Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Monday, December 19, 2005

Steve on CBTD2

Steve doesn't seem to be doing much to promote the new movie. Here's some.

Daily Post (Liverpool)
December 16, 2005, Friday
NW Merseyside Edition
If the jokes are fresh, everything will be fine;
Robin Walker talks to comedian Steve Martin about his upcoming films
Robin Walker

STEVE MARTIN was once one of the most acclaimed comedians in America. A former stand-up comic, he managed to transfer his odd mix of dryness and zany humour to the big screen in classics like The Jerk and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid.

But aside from the odd creative burst, like the wonderfully satirical Bowfinger six years ago, 60-year-old Steve seems to be sliding into a comfortable Hollywood late middle age.

Most of his more recent films have been commercial studio fare like Bringing Down The House and Cheaper By The Dozen. Now with Cheaper By The Dozen 2 he treads familiar territory on another easy sequel.

The first film, in which he and Bonnie Hunt played the parents of a brood of 12 kids, was a moderate box office hit in 2003.

This time when the Baker family go on holiday they find themselves in competition with a smaller family of a mere eight children.

Acting with kids is fun he says, but with no children of his own, Steve admits he doesn't have any experience of parenting 24 hours a day.

"The kids really want to do it, they're very normal and excited about everything," he enthuses.

While he doesn't think the films will influence parents to want a dozen kids he believes "it will remind parents and children of the value of their families".

He adds: "No matter what the joy is, families also are a lot of work. You see a movie like this and it gives you that little boost of love and confidence."

The whole comedy - the remake of a 40-year-old classic - revolves around the free-spirited chaos that a dozen modern kids would cause, despite the best efforts to rein them in.

As he says: "Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny. But chaos in the midst of order is."

"I always try to take it easy and just kind of kid with them a little," he says of his young co-stars. "I don't spend too much time with them."

Steve admits he's not one of those workaholic actors and when he's not acting he "loves to read or write and in the evening, have dinner with friends".

The upcoming film version of his novella Shopgirl sees the articulate and thoughtful comedian in a more substantive role, even though he didn't plan to star in it.

Shopgirl is a comedy-drama about a young woman, played by Claire Danes, who drifts into unlikely relationships. Steve initially wanted Tom Hanks toplay his character, a middle-aged man who buys his young lover gifts to make up for the fact he's kind of a jerk.

While he took ideas for the story from his own life, he says people shouldn't look for too many clues about what makes him tick.

"Everything is culled from every source, my life, other people's lives. I'm 60 and I've been having sex since I was 18 so there's a lot of stuff going on.

Steve, who has been romantically linked to a number of actresses since his divorce including Bernadette Peters, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Heche, says we can all relate to his Shopgirl character, a man who is having trouble loving someone.

"Who knows why someone is some way," he says. "We all know there are people like that. We meet them and are them."

The former 'wild and crazy guy' defends his more mainstream films. "I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art. But if you set out to make art, you are an idiot."

He certainly has clout in Hollywood, which is why he's playing Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the remake of The Pink Panther, due out next year. His failed attempt at reprising another comedy classic, Phil Silver's Sgt Bilko in 1996 means he's on dangerous ground, but Steve is upbeat.

"I turned it down a couple of times," he says about resurrecting the role that Peter Sellers made his own.

"What changed my mind is I began working on the script and began coming up with jokes and gags that I liked. I think if the gags are fresh everything will be fine." p CHEAPER By The Dozen 2 opens on Boxing Day. Shopgirl opens on Friday, January 20


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