The Hot Seat: Zach Galifianakis
The Hangover star makes the jump from miming baby masturbation to Disney.
Tue Jul 21 2009
Zach Galifianakis, while long known to stand-up fans, became a hard-to-pronounce household name only after a legendary performance in this summer's surprise blockbuster comedy, Todd Phillips's The Hangover. And although he claims nothing much has changed in his day-to-day, Galifianakis appears ready to assume the mantle of world's funniest hirsute comedian. In Disney's G-Force, he plays a scientist who trains a group of special-agent guinea pigs to save the world from global terrorism.
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On your Web show Between Two Ferns, you interview celebrities. Now you're something of a celebrity yourself. How does it feel to be on the other end?
It doesn't feel any different. It's just a major inconvenience. Nothing has really changed; I have had people yell at the airport, "Are you still hungover?" Jesus Christ, is this what it's about? Is this the thanks you get? I've learned to put huge headphones on so I wouldn't seem rude. Just let them know, "C'mon, I'm listening to Steely Dan right now. I can't hear you."
There is a lot of Internet speculation on what you're doing next.
Oh, I know. How can people get through their day without knowing? Isn't there a war still going on? I don't know what I'm going to do. I think I know what I'm doing, but these things get jinxed. I'm doing a kind of Planes, Trains & Automobiles movie with another actor, whoever that is. Kadeem Hardison.
He was awesome in The Sixth Man.
It'd be great to bring him back.
Is The Hangover 2 a done deal?
No one has signed on. I mean, we'd love to work together and make that happen, but there's no script yet. I'm sure they will bring it together, but it's hard to top that first movie.
You can cash in, though—that movie made bajillions.
Yeah, but to what end? What am I going to buy? Some new shoes? What do people buy?
No idea. In G-Force, you head up a special team of highly trained rodents. Are there real-life applications?
Well, they're kind of doing it. Animal operations. Flies have microchips on them. We can all sit back and let zebras fight our wars for us. Yo, why don't we do that anyway? Look, whatever country, send your animals and we'll send our animals.
We'll send our best and brightest animals.
That way nobody gets hurt. Except the animals. Well, that's bad. Nobody wants the animals to get hurt. Going beyond that, I hope society gets to the point where they say, "Okay, we have a dispute. We don't like you, you don't like us, but whoever comes up with a really good idea for a kite wins the war." And no money is lost and no feelings are hurt. And there's a voting process.
Papal decree can decide it.
No, see now it gets complicated already. You don't want some magician, or whatever he is—some guy who talks like Dracula—deciding.
Is a homicidal half-ferret, half-hamster the role Steve Buscemi was born for?
It's just like the play he did years ago at the Wooster Group. You don't know this, but G-Force was an Off-Off Broadway show.
I'm not a big theater enthusiast...
Well, you need to do your research. It was Steve Buscemi. Jeremy Irons played Blaster [voiced in the film by Tracy Morgan]. Juarez [voiced by Penlope Cruz] was Edward James Olmos.
Have you considered referring to yourself in the third person as G-Force? With your newfound celebrity and last name, it seems like the move.
[Laughs] Well, the way G-Force would do it... You mean like that?
Yes, exactly. How about an endorsement deal with Gillette?
No. I have been asked to do endorsements, but I will not do them.
What if someone gave you your own sneakers?
Oh, the G-Forcers?
Yes! Or your own pair of Rollerblades.
That I would probably do. Who doesn't like Rollerblades? Nothing from Gillette yet, though. They haven't asked. Either that or Nair. I used to have to put Nair on my grandmother's face, so I'd rather do something for them.
G-Force opens Fri 24.