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Interview: Chris O'Dowd on Shooting 'The Sapphires' in Vietnam and Taking a Role in 'Thor 2' for Fun

By Mark Lukenbill | Indiewire March 19, 2013 at 10:04AM

Chris O'Dowd, the hilarious Irish charmer who shot to international fame after his starring role opposite Kristen Wiig in "Bridesmaids," hasn't paused for a second after becoming a comic hit stateside. The former "IT Crowd" star has become one of the most formidably dependable scene sealers in the Judd Apatow camp of actors and comedians with roles in last year's "This is 40," Jennifer Westfeldt's indie comedy "Friends with Kids," and a recurring role in HBO's "Girls" as Thomas-John, the slimy, insecure Wall Street husband of Jemima Kirke's Jessa. Somewhere in there he also managed to find the time to take the lead role in Wayne Blair's Australian musical "The Sapphires," which has been pleasing crowds on the festival circuit and will be released by The Weinstein Company on March 22nd.

Oh, didn't even think of that one.

This is 40 Chris O'Dowd Paul Rudd Lena Dunham

You were not alone in missing that one. But that is quite fun. That whole thing feels totally incongruous with the type of actor that I am so I kind of like doing it.

Is it something you would like to do more of? Dramas and action movies?

I think I'll do more dramatic stuff and I think I have some stuff coming out that's a bit more dramatic. I don't know if I'd do an action movie because I don't know if I could keep a straight face honestly, I just think it's so silly. Like I love watching them but I can't imagine me doing one. Actually, you know what I've done, just for fun because I didn't think there was any way that I could be in a superhero movie, so I've done a scene in the new "Thor" movie, just for that. I just do like one scene, which was quite fun.

I was just thinking, a lot of comedic actors that are in the same walks as you are, like Mark Duplass and Chris Pratt, were both in "Zero Dark Thirty" for instance.

Oh yeah, Mark's in that!

Yeah, and they both play kind of straight roles.

Hey, I think comic actors are the best actors. I think they're much more transferable then when you see dramatic actors doing comedy, you can fucking see it. Because it's such a mess. So I think that comedic actors are more versatile.

One thing I noticed watching the movie is your facial hair in it--


--Is exactly the same as in "This is 40."


Were those filmed at the same time?

Exact same time. So it was tricky, every ten days I would fly from Sydney to LA and vice-versa. Shoot a few days on "This is 40" and then back to Sydney, and then to Saigon. It was hard going.

So you did actually shoot in Vietnam? That's kind of rare, I know American productions don't really ever get in. Do you think it was because you were an Australian production?

I think so! I remember when we were driving through Saigon, and it was cool because they could close off roads and stuff- they were great actually, and it was a cool place to film - but when we were there in our big American army trucks, I did kind of feel like just standing up and going, "We're back!"

But I managed to suppress that urge.

Could've made for a great special feature on the DVD.

I would've been shot. It would've been funny for all of the three seconds before I was shot. I'd love to go out on a joke though.

That's a very incongruous experience, being there one day and LA the next. Were you ever in the pool with Megan Fox and having PTSD flashbacks, like "this reminds me of when I was in 'Nam, under fire."

[Laughs] Yeah, I would've shot that scene and then been back in Sydney the next day. It was a very surreal time. What I liked about the facial hair thing was in "The Sapphires" everybody had mustaches, it was that kind of period. But in "This is 40" it's ironic.

Yeah, it's kind of a hipster stache.


On page 3, O'Dowd talks about season 2 of "Girls" and "Family Tree," the new Christopher Guest series...

This article is related to: Interviews, The Sapphires, Chris O'Dowd, Girls, Thor: The Dark World

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