Your character obviously speaks French, how is yours?
Ah, my character speaks better French than I do. But I know how to say Allons enculés! But not very well, not very good at all. I really don’t speak any Spanish either. And I also don’t fly and I’ve never made any furniture.
What does Allons enculés mean?
It means let’s go mother fuckers. That’s good, right? I like to say it that way, not just let’s go but let’s go mother fuckers!
You could’ve worked that into the script somewhere.
I want that, I’m going to try.
I love how you say that you don’t want to be pinched because you want to keep the dream alive.
Yeah, that’s right. Yes. I wouldn’t pinch myself just in case I am dreaming. I wouldn’t want to wake up. Have you ever had a dream and then you wake up and you’re like, shit, I wish I could’ve gone back. Or you wish you would’ve known you were dreaming and would’ve done it differently, you know.
How do you take your celebrity status now?
Well, one day at a time. For the most part it’s totally fine, and nothing has really changed, and then some parts that have changed have changed a great deal. And that’s just something that is part of the territory, it comes with the job and it’s something you have to learn to manage.
Is that still enjoyable?
Oh the job is still enjoyable but celebrity is not enjoyable.
First of all, you’re not supposed to talk about how it’s not enjoyable because no one wants to hear that, you know. So I love it.
Does it get to be too much? Is there a point where you say, ok, that is just a bit too far?
Yes, constantly. There’s people outside of my house in the morning now and I walk out to get the mail and they take a picture of me. That sucks. I feel like I have to have my makeup on!
What’s it like playing the Alpha male?
There is something different about this character than the characters I’ve played before because each of the characters I’ve played before have had this sense of childlike wonder about them. Peter Quill was very much stunted as a child having been taken from Earth at ten years old, and Emmet from the Lego Movie was a wide-eyed, guileless kind of moron, you know.
And the same with Andy [Parks and Recreation]. Andy is very much a giant child. And so Colin [Trevorrow, director], when making this character, that was what he told me I had to shed. He said ‘that’s the third rail for you, don’t go into Andy’. This is not Andy. And I think it’s because this isn’t a child, this is a man. Owen’s been through a lot and he’s seen a lot. And he’s not a kid.
Do you feel like an alpha male now?
Not really, no, not so much. I care very deeply about what everyone around me thinks and I think an alpha male doesn’t care at all what people would think. I may give off the idea that I don’t care what people think, but that’s only because I know people think that’s cool.
So it’s acting?
It’s all tactics and acting, yeah.
You had a physical transformation and then you got this role. So did you get the role because of or was it the other way around?
It was really kind of combination of the two. I had to transfer, I got the role of Peter Quill before I transformed physically. Then I transformed physically to play that role the best that I could. Then I basically decided to make a conscious effort to remain that way because I saw how people reacted to it and the people’s perception of me changed and I was given more opportunities.
So what are your transformation tips?
You need consistency over the course of a very long time, that is the key to transforming yourself. You just have to do a lot every day for many, many days.
You have to change mentally to be powerfully physically?
Yes, I completely think so. I think the body and mind are completely connected and I think that this totally changes you.
Into someone sexier?
I feel more virile, I really do. When your machinery is working properly, it’s more fun to drive around.
It’s interesting because your wife [actress Anna Faris] said six months ago that she loves you more with love handles than a six pack. Is that strange to you?
No, no, it makes perfect sense. I myself actually like to be more love handles than a six pack.
What did you tell her when you heard she was saying that?
Oh, I didn’t say anything, it’s a funny quote and it’s not necessarily representative of how she really feels I don’t think.
Everyone’s talking about you in more heroic roles nowadays particularly stuff like Indiana Jones. How would you feel moving into an area like that despite the kind of roles you’ve come from?
I don’t know. I can’t really answer that because I don’t, I haven’t had anyone from Disney call me and tell me they’re offering me the part of Indiana Jones. So I’ll know how I feel if they ever ask me to do that.
Wouldn’t you like to be in this movie just for the dress code, so similar to this movie?
Yeah, this movie has Steven Spielberg all over it. And Indiana Jones is a creation of Steven Spielberg. The relationship between Owen and Claire is very similar to those relationships in the Indiana Jones movies. Not dissimilar to African Queen or Romancing the Stone.
So maybe Spielberg is sending a message to Disney?
Well, it’s like if you squint your eyes a coyote can look like a fox. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But people squint their eyes and they can see Indiana Jones when they look at Owen but that’s because there’s a lot of similarities – they both wear a vest, they both like dive rolling below gates that are moving. There’s the suspense and they’ve got their own symphony theme when they come on the screen. You know, it’s very much a character that’s spun in the world that’s been created by Steven Spielberg so it should be a little similar.
Did you have a lot of discussions with Spielberg or did you meet him?
He was definitely a part of the process and we were able to meet a few times through the course of this. But even though it falls under the umbrella of the Steven Spielberg brand and it has Spielberg all over it in terms of the characters and it’s a Jurassic Park movie and the suspense is all very Steven Spielberg, this was Colin’s movie. Colin was definitely the leader. Colin was the only one on set. Colin was the one we looked to. It was his vision.
So you had no advice from Spielberg?
No, no, no.
Are you an animal person? And would dinosaurs fit into that?
I’m not an animal person, I mean I don’t mind animals or anything like that but I don’t have a horse!
You hunt, right?
Yep. It’s one of my very favourite passions.
Is it true that you used to have a bug collection and that you have your own, and your wife has her own? Then you mixed them?
Yeah, isn’t that cool? It was just one of the many strange similarities I have with my wife. Yeah, we both collected, we’ve got this odd appreciation for things that are taxidermied and our house is like a natural history museum. We’ve got all kinds of stuff under and in glass, all over the place and in frames. We love it. And then once we knew we had that similarity, we started collecting even more and now people know about us they send it to us. So we have all kinds of bugs and great things in frames all over our house.
What is your favourite dinosaur?
I like the raptors because they’re pack hunters and they’re intelligent.
So your wife is a very good comedian. Would you like to try being a comedian?
Yeah she is. Me? Oh I think I’m primarily known for doing comedy more than this. I think I’d like to do and will continue to do comedy when the roles are right. I’d like to work with her, she’s great.
Does this feel like whole new territory for you playing the hero and the capable one?
It’s starting to feel less new. It was new when I did it, when we were shooting it but I’m starting to feel more comfortable in it. Probably because through the course of a press conference you state over and over again who you are and what you’re doing. I’m starting to wear it. It feels like I’ve worn in, it’s like boots when you first put them on, they give you some blisters but after a while they get really comfortable. I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable.
So how does it feel to be a movie star compared to the times you didn’t get the part in Star Wars and Avatar?
It’s so funny that those two auditions get brought up every time. I audition for everything. I mean those two in particular are brought up because I mentioned them in an interview. But I’ve auditioned thousands of times, countless times for anything, anything that there was a part for a male.
What are some of the movies you have auditioned for?
Name a movie, I’ve auditioned for it. I audition for everything. As an actor you do, even if you don’t even know it you’re being auditioned. You have a head shot, and they’re considering you. You come in, you talk to someone but nobody was offering me parts. I had to go fight for every part so I auditioned for everything.
And of course they said no. I didn’t care. I wasn’t devastated. If I was devastated I shouldn’t be an actor. I’m thick-skinned, I’m a hard core fucking ambitious mother-fucker. I kick the door down, I go in and I audition. And if they say no I say that’s cool, you don’t want me, that’s cool. Someone else will get me. Peace out mother-fuckers.
So that’s why you don’t take it for granted now that you’re finally a movie star?
No, I definitely don’t take it for granted, no. It’s a result of a lot of work. But I don’t think I was ready then. The reason why I didn’t get cast in those parts is because I wasn’t ready to play those parts at that time. Physically I wasn’t ready, mentally I wasn’t ready. I had to grow and build. And if I had been cast, I probably would’ve sucked.
So what bad jobs have you had to do while you were waiting?
Oh waiting tables, room service, barkeep, bartending, cleaning people’s cars, things like that.
You were waiting tables in a restaurant and someone helped you to become an actor. Can you tell that story?
I was waiting tables. I was living in Maui. I was waiting tables and this actress named Rae Dawn Chong came in and I recognised her and struck up a conversation. It turned out she was directing a movie in four days. She was four days away from production on a movie. And she needed an actor in her movie, her lead had dropped out. Terrible, low budget movie that no one ever saw but that was my start. Four days later I was on a plane to LA. We rehearsed for a week and then I did this movie. Shot it in ten days and I got paid $700 and that was my in.
Have you done any work that you are ashamed of?
Sure, but I won’t say what it is because even if you swing and miss it’s a lot of people working very hard to put something together. So I’m not really ashamed of anything but there are some things that I’m more proud of than others.
You have a very good fan, a famous one, Al Pacino.
Al Pacino’s my fan? Oh my God. Now I feel famous you guys. Now I’m starting to feel pretty good. Wow! Oh my God! That’s weird. My brain just melted. Forgive me.
After working so many months in this movie, what’s the feeling when you finally sit down and see the whole thing?
You know, it never feels complete. I think it’s just the burden that comes with being part of this kind of movie, you’re just never going to be able to just sit down and watch it. Even at the premiere, I’m going to sit down and be kind of like picking it apart, questioning what I did. I think that’s just very natural to any artist. I bet even Picasso would look at some of his work and be like, oh I should’ve added more weird eyes!
How does it feel when you’re the guy who kisses the girl in the movie?
That was pretty cool. That’s a cool moment. Yeah, that moment was really kind of spontaneous. It wasn’t written, it wasn’t in the script. Colin had this idea. He said, this is going to sound crazy but what if you grab her and kiss her. He said, if it doesn’t, we’ll do it both ways, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I don’t even think we told Bryce.
Did you tell your wife?
Yeah, I came to her right away and told her. They put it in the movie and it really worked. It was kind of like a sweet amazing button we pressed to make the movie romantic. It’s kind of nice to have a romantic storyline in a Jurassic Park movie. They’ve never had that before.
Just to put you on the spot, if Disney calls you tomorrow and says Indiana Jones is on, come in and play him. What’s the answer?
Oh they need a yes or no right then? Well I couldn’t answer that. I’d say, I would respond with my own host of questions. I would say, alright, where’s the script? What’s the story? Why you telling it? I’d do it just like I did Jurassic World. Loved Jurassic Park growing up, loved it. They said, we want you to be in Jurassic Park, I was like, well we better talk about it because it’s pretty sacred ground. I want to make sure I know what I’m signing up for, you know.
Why do you think it took so long to break through? We’ve seen a lot of guys coming from Australia, New Zealand, UK, creating that kind of splash in Hollywood. You’re the first one in years who was born and raised in the US.
I think I’ve always felt like an outsider here. You know I don’t feel like a part of it, I feel like I was born outside of Hollywood. I grew up in a small town, we had some weird upbringings. You know my dad was a tough guy, I grew up in a different type of environment. I think these characters grow up to have thick skin for a reason. I think there’s a likelihood that being an outsider is what, when I first got here, was so difficult. But it’s now a major asset.
Now is it true that in high school your coach asked you what you wanted to be and you said, I don’t know but I’m going to be famous and with a lot of money?
That’s what he tells me, so yeah, that’s right. I said, I don’t know but I’m definitely going to be rich and famous.
So now you’re a Hollywood star you got to be careful that all the glitz and glamour doesn’t make you soft. Are you conscious of that?
I was wearing a face mask in the car on the way to this junket today. I was like, oh Jesus, what’s happened to me, it’s too late, I’m already soft. I’m already so soft. My wife had the mask in the freezer. I drank a shitload of tequila last night.
Your wife’s been famous for a long time, we’ve all known her for years. We saw you a few times on the TV and all of sudden you’re there. Is it tough to adjust? When you go home you have to make sure you find time for your family.
I think it’s easier, this kind of fame that I’ve found in this chapter of my career right now, it’s been made monumentally easier because I was with her when she was experiencing that. So I think I gained a certain perspective that you usually just don’t gain. It’s very rare to ever really witness that. You don’t really see that much so it’s tough.
I was able to see the world around her. How people started reacting around her and I went on that journey with her but as a fly on the wall. So I was able to see with some objectivity what was happening and so I can understand now what’s happening here, so I can appreciate it in the moment, but also realise that it’s kind of bullshit.