B.L. You get to play the token bad
guy in Mr. Deeds, so how much fun did you have with this
P.G. It's great,
you know. It's better to be the bad guy than no guy!
B.L. I would think playing a role
like this must have allowed you a bit more freedom than other parts
you've had. What was it like working on an Adam Sandler film;
is there a lot of ad-libbing?
P.G. Steve Brill who directed
the picture was the first guy who called me. We had done sex,
lies and videotape together, so immediately I knew I would be
among friends. I had every reason to suspect that Adam was a good
guy, even though I had never met him. Steve and Adam created this
environment on the set which was really similar to a lot of the
good experiences I have had. It was relaxed and everyone feels valued,
but everyone is very serious about the work and working hard. So
in that environment, when you feel valued, relaxed and you're
working hard good things can happen. So you stick closer
to the script than people would imagine, yet there is plenty of
opportunity for last minute inspiration.
B.L. You have a great tennis scene
in the film where Adam Sandler almost kills you. Couldn't you
manage to get in a few tips from John McEnroe, who makes a cameo
in the movie?
P.G. I think that Mac was
a little intimidated by me. He hadn't seen that kind of action
on the court for a long time. Not that he was there that day; we
had invited him and he didn't want to come. He was thinking
that it might remind him of himself when he was in his prime and
it was painful I think.
B.L. In your opinion, what is that
makes Adam Sandler so unique?
P.G. A lot of things make him unique. The people he surrounds
himself with are friends that are long standing, he's loyal
to them and he works incredibly hard. He doesn't punish anybody
about it. He's also a brilliant talent, a wonderful actor and
he knows himself and his audience. So he explores different territories
very responsibly and, usually, very successfully delivers a promised
B.L. Was it hard to keep a straight
face on that set?
P.G. Yeah, sometimes. Actually Erik Havari my cohort in the
film, used to just crack me up. I'd just look into his beard,
man, and it would just crack me up. There were guys in high school
who used to wear those Abe Lincoln beards and I used to think, "For
God sakes man, get a moustache!"
B.L. Up next, I understand that
you will be shooting a film in Toronto?
Yes, I will be playing Mandy Moore's dad, of all things, in
a film called How To Deal. I am really looking forward to
shooting in Toronto and working with Mandy.