John C. Reilly helped to write some of the “emotional” scenes in new film Stan & Ollie.In the Jon S. Baird-directed movie about the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, the Chicago actor portrays Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan takes on the role of St…
John C. Reilly helped to write some of the “emotional” scenes in new film Stan & Ollie.
In the Jon S. Baird-directed movie about the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, the Chicago actor portrays Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan takes on the role of Stan Laurel.
The screenplay was penned by Jeff Pope, though Reilly has now shared that he and Coogan had input in writing the dialogue for a number of key moments in the narrative.
“Steve and I participated in making the dialogue work in a way that seemed real to us, given our pasts as performers,” he said in an interview with Collider.com. “We know what it’s like to sit in the dressing room, and be sore and sweaty, and be talking with someone about ticket sales. We know how that feels. Steve and I have both done it. So, the script needed to be personalised, in that way, and those are the scenes that stick out to me.”
Rather than being a traditional biopic, Stan & Ollie follows Laurel and Hardy as they embark on a music hall tour of the United Kingdom, and depicts their struggles to get another film made. And while Reilly had long been a fan of the pair, he recalled how he was initially unconvinced about playing such an icon on the big screen.
“I was reluctant because I don’t really do impressions. That’s not really my thing. And then, the second thing was that I don’t weigh nearly as much as Oliver, and I wasn’t willing to gain a hundred pounds. But the main trepidation I had was that I didn’t want us to make a film about these guys that would end up being a liability to them. To me, they’re in a perfect place already,” the 53-year-old noted.
But despite his early concerns, Reilly was encouraged by the praise of filmmaker Baird, who he claimed, “really, really believed in me”.
Stan & Ollie began hitting cinemas on Thursday.
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John C. Reilly lost weight getting in and out of his fat suit on the set of Stan & Ollie.Playing Oliver Hardy, opposite Steve Coogan as his double act partner Stan Laurel in Jon S. Baird’s new film, John had to undergo hours in wardrobe and make-up to …
John C. Reilly lost weight getting in and out of his fat suit on the set of Stan & Ollie.
Playing Oliver Hardy, opposite Steve Coogan as his double act partner Stan Laurel in Jon S. Baird’s new film, John had to undergo hours in wardrobe and make-up to make sure he really resembled the legendary slapstick comedian.
And the transformation was so good, Oscar nominee John said nobody recognised him when he sat around the set.
“(All that was) needed was the right make-up man. I had prosthetics all over,” the 53-year-old recalled, reports Page Six. “Not just an application. Ears, head, jowls. Contact lenses. The fat suit contained water tubes, moved like flesh and had skin markings. The make-up so complete, staring in a mirror I’d lose my lines. Three hours for costuming. Make-up eventually got down to two hours. Getting it off finally took 45 minutes. I lost weight doing this.
“Sitting outside as some fat guy makes you disappear. I learned they don’t want to see you. When I did this, nobody knew me. I was not John C. Reilly, just some fat guy.”
The film, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October (18), hits screens from late December. It tells the story of when Laurel and Hardy attempted to reignite their film careers in post-war Britain.
To prepare for their roles as the famous twosome, John and Steve watched back old Laurel and Hardy routines.
“I grew up watching totally inspirational, ahead of their time Laurel and Hardy,” he smiled. “You laughed with them. Clued into something eternal, their movies ran on TV over and over. Watching the masterful comedy inspired my voice and movement.
“Vaudeville guys, greatest comedy team of their time, no political agenda, they wrote all their routines themselves. We re-created the skits, watched all their old shows and spent hours practising.”
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