A: I listened to a lot of music, and the real preparation for this movie was making the music for the movie. We recorded for about six months. I think I recorded about forty songs, thirty of which were original and I worked on them with the song writers. And that was the preparation, singing and learning those songs and learning the right attitudes to take when you’re singing the songs, and that was the best preparation. And I felt really lucky that the studio supported us that far out from the movie. You know, they had to because we would have never gotten all of this music done if they hadn’t. But, yeah, I felt lucky to have so much support and so many people helping me through it, and I was getting to meditate every day on who the guy was. If you’re making a decision about what lyrics are in a song, you’re making a decision about the songwriter, which is Dewey in this case.
Q: What real life artists influenced the character? A: Well everyone that we kind of evoke in the movie starting from Elvis Presley to Buddy Holly to Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, Don McClain actually, another great folk singer from the sixties. Mac Davis and Waylon Jennings and all those guys. Those are the people that inspired us, those are the people that inspired a lot of these bio-pics and those are the, you know, that’s the target of this movie.
Q: What roles do fans usually recognise you for? A: It depends what kind of movies they like. You know, I’ve done a lot of different kinds of things, so it depends, you know. Some people scream, you know, mistakenly scream “Dirk Diggler!” as they go by in a car and I have to yell back, “It’s Chest Rockwell!” or Reed Rothchild, whatever my… I get a lot of “Shake and bake” lately because of TALLADEGA NIGHTS. It really depends on what people recognize me from, ’cause most people — and I’m glad for this — but most people don’t put my name with all of my characters. They don’t see, “Oh, it’s that actor who did all of that.” They see like, “Oh, it’s the fisherman from PERFECT STORM” or “It’s Cal Naughton from TALLADEGA NIGHTS” or “It’s Dewey Cox,” hopefully. It depends what’s on TV too. There’s a definite up-take in things when something’s on cable. You know, there’s an odd thing happening right now though, the Dewey Cox posters are everywhere for this movie, like everywhere, on the sides of buildings. And the movie hasn’t come out yet. So I’m getting this, I’m becoming famous because of the poster, not because of the movie or my work in the movie or that I’m an actor or some of my past work. “It’s that guy from the poster!” Like it’s an odd thing to be famous for, in this weird little pocket of time before the movie comes out, all the billboards are up — I’m famous for a billboard. It’s just a little strange, I have to say.
Q: Do fans treat you like the characters in your movies? A: First of all I’m pretty good at sort of disappearing when I want to disappear, you know. And I learned from Jack Nicholson — the great thing — I went to a concert with him one time. He was like, “Come on, we’re going to go walk around.” And I was like, “Jack, you can’t just go walk around. You have to have your people or someone to protect you.” He’s like, “Don’t worry,” and I could see people recognize him as he goes by. And I was like, “Jack, I think those people…” and he’s like “Keep walking. Keep walking,” like that’s the secret, just never stop moving. So, but you know, to tell you the truth, it doesn’t really bother me when people are enthusiastic about my work because it just means that it’s a positive thing. It’s not like I’m O.J. Simpson and people are coming up to me to scream at me because they’re angry at something I did or didn’t do. But, in this case it’s they’re celebrating my art, you know. And they say “I love you!” I can’t tell you how many people see me and they go, “I love you!” You know, like, “You do? Great. Maybe we’ll meet someday.” It’s a positive thing ultimately. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your family life or whatever, the things you need to get done in your life, it’s a positive thing.
Q: As an actor, you go beyond the call of duty many times what were the most extreme parts of the shoot for you? A: I had to do so many extreme things for this movie. I mean I run around in like a thong diaper on city streets in San Pedro was one thing. Then there was also an orgy, there were a lot of naked people in this movie. And actually, by the time we filmed the orgy scene, I was kind of used to it, you know. Rather than it being like “Oh great, lots of naked ladies around today, this is going to be fun,” it was almost, less fun than a normal day because we had to be overly formal because like, you have to be cool with people when they’re naked. You can’t even make jokes because people are self conscious and you want people to feel comfortable and to feel dignified in what they’re doing.
Q: How does your wife feel about all this? A: How my wife feels about it? You know, it’s another day at the office. I’m not really sleeping with those people, not.. I’m not doing anything. I’m happily married. And she doesn’t come around on those days, ’cause it’s just too weird. To be honest with you, I don’t talk about work that much at home, regardless of what I’m doing, just because it’s like when the day ends, you’ve been concentrating so much on it that it’s time to just let go of it. And if something upsetting happened or, or particularly out of the ordinary, I’ll talk with her about it. But usually she likes to be surprised and go see the movie and just see, “Oh my gosh, this is what you were up to.” And I think she’s going to have a bit of a shock on this one.
Q: Who were your music idols when you were growing up? A: You know, I went through a couple of different periods when I was a teenager. For about two years I only listened to the Rolling Stones, like exclusively to the Rolling Stones, to the point where guys in my neighborhood started to call me Mick. Before that was Elton John for about two or three years, only Elton John. I had every single record.
Q: Are you going to go on tour with your character? A: We are going on tour. We’ll see how much people love Cox. If they really are into Cox, then I will take it around the world. I love being on stage. It’s what I was meant to do I think.