The stars of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story recently made their way to the offices of Columbia Pictures in Manhattan and did some roundtable interviews about the film. The highlight of the day was probably John C. Reilly comparing the film's money -- Willie the Chimp -- to Elvis's pet chimp Scatter and pointing out that Scatter ended up freezing to death in an outdoor cage while the Dewey Cox monkey was given a good home in Northern California after his usefulness came to an end. Other than that, it was pretty much what you might expect -- lots of questions about the life and times of Dewey Cox, the occasional question about the strike and how it's affecting actors, and assorted other tidbits. Here are some samples from the roundtables of John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer.
John C. Reilly
You have to navigate a lot of different musical styles in this film.
Yeah, it really suited me well, I thought. As an actor I kind of think of myself as a chameleon, you know? Not really someone who plays my own personality. I'm not even really sure what my own personality is. I'm sort of a collection of the characters I've played. So playing all these different musical styles was great for me because rather than having to pick one thing that I was gonna specialize in, I could just go with the times like Dewey does. That was one of the things, as we kind of discover the character -- we recorded the music six months before we made the movie and we recorded something like 40 original songs. After we did a couple of songs we were trying to figure out, as we go from the 50s to the 60s, how is this guy gonna change with the times? Who is he? And I said to Jake that we should just decide what the guy's nickname is, because once we have the nickname then it gives us a guide to where to go with the music. So we kept recording music and it became apparent, the guy's nickname is The Chameleon or The Changeling or The Shape-Shifter. Dewey's almost like this Forrest Gump-like character -- he transforms with the times
How did you decide on what music to include?
Well, it was a few different things. The songs needed to be funny but they also needed to be really listenable, because there's so much music in the movie. We didn't want it to be just silly joke songs that would be tough to listen to, you know? Also, the musicians involved had a lot of pride on the line. They weren't going to just make some thing that sounds stupid. So yeah, we were trying to make stuff sound good and be funny but also be specific to the character, and that's why it was really helpful to have Jake Kasdan, the director, there in the recording studio every day when we were making this music. Sometimes we'd be trying to evoke a certain artist and other times and other times we were just trying to make the song fit into a time period and other times we were just trying to have the song reflect what the character was going through at a different point in the movie.