Comic-Con 2011: EXCLUSIVE Interview with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine for TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL
The horror comedy seems to be back in a big way this year. Some of the best highlights of the convention for me were KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM and TUCKER & DALE VS. THE EVIL, two films that are bringing the blood and guts and gore, but also the laughs.
During the panel, the director Eli Craig and stars Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, along with writer-producer Morgan Jurgenson, were on hand to talk about the film and premiere three clips that had the audience cracking up.
Keep reading for the premiered footage and my exclusive interview with TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL stars Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine after the break.
How did you get in the project?
Tyler: I came on earlier than Alan. I read the script and then gave it to my wife to double check. I have a hard time trusting my instincts, I’ve made some real stinkers. She screens my scripts for me; she’s just such a great gauge for me. I met Eli early on, and we jut saw things the same way on how things needed to be made. We took a chance on each other. I had no track record as a leading man, let alone as a romantic lead, and he had no track record as a director.
Alan: I read the script and talked to Eli on the phone since he was already up there (I came to set only three days before shooting started). While I was reading, I didn’t expect it to work; I thought you can’t keep this ball in the air people are going to call the cops and the joke’s going to get stale, but then he figured out a way to make it work. I kept saying, someone’s going to call the police and then wait, he did that, and he found a way to keep the ball rolling. By the time I finished reading, I saw it did work and it was funny.
There’s a specific scene in the script where I’ve been cut and it looks like I could be dying. I asked, “is this real? Is this serious? Is this going to be played serious, like I’m really dying?” And he said, “yes, exactly.” These are real people going through this, but it gets paid off for a laugh with a funny moment right next to it.
Tyler: Things aren’t funny if you don’t have stakes. You have to maintain stakes throughout the whole movie or else none of the jokes work.
This movie seems to play off TEXAS CHAINSAW, HILLS HAVE EYES, WRONG TURN, etc. Did you watch the movies and did they effect how you played the characters?
Alan: I had seen them, but they’re not the types of movies I like to watch. We watched a few really bad movies in our trailer, but then we realized that we didn’t need to be watching this because this movie is the opposite of those. We passed it off to the college kids because they’re the ones that needed to be watching. They’re the ones that are buying in to the myth.
Tyler: We should have been playing some Wii Bass Fishing to get into character, have a fishing trip every night!
Alan, I noticed you’ve done a lot of accent work between this film, TRANSFORMERS 3, and A KNIGHT’S TALE. How do you find and stay in that accent for your films?
Alan: I’m from Texas originally so this film’s accent is what I have when talking on the phone to family who are still back there. After a few days of shooting, it gradually became harder to get out of that accent though. Not a full accent, but the drawl definitely thickened. When I did Dodgeball, for a while after that my curse word became “Gar!” and I would always say to myself “stop that! Don’t quote yourself, it’s so ridiculous.”
Tyler: I had a problem for almost 2 weeks because I felt like I was more genuine and funny with that drawl. It’s a really comfortable, easy way to talk; it’s a lazy way to talk. I learned it from Alan, we had planned to reach for West Virginian accents but that’s in a higher register and it was easier to just go off what Alan already knew.
Tyler, I saw GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY a few months back and thought it was hilarious. How was filming that with so many hilarious up and comers at the time?
It was really, really fun. At the risk of sounding so cheesy, it was magical. We went to Wilmington, NC it was like…I don’t want to say sex camp, but it kind of works for this film. To make a movie like that, a lot of people were at the right place in their lives and it was just a magical thing about this cast coming together. It’s a cast full of up and comers, even back then they were at the beginning of being up and comers, like Jason Sudeikis was just a guy on SNL then.
It was just a lot of fun because we shot it mostly in chronological order and it’s all leading up to this big orgy scene, so there was this sexual tension all the time. There was a lot of teasing between me and the girls like Lake Bell with cracks like “Can’t wait to make out with you in two weeks….I’m gonna f*ck you!”
I wish I had more time with these guys, since they were hilarious and just great to chat with about the upcoming project. Everyone loved the trailer that aired during the Comic-Con panel, so rather than describe it, watch it here:
TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL will be on Video on Demand August 25, then out in limited theaters on August 31st.
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