Published on December 5th, 2013 | by gareth0
We Talk Aliens and More With Actor/Comic Paul Reiser
Recently I got the chance to speak with Actor/Comedian Paul Reiser about his new film and his pending appearance at The Parlor Live in Bellevue, WA, on December 6th and 7th.Parlor Live
What can you tell us about your latest films and what drew you to them?
Well, the little part in ” Behind The candelabra” was a no-brainer – i got a call asking ” would you like to come in for a day and play with Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. ” i said ” just tell me where to be and what time.
That was great fun – to get to play with these guys who are just so good.
And then “Life After Beth” was a really fresh original comedy – unlike anything i’d ever read. very funny yet touching story which also happens to be about zombies. And a very talented writer/director.
and then “Whiplash” – very different movie. Fantastic script – very moving, emotionally draining and suspenseful. First-time director who had made a short-film version of this film which was just riveting. I knew going in this was going to be a great film. And the two movies couldn’t be more different from each other, but both really great films by really talented directors.
How did you become involved with standup and what inspired you?
I was always drawn to standup as a kid. When i was in high school, i used to go down to clubs in the village (in NYC) and see George Carlin, Robert Klein, David Steinberg… And i was huge fan of Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks/carl Reiner… and luckily for me, that was just about the time that comedy clubs as we know them now started popping up. so there was actually a place to go to try and actually become a comedian.
Where do you commonly gain your inspiration for your material from?
I just write down what happens with my wife, my kids, my friends, and when i talk about it, it turns out, everybody’s got the same wife, kids and friends.
What would you say are the main difference between the East and west Coasts
in terms of comedy and do you notice differences in the audiences East/West?
I think it’s all one happy mix, to be honest. Anything can come from anywhere.
Can you tell us about your first gig and what it taught you?
The first time I went on stage I was 18. I did 5 minutes on audition night at about 1:00 in the morning, and what I learned was : Good thing I didn’t know how little I knew. It would have been overwhelming. Its only after a couple of years of doing it night after night that you look back and realize ” Wow, I can’t believe I went up there at 18 with that. What was I thinking?!”
In what ways would you say that performing material in front of a camera are
alike and different?
there’s nothing like performing live. there’s no delay, there’s nobody you have to check with, no executives offering suggestions -it’s just you. and the audience. And they will tell you very clearly what works and what doesn’t.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My 2 boys make me laugh. Usually when they’re not trying to.
For anyone wanting to get into the industry, what advice would you give
in terms of performing, I’m always tickled to see how much it hasn’t changed, in that there is no possible substitute to just doing it. as many times as you can, as many places as you can. there’s no way to short cut it. And the good side is, if you do it and work on it and pay attention, there’s no way you won’t be getting better all the time.
What movies have you seen recently and what do you have on your to see list?
I’m several months behind in my movie-watching.
I now usually watch things in hotels or download them when they come out. fortunately, that time is getting shorter and shorter.
Finally looking back on “Aliens”, can you give us your thoughts on the film
and character and have you kept up with the series since you played Burke?
I actually haven’t seen the ones that came out after Aliens. That experience was such a treat. it was one of those rare instances where you know with confidence that this is going to be a huge, fat hit. James Cameron, even then, was so obviously a master film maker. so my goal going in was “If you just don’t screw up the scenes you’re in and make the movie come to a grinding halt, this is going to come out great.”
Luckily, it all worked as planned. still a great movie.