In the new film Father Figures, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms star as fraternal twin brothers who discover that their mother (Glenn Close) has been lying to them for years — their father isn’t dead like she told them, but instead she doesn’t know who he is. Thus the brothers embark on a road trip to find their real dad. JK Simmons, Ving Rhames, Terry Bradshaw, Katt Williams and Christopher Walken co-star.
We caught up with actor and stand-up comedy legend Katt Williams to discuss his role and working with Owen Wilson & Ed Helms.
The Knockturnal: What attracted you to the part? It’s very unique for you.
Katt Williams: I look at my projects as a movie first, trying to figure out if this is something I would be glad to see in the theater. And even before I got to my part, I had already answered that. When I was able to look at the part that I had, I really got it and I wanted no one else to get that role, because I knew what I thought needed to be done with it and who that guy was. It’s a pleasure when you get confronted with those type of scenarios via a script, but I’m still wondering though what the casting is like, and then you hear that it’s Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, and J.K. Simmons, and Christopher Walken and Glenn Close and Terry Bradshaw and Ving Rhames, so now it’s a no brainer. I need to deliver my part, and if I do this right, it’s right. And if it’s not, it’s around the brilliancy that people already have.
The Knockturnal: You’re somewhat of a voice of reason in the movie, was that an interesting stance for you, in how you chose to display it?
Katt Williams: A lot of times if you are not the person in a situation, than you have a better perspective of what’s going on. That’s the service that our friends provide in our life. They can see things from a different angle than we can.
The Knockturnal: You mentioned a bit earlier about Owen Wilson and Ed Helms. You are all so hilarious in your in your own right, so how much was left on the cutting floor?
Katt Williams: Man, what’s on the cutting floor is it’s own movie! These guys are literally non-stop funny machine,s and it was to the people that you didn’t think we’re going to be so funny turned out to be like that really changed everything. Terry Bradshaw is a comedy dynamo. Who could have saw that? Off-screen we were laughing as much as we were laughing on screen, that guy is one hundred percent hilarious, like comedian funny.
The Knockturnal: This is director Lawrence Church’s first film, was there any hesitation in working with him?
Katt Williams: No, his track record speaks for itself. When you meet him, he has a cinematic way of talking so he can let you know exactly what he’s trying to deliver, so it didn’t feel to any of us like he was the first-time director. The mistakes we were expecting and the slip ups and the not being sure of things… we never saw any of that. We saw a guy that knew the script like the back of his head, had all the timing, all the beats, knew how to interact with all the actors, was great with the crew… so, if that’s your first-time director than I suggest you go ahead and hit this home run.
The Knockturnal: What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Katt Williams: I have a favorite scene while everybody is on screen, like each time I had a favorite. But there’s never going to be anything like the train scene. Remember when you are reading it as a script you’re thinking to yourself “Okay, this could be problematic right here, because this is either going to look really corn bally and really heavily CGI or you’ve got almost do this real,” so I wasn’t sure how we were going to make this work. So that scene was nailed in such an amazing way for all of us. We were scared when it happened, and we were still just as shook on the end of filming.
The Knockturnal: In the film your character has to hitchhike for a ride, what’s the craziest car situation you have ever had?
Katt Williams: Well I’ve been on both sides of things. I’ve been the with his thumb out needing a ride and I’ve been the guy that pulls over to give someone a ride, so I was the perfect person to deal with that because I know what that situation is like. If you’re the hitchhiker, you just watched 12,000 vehicles say no to you at 75 an hour and everybody says we don’t have time for you. So it’s a very humbling experience on that side, but on the other side, you are always worried about the person you are picking up, and whether this is a terrible idea or not. So it was great dynamic as an addition to the film and, metaphorically, we were all the hitchhikers.
The Knockturnal: What does it take for Kat Williams to say yes to a film? What does the script need to be like what about a role attracts you to it?
Katt Williams: It’s difficult for me to be excited about a role I have done already, because I did the best I could do, and I brought as much as I could bring out of the character, and often times if when you do a character well, then you get fifteen more scripts which are basically that guy again. And I like the opportunity to play anybody that’s “That Guy” and this was an entirely different man with a whole different life and a whole different back story than mine, and so that’s when I feel like I am really acting.
The Knockturnal: Lastly, do you think we might get another Friday movie?
Katt Williams: Ah yes, see that rule doesn’t count for sequels. A sequel doesn’t count, you always love a sequel. A sequel means you did a good job, and your back, and that a high compliment for any actor, and if we are talking about a Friday sequel, if that happens, it’s already long overdue.