeup and a body suit, Reilly plays Oliver Hardy to Steve Coogan’s Stan Laurel, who shared a decades-long comedy partnership and friendship that was certainly tested by their failing film career and a fairly relentless touring schedule. Reilly and Coogan learned the routines, rehearsed the hell out of carefully crafted jokes, and their commitment to the performances is what raises the film above the level of the standard-issue Hollywood biography.

Reilly talked to /Film about his daily transformation regimen (marking his first real foray into acting with so much makeup), his partnership with Coogan, and what he hopes people take away from Stan & Ollie.

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stan and ollie review

There are few things more satisfying than having modern-day actors pay worthy tribute to their legendary predecessors, and the easily lovable biopic Stan & Ollie, from director Jon S. Baird, is almost nothing but that, with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly (along with some awards-worthy makeup) portraying arguably the greatest comedy duo in film history, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

The movie documents a period in the later years of their career, during which the two are having less success in motion pictures, so they are forced to take their show on the road, for a series of live theater performances across the United Kingdom. The tour—as well as their advanced age and failing health—takes a toll on them and their decades-long friendship, but with the help of devoted fans and their loving wives (played by Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda), the team keeps their work alive and thriving.

/Film spoke to both Coogan and Reilly recently about the grueling rehearsal and choreography that went into playing these iconic roles, as well as their deep devotion to getting these characterizations correct, especially for the benefit of the die-hard fans. First up is the Oscar-nominated (for writing and producing Philomena) Steve Coogan, who began his long career in comedy playing the sniveling radio/TV personality Alan Partridge, but maybe most beloved worldwide for The Trip series of films (three and counting), with fellow actor Rob Brydon, during which the pair drive and eat across different exotic locations in Europe, under the direction of Michael Winterbottom. Stan & Ollie has been in limited release since late last year and is now open wide.

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Stan and Ollie Clips

This weekend brings Stan and Ollie to select theaters in New York and Los Angeles before the film expands in the coming weeks. There has been plenty of praise for the film, especially when it comes to the lead performances by John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan, but if you need to be convinced to see this story about the later years of the classic comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy, a new batch of clips should do the trick.

Watch the Stan and Ollie clips below. Read More »

stan and ollie clip

If there was any doubt that Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly could do justice to the legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, that doubt is cast aside by the latest clip released from the biopic Stan & Ollie. The two comedy actors do their darndest to respectfully portray two of the most famous comedians of all times, the Classic Hollywood film legends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the newest Stan and Ollie clip, which features Coogan and Reilly giving an impressive show of physical comedy.

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stan and ollie review

Eventually, time comes to claim everyone – even world-famous comedians. Mercifully never dipping into maudlin sad clown territory, Jon S. Baird’s melancholy Stan and Ollie tracks the waning days of the great stage and screen comic duo Laurel and Hardy. Avoiding tedious biopic tropes that focus on how well-known people rose to fame, Stan and Ollie is instead more interested in endings. It’s a film about saying goodbye.

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stan and ollie first look

To say that Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have an uncanny resemblance of Laurel and Hardy in Stan & Ollie would not be an understatement. In full make-up and costume, their resemblance is shocking. If there’s a hope for Stan & Ollie, it would be that younger viewers learn about this legendary comedy duo and seek out their work.

/Film had the opportunity to talk with director Jon S. Baird in a phone interview to discuss his new Laurel and Hardy biopic. Sony Pictures Classics opens Stan & Ollie in select theaters on December 28, 2018.

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Stan and Ollie Featurette

Laurel & Hardy were one of the most famous duos of all time. While their antics on-screen were light, fun and hilarious, behind the scenes, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had some serious drama between them as they came to terms with the end of their careers. That’s what the new biopic Stan & Ollie focuses on, following the duo (played by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly respectively) as they embark on a variety show tour in the United Kingdom in 1953, and a new featurette takes a closer look at this touching story.

Watch the Stan and Ollie featurette below. Read More »

Stan and Ollie Trailer new

Stan and Ollie isn’t your normal biopic. Instead, the film covers a specific period of time – namely, the 1953 UK tour of famed comedians Laurel and Hardy. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly play Laurel and Hardy, and both appear to have disappeared into their respective roles. Watch the latest Stan and Ollie trailer below.

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Stan & Ollie Trailer

From the late 1920s through the mid-1940s, comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy rose to fame through their slapstick humor, appearing in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films. Now the Laurel and Hardy story gets the biopic treatment with Stan & Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the legendary duo. Watch the Stan & Ollie trailer below.

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stan and ollie first look

Laurel and Hardy, is that you? The classic Hollywood comedy duo were icons of slapstick comedy from 1927 to 1950, and it seemed like no one could replicate the magic of the legendary pair. But Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly come pretty close — at least in appearance.

Coogan and Reilly star as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, respectively, in the upcoming biopic Stan & Ollie. And in the Stan & Ollie first look, the actors look like near-carbon copies of Laurel and Hardy, right down to Hardy’s little fringe.

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