I have to admit that I was disappointed to get Rob Corddry, Clark Duke and Craig Robinson at the Hot Tub Time Machine junket. Not because they’re ungreat, but because when you throw three guys like that in a room together you get the sort of hijinks that simply don’t translate well to print.
Which is why I’ve embedded an mp3 of the roundtable below, so that you can get something approximating the experience of being in the room. Things are a little noisy at first, as the three get seated and as publicists take their positions around the table, but pretty soon you’ll be listening to nothing but the sweet sound of riffing. I only wish this was video, as Craig Robinson is quiet but often delivering amazing body language and faces to complement the way Duke and Corddry screw around.
I’ve also included a really rudimentary transcript with this; I didn’t transcribe it, so there may be errors, misspellings, etc etc etc (often the journalists at roundtables will trade transcripts to help make the workload easier. Usually I’ll double check the transcript against the audio and make adjustments (homophones really fuck some people up), but this one is going out to you unadulterated).
Enjoy. Hot Tub Time Machine opens tomorrow.
Question: In terms of ad libbing for the film like shouting out Shia Labeouf during the sex scene…
Clark Duke: It was just things you were thinking of to get hard right?
Rob Corddry: Yeah, whatever it takes. I had to have an orgasim. We shot it in like five or six hours. Perhaps Shia Labeouf was not something I would put in the movie.
Q: One of the things that makes this movie work I think is the chemistry between all four of you. Can you talk about how that comes about on a small movie like this where I’m assuming there isn’t a lot of rehearsal time. How do you create that feeling of really knowing each other?
Corddry: We just really got along. I genuinely like these fellows.
Q: Rob, how many times do you think we see your ass in this movie?
Duke: Not enough.
Q: I lost track after four or five times.
Corddry: That sounds about right. First of all you’re welcome.
Q: Thank you! I appreciated the nudity.
Corddry: It was something for the ladies.—getting the ladies in the seat.
Q: Too bad you couldn’t advertise that on porn sites.
Corddry: I was actually on a gay porn site. It’s a Web site for guys that are into kind of normal looking hairy not handsome men. It’s in between normal and bare. So it’s like, ‘Hey Rob Corddry showed us some of his fur.’
Duke: You’re not that hairy.
Corddry: No, I am.
Duke: No, you’re not. (Corddry opens a button on his shirt and shows everyone his chest hair. Yeah, that is pretty hairy. Yeah that looks weird.
Corddry: Sorry how long was I doing that for? (Referring to showing everyone his chest hair)
Duke: 12 minutes.
Q: If you could change anything about your characters what would it be and why?
Duke: I would have made my character Native American.
Corddry: You know what bothers me is when you first see me I’m in my car drinking in my garage. I’m wearing a suit. It seems very not Lou to be wearing a suit. The back story was and it was actually referenced that I was a trader-like a derivatives trader and I lost everything. I’m just an evil derivatives trader—just an asshole and that was one of the reasons I wanted to kill myself. That was just kind of silly so I’d go back and change that.
Duke: I disagree. I think that’s all the context you need to imply what kind of miserable corporate lifestyle you’re leading.
Corddry: Yeah maybe.
Craig Robinson: I would have spent more time in the hot tube with Jessica.
Corddry: What was that scene like? Were you two just chatting while she’s topless?
Robinson: No, we were fucking the whole time.
Corddry: Do you see full on penetration in this cut of the movie? I haven’t seen the latest cut.
Robinson: No, but there’s a tape out there. Do you know what happened during one of the takes? So Jessica is there and she’s wrapped up.
Duke: Wrapped up in Craig.
Robinson: No, she’s not. So the soundman is holding the microphone and somebody asked him something. The soundman just as Jessica took her top off and all I heard him say was “Yes!” Obviously we were trying to keep the situation respectful and professional so it was like…His breath was literally taken away by her beauty.
Q: If you guys were going back to the 80’s and you could take one thing from the modern world with you what would it be?
Robinson: My Kindle (reader).
Duke: How would you put books on it in the 80’s? Where would you find a USB cord to charge it?
Robinson: I would take the books I have now on it.
Duke: Why are we taking something to the 80’s? For profit?
Q: That’s up to you.
Duke: Well I’d probably use it for that. Maybe the snuggie. Just take the snuggie back.
Corddry: OMG that’s a money maker huh? But then everyone would comment and be like, ‘Why are you wearing a robe backwards?’
Duke: Why are you not wearing one?
Robinson: That’s a good point.
Duke: You just don’t market the snuggie in white.
Corddry: That’s racist.
Duke: SARS. Swine Flu. (Shouts that out as Corddry is trying to think of what he would take).
Q: Craig you give a couple of really great performances at the end of the film. Can you talk about what those scenes were like for you and how long you prepared for them?
Robinson: Thank you! It was fun. My band is actually playing on the soundtrack. I was able to listen to them and prepare. At first I was a little nervous because going up to perform is one thing, but filming a performance is different because it’s like you’re feeling about then all of a sudden you’re performing and then you’re feeling about so as I warmed up it got more and more fun. I think they captured some of the crazier moments. I loved it—I enjoyed it. I’m a performer. I do comedy and music and I blend them together and play with my band The Nasty Delicious. We loved to get up and act a fool so that was a good time.
Q: Rob, Steve Pink said you gave him a time travel book.
Corddry: Yeah, I did. What the fuck was it? I believe it was Ronald…I forget. This American Life did a story about this guy. Ronald Mallett his name is and he basically invented time travel. It’s really actually possible. The problem is is that his theory of time travel is you can only travel back to when you turn the switch of the machine on and it’s actually impossible to build a machine that big. His theory of time travel is sound it’s just not…
Duke: That was in The Invisibles too. Grant Morrison said that in The Invisibles in the 90’s.
Corddry: This may have been in the 90’s.
Duke: He said the reason why we haven’t seen people from the future is because we haven’t built the machine yet. As soon as we build it, people will come back. We’re in from the future (he said in a weird voice).
Corddry: Why would they talk like us from the 40’s?
Duke: Things come back in style. Great scott come with us. Come with me if you want to live.
Q: I saw Kick Ass and you premiered it in Austin last night. How did that go?
Duke: Awesome. That’s the home game—that’s everybody there. Everybody there already loves the movie and has seen it so it was very warmly accepted.
Q: How do you think it’s going to go over for the rest of the world with an 11-year-old..,
Duke: I don’t know. Well I’m sure you’re going to have some people mad about that and protesting that, but hopefully… I don’t see how that much isn’t a huge hit.
Corddry: I’m looking forward to the release of ‘Kick Ass’ maybe more than ‘Hot Tub.’ Seriously I’m so excited for that movie.
Duke: For a superhero movie though I think it’s the best superhero movie besides ‘Dark Knight.’ I really do.
Robinson: When’s your premiere?
Duke: For that movie? The world premiere was last night, but there’s a LA premiere next month. Do you want to go? Is that what you’re asking?
Q: Was there anything from this film in the 80’s that you found particularly nostalgic or something that you were really happy that was included?
Corddry: You know what happened to me? I would see this sea of background extras dressed in 80’s gear and I could almost at times smell Loves Baby Soft. Remember that perfume? It smelled like baby powder and that basically defined my junior high experience. It gives me an erection just smelling baby powder. Yeah, I said it. Baby powder. I have an erection right now. I’m full on aroused.
Duke: I can tell.
Corddry: It’s the only way to be in an interview.
Q: Clark, can you talk about your character and what your take on him is?
Duke: He’s kind of an introvert. Going back to the 80’s he kind of comes out of his shell a little bit. A lot of that back story got removed and he’s sort of just getting it by the third act. I’m kind of the straight man in the film.
Q: Did you feel sorry for him because he’s getting beat up on throughout the entire movie?
Duke: A little bit, but I thought it was really funny that Corddry hates me because he’s my father. That wasn’t originally in the script. It kind of changed the whole plot of the movie. He’s kind of like the little brother character that you pick on. I don’t think you need to feel that sorry for him—that’s just kind of his role in the group.
Corddry: You don’t feel sorry for him because he holds his own.
Duke: Also he’s the only character who is not really stupid.
Q: So him hating you wasn’t in the script?
Duke: Him being my father.
Q: When did that get added in?
Duke: I came up with that at the first roundtable. And Lougoogle was part of the roundtable.
Q: What was your character’s through line then?
Duke: Still the thing with the mother and being born, but I think it was Chas who was my father—the ski instructor guy. I think the villain was my father. It was still all about the mother, but it made everybody part of the storyline instead of adding a new character.
Q: Everyone said there were a lot of changes to the script. Do you think if those changes had not been made then the movie would still be as funny?
Corddry: The first version of the movie I read was completely retarded.
Duke: It was diagnosed by a doctor.
Corddry: My character Lou actually rents a DeLorean and he’s pissed when there’s no flux compassitor (SP) in it. That’s stupid. With this version of the script there’s just enough heart in it and just enough reality. The characters play at the top of their own intelligence even if their stupid whereas before it was pretty crazy.
Duke: It was a different movie tonally.
Corddry: Totally different movie.
Q: Lou is right on the verge of being this character that is really impossible to like. He’s just right there then you manage to do things like where you’re waking up your buddy with fake semen on your face and it’s sweet. How do you balance that?
Corddry: Get to know me.
Q: Was that scene hard for you?
Duke: Yeah was it hard for you?
Corddry: The second and third takes were harder. How many do you got in you buddy?
Robinson: We wouldn’t have had to go fake if you would have nailed it the first time. We had our chemistry and our rhythm.
Corddry: I’m really good at oral sex by the way.
Q: What was it like playing off of each other and you’re sort of analyzing it while you’re standing there? That was ad libbed right?
Corddry: What scene was that?
Q: Where you’re about to go down on him?
Corddry: We re-shot that a couple of months after we wrapped. We were pretty much writing it up until the day.
Q: Did you have prep time to rehearse specifically for the songs you performed or was that done on set?
Robinson: You saying it didn’t look like I knew what I was doing?
Duke: Didn’t you rehearse on Saturdays? It’s prerecorded.
Robinson: We performed it there, but then we went to the studio to record it.
Duke: You had a vocal double too for everything right?
Robinson: No. No! So yeah I had some time to prep. A lot of times I wait until the last minute so I was lucky with this one.
Q: So what do you guys have coming up?
Corddry: I got a show that I created called ‘Children’s Hospital’ and it’s going to be on Adult Swim in July guest starring Clark Duke and Henry Winkler and Megan Mullally—a lot of great people so that’s that. Then what else do you got? I’ll do it.
Q: Whenever you make an appearance on the Daily Show people go out of their mind. How do those come about?
Corddry: I might actually do one next week. I’m going to be in NY and they asked me.
Q: Will you be promoting the movie?
Corddry: I’m not going to be on the show because they’re a little weird about that. There’s this guy that I interviewed about five or six years ago called Bo Dietel he’s a security expert and he just had 10 guns stolen from him. So I’m going back to interview him again.
Duke: He doesn’t know you’re an actor at this point.
Corddry: He’s an idiot.
Duke: We’re on constant commercial rotation on TV.
Robinson: I’m starring in a new movie about Voltron.
Duke: Voltron? Really?
Duke: I don’t know if this is a bit or not. You play Voltron?