Friday, July 04, 2008

I Tried to Get an Internet Celebrity in the Film Once

Happy Fourth, folks! I think enough time has passed where I can start sharing some older stories about the film that I didn't originally publicize. Here's one I completely forgot about until last night. So in the movie, there's a character named Peter Whales (played by Bob Socci). The character of Whales was originally based on a combination of two people: Comic writer Alan Moore, and Mike "The Big Man" (Later I'd give him a splash of Dr. Cox and Hannibal Lector).

The idea to put an older, bitter character in the script came when I was on the way to work, and the radio station played a rant from The Big Man (aka, the Kid from Brooklyn). I've heard him before, but I thought the idea to have a character like that in the movie was hilarious. Thus, Peter Whales was born. LONG before casting, I was wondering if I'd be able to find someone crazy enough to deliver the vulgar, sexist, sacrilegious lines I'd written for Whales. Then the idea came up to actually get the Big Man himself! Here's one of his famous Internet rants:

This part was fun...I'd written him, then actually got to talk to both him and his agent on the phone a few times. I sent him the pages of the script and really tried to convince him to do it. Of course it eventually didn't happen...probably because I tried to get him for free (then I offered to negotiate pay, but never gave a solid price). It also seems to me that he finds acting to be a bit tedious, which I understand. To his credit, he was a very nice guy; very open and approachable (despite his intimidating video rants). So that's my story about trying to get an Internet celebrity.

Over the time, the character of Whales changed and was less of a shouting old man, and more of a psychological manipulator. Of course, Bob Socci plays Whales and he did great.

Here's another little know fact: I'd written Llyod Kaufman, president of Troma films, to see about getting him to do a cameo as a customer. By the time he read it (this is on myspace), it was long after the shoot. I should've called him instead!

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