Tribute's Bonnie Laufer talks to Steve Zahn
Riding in Cars with Boys Now in theatres!

Q: Steve, great to have a chance to talk with you again. You were recently in Toronto for the Film Festival hyping up Joyride; did you have a good time?
A: Actually, yes I did. I love Toronto, I have spent a lot of time up there working. There's a lot of stuff going on there.

Q: Well, your most recent role as Ray in Riding In Cars With Boys must have been a bit of a challenge seeing how you had to play a guy who ages in the film over a 20-year period.
A: Ya, you know that gets hard. A good character makes your job a lot easier, I know it sounds corny but a really well written character makes it. What's hard is that kind of thing where you are, like, how old am I now, and am I high school kid today? The whole night you are saying to yourself, no way, no way!!! Then there are extras that are real high school  kids and you're like, dude how old are you? And then you start thinking no way; this is NOT going to work. What have I gotten myself into? This guy is 18. I can't do this.

Q: It must have been fun to go back though, huh                                                                           
A: (sarcastically) Ya, kind of, I guess.

Q: Is it harder as an actor to play someone based on a real life person?
A: I guess it depends. Ray is a real life person but at the same time he's not playing this adorable figure where everybody has this idea of what he is like and you have to follow that and stay true to it. It's a movie, it's a stage and its my interpretation of that person and it made it kind of hard because the real Beverly was around on set a lot and even though it's entertainment we are still telling her story, so thats what makes it hard.

Q: With having Beverly Donofrio on set, did she discuss with you what Ray was really like or did she leave it to you and the script?
A: No, she was pretty cool about it. She was very aware of the fact that making this movie was going to take on a different life than her book and that was refreshing. Otherwise, it could be really hard if someone is standing over you saying, you know, Ray didn't do that, no he's not like that. I know that I did things that her husband would never do, but at the same time, again, it has to be entertaining and it's not a documentary.

Q: So, is Drew Barrymore really as sweet and innocent as she seems?
A: Nope!!! She's got you all fooled! Just kidding, yes she is. What you see is what you get. For someone who grew up in this business and has been known since she was such a little girl and is such a nice person. it is so completely refreshing. She is truly unbelievable. Trust me, there were times on that set when I would say to her (yelling) this coffee is horrible, get me some more, come on it's 5:30 in the morning. She never did stuff like that. I'd always ask her, are you going to yell at least once on this shoot? Come on, get pissed! 

Q: You have been so busy lately it's always exciting to see what you are going to do next.
A: Well, thanks.

Q: When you get a script is there is there anything in particular that you are looking for that you really want to do?
A: I'm like a kid still so if I read a script where there are fast cars I'm there. Or if I get something, for example, where I'm on a mountain and I can be a cowboy, that's fun stuff. How cool would that be? What it all really comes down to is reading a character that you think that you can do well. That's the hard part. finding that, and you hope that it falls into something like the war picture or the western. There's a lot of balancing involved, especially when you have people knowing what you do and associate you with certain types of characters.

Q: You recently reunited with Ethan Hawke whom you starred with in Hamlet and Reality Bites, but now he has directed you in a film called Chelsea Walls that we will be seeing quite soon. How was he to work with as a director?
A: You know what? Ethan should direct, a lot! He's dynamite. I was very impressed. After we finished Chelsea Walls I went right up to him and said, dude, let's find another project that we can act in and you can direct. He is amazing. There are a lot of people, and actors, who say "I want to direct now" and they try it out, but I have to say that Ethan is a  natural.  I think that he's got it in him. I don't think that I could do that, I don't think that way. But Ethan is an amazing guy who's got many talents.

Q: I just recently watched the DVD version of Dr. Dolittle 2 with my kids in which you provided the voice for Archie the Bear and you will soon be reprising the role of Monty in Stuart Little 2. Is it more fun doing voice work? Do you like it better than being in front of the camera?
A: I do like it and it is completely different but it is very hard work. It was harder than I thought it was going to be. But when they really let you go it is such a gas. On Dr. Dolittle 2 we had so much fun on that thing and it was so loose. We'd go about ten hours every day just making jokes and try to come up with stuff. It can be really fun. It is a blast but a lot of hard work,. though. People don't realize that.

Q: Coming up next we are going to see you in a film called National Security. Can you tell us a little about that one?
A: It's an action comedy coming out next spring. It's Martin Lawrence and I being crazy. We are real crazy guys together. We play security guards who get into a mess of trouble. Let's leave it at that!

Q: Sounds great, we'll look out for that. Good luck with everything and thanks for the chat.
A: Take care.