Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Steve's beauty cream
Starpulse News Blog
17:30:45, Categories: Celebrity News
Classic Quotes From Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Vin Diesel & More
"Men want wrinkles as much as women do. I use an alpha-hydroxy cream every night and my skin has never looked better." Ageing funnyman Steve Martin reveals his beauty secrets.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Remake the Jerk. Riiiiight.
MARTIN STAYS AWAY FROM SELLERS' CLOUSEAU
Comic actor STEVE MARTIN was determined not to copy PETER SELLERS' portrayal of INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU in PINK PANTHER, because he didn't want audiences to think he has taken the easy option.
The 60-year-old Texan star insists he would think of himself as a thief if his depiction of the bumbling French detective was a carbon-copy of Sellers'.
He says, "I didn't want to steal anything from Peter.
"I think the only thing I did that he did was karate chop once, half-heartedly, but I was careful about it and I felt after a while that it was coming from me and not channelling Peter."
Martin's only regret is that his Clouseau predecessor is not around to see the new film.
He adds, "I do wish Peter Sellers could see it, I really do. After all I'd be fine if somebody wanted to remake THE JERK."
Don't ask, it's rude.
Private life sacred for Martin
Comic actor Steve Martin has revealed that he prefers not to discuss his private life with the media because it is rude to pry. Martin is currently starring alongside singer Beyonce Knowles in 'The Pink Panther'.
Martin, who has had a string of high profile romances including ex-wife Victoria Tennant and actress Anne Heche, is currently seeing New York magazine journalist Anne Stringfield.
The 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' funnyman feels his relationship is too sacred to be dissected in the press, revealing: "I have a long-term relationship with a woman and I keep it private because I don't like prying, and it's better to keep those things to myself."
Friday, February 24, 2006
A real oldie
i found a short video from one of steve's tv specials in 1984. The Land that Time Forgot
Where in the world is Steve Martin?
Friday, Feb. 24: BERLIN - American actor Steve Martin gives a press conference on the adaptation of 'the Pink Panther (12H15 - COUVERTURE SELON INTERET)
Steve probably thought they meant his apartment at the San Remo
a la babelfish:
"the festival of the song of Sanremo? Never felt, and that I would go to make to us " Steve Martin refutes in categorical way the voices is some days before diffused of one its eventual participation to the festival of Sanremo. To Rome for the launch of the ' Panther rosa', in which ago living again Clouseau inspector, the actor American says not to know not even the existence of a festival of the song of Sanremo: "me he seems that they had invited to me to a festival of the cinema of Sanremo - says - but if e' not made any piu' null".
Notiziario Generale in Italiano
February 21, 2006
SANREMO: STEVE MARTIN, FESTIVAL DELLA CANZONE? MAI SENTITO
ROMA, 21 feb - "Il festival della canzone di
Sanremo? Mai sentito, e che ci andrei a fare?" Steve Martin
smentisce in modo categorico le voci diffuse nei giorni scorsi
di una sua eventuale partecipazione al festival di Sanremo.
A Roma per i lancio della 'Pantera rosa', in cui fa rivivere
l' ispettore Clouseau, l' attore americano dice di non conoscere
nemmeno l' esistenza di un festival della canzone di Sanremo:
"mi sembra che mi avevano invitato a un festival del cinema di
Sanremo - dice - ma non se ne e' fatto piu' nulla".
Steve is running around Rome.
i tried this in bablefish, but the translation didn't make much more sense than reading the Italian, which I don't speak. so here's the Italian, only to prove he's there.
Notiziario Generale in Italiano
February 21, 2006
CINEMA: RENO-MARTIN, NUOVA COPPIA PER LA PANTERA ROSA / ANSA ;
I DUE A ROMA PER L' USCITA DEL FILM
(ANSA) - ROMA, 21 feb - A vederli dal vivo uno accanto all'
altro formano una bella coppia: l' americano Steve Martin e il
francese Jean Reno parlano due lingue diverse ma s' intendono
perfettamente e si completano a vicenda, come i personaggi che
interpretano nell' ultimo film della 'Pantera Rosa', l'
imbranato ispettore Clouseau e il suo massiccio assistente
Per Martin la domanda d' obbligo e' una sola: come ha fatto a
calarsi nei panni di Clouseau dopo le stupende interpretazioni
del grande Peter Sellers? "Ci sono stati due momenti"
risponde: "il primo, che e' durato pochissimo, e' stato di
paura, di non essere all' altezza. Superato questo mi sono
chiesto come risultare divertente almeno quanto Sellers. E la
risposta e' stata: calarsi talmente nel personaggio da sembrare
assolutamente spontaneo. E' il percorso che aveva seguito Peter:
lui non recitava Clouseau, 'era' Clouseau".
Naturalmente Martin si e' rivisto attentamente tutti i film
della serie, ma quello da cui ha attinto maggiormente e' stato
il secondo, 'Uno sparo nel buio': "Era li' che si definiva il
carattere dell' ispettore, mentre nel primo, 'La pantera rosa',
Clouseau appariva solo per una decina di minuti e tutto ruotava
intorno a David Niven".
Anche per Jean Reno e' stato un po' problematico essere l'
assistente di un ispettore talmente imbranato da farsi
continuamente male da solo: "avrei potuto prenderlo in giro o
compiangerlo per la sua stupidita', ma ho preferito scegliere
un' altra strada: far finta di non vedere, e credere ciecamente
in lui e nel suo fiuto investigativo. A parte questo Martin e
un comico di grande talento ed una persona di cultura. Se mi
piace il suo inglese con accento francese?: certo, mi fa ridere.
E poi chiunque prenda in giro se stesso diventa automaticamente
interessante. Fare da spalla non mi dispiace affatto: per
Benigni, che mi ha offerto una parte in 'La tigre e la neve',
avrei fatto qualsiasi cosa. Se mi avesse chiesto di girare una
scena in cui quando lui diceva 'Azione!' io aprivo una porta e
me ne andavo lo avrei fatto. Per Steve avrei fatto lo stesso. Mi
hanno offerto milioni per il seguito di 'Leon' ma ho sempre
rifiutato, per me piu' dei soldi sono importanti gli incontri
con le persone".
In America 'La pantera rosa' e' stato un grande successo di
pubblico: "e piaciuto a gente di ogni eta'", dice Martin: "i
giovani uscivano dal cinema ripetendo le battute del film ai
genitori e chiedendo di tornarci la settimana dopo con gli
amici. Se faremo un seguito? la speranza c'e. Certamente io e
Jean Reno andremo avanti insieme come ballerini, la scena del
film in cui balliamo in calzamaglia non l' abbiamo provata
nemmeno una volta, abbiamo fatto partire la macchina da presa e
ci siamo buttati".
Pink Panther no longer blue
Copley News Service
February 21, 2006 Tuesday 11:53 AM EST
Families into 'Pink'
America's No. 1 movie just before Valentine's Day was "The Pink Panther," with zany physical-comedy master Steve Martin in the Inspector Clouseau role made famous in the 1960s and 1970s by zany physical-comedy master Peter Sellers. The film is a clever, laugh-a-minute success. Which makes a Los Angeles Times story about how nearly the new "Panther" movie did miss all the more instructive. The story said "Panther" was all finished a year ago. Then Sony Pictures movie chief Amy Pascal decided that Martin's Clouseau was too blue for the film to work.
That is, this Clouseau was a dirty-minded lech - like too many foul-mouthed, toilet-fixated "stars" of what now passes for comedy.
Simply duplicating Sellers' Clouseau, who romped with good minded cluelessness through five films, would have been pointless, of course. But Pascal saw that the film could be reshaped as a fun family flick drawing on the best aspects of Martin's talents.
Hollywood's disdain for a thoughtful approach to film comedy has deprived two generations of the clever writing and physical comedy practiced by the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Johnny Carson and Carol Burnett.
So Pascal sent the word: This movie isn't working. Clean it up so it can get a PG rating. And get Martin doing what he does best.
The result was an impressive financial payoff.
There are more than enough "mature" movies out there. Bravo to Pascal for remembering that their fans aren't the entirety of the movie-going public.
Steve to remain a whitehead
The Mirror (London)
February 24, 2006 Friday
1 Star Edition
NEWS; Pg. 25
MARTIN'S ALL WHITE
SUPERSTITIOUS star Steve Martin is refusing to dye his trademark white hair for film roles.
The comedian said both times he coloured his hair his movies flopped.
The Man With Two Brains star explained: "One of the rare times I took account of a review, it said 'Watch out when Steve Martin goes for the dye!' So I know not to."
Martin, 60, has taken French lessons to sharpen up his accent to play Inspector Clouseau in a new Pink Panther film.
The movie, which also stars Beyonce Knowles and Kevin Kline, is due out in the UK on March 17.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Here's hoping the Secret Service can recognize satire
Cheney Shoots Three Presidents in Oval Office Mishap
By Steve Martin
Vice President Dick Cheney, while hunting wild geese in the Rose Garden, accidentally shot President Bush twice, once in the heart and once in the head. "I didn't really shoot the President twice," said Cheney. "The second time I shot him, I was president. It wasn't until my third shot, where I accidentally shot my own foot, that I had shot the president twice.
I was officially injured and unable to govern, when Dennis Hastert came in, and stepped on the butt handle of the rifle causing it to swing up like a rake and shoot his hair off. I guess I'm officially responsible for that too, meaning I shot the acting president for a total of three occupants of the oval office. I'm not proud, but it is a record."
The ever-vigilant KMT
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
PP for kids
The Denver Post
February 10, 2006 Friday
P is for Panther Restyled Clouseau plays to sly kids
Michael Booth Denver Post Staff Writer
You will leave "The Pink Panther" still wondering if Steve Martin does Peter Sellers proud, or done him wrong.
Meanwhile, the children will be cackling all the way home, "AM-bourg-air! Ah wood lock to bah uh AM-bourg-air!"
This fairly tame "Panther" remake works on at least one level: It claws its way straight to the shallow soul of 10-year-olds made hysterical by flatulence.
That would include me, much of the time. One of the funniest scenes involves Inspector Clouseau (Martin) retreating to a soundproof recording booth to make himself, as the French might say, sans gas. That lovely rock star Xania (Beyoncé) has left the microphone on is a glorious Gallic given.
Another high point: Clouseau flooding a bathroom at the Waldorf-Astoria, crashing through the floor onto the front desk, then calmly dinging the bell and demanding "Fresh towels in 204!"
If you are as clueless as Clouseau in figuring out what happens next in this kind of movie when someone declares, "This intruder is wearing a flesh-colored mask!," then don't go. Neither flatulence nor Francophiles can save you.
The original "Pink Panther" series, from the incomparable straight man Sellers and naughty director Blake Edwards, was pitched at sly adults - more martinis than mugging. This one, co-written by Martin with Len Blume, is pitched at sly children. Some adults may enjoy the chaperone duties; many others will slink to another screen in the multiplex.
As the bumbling French inspector Clouseau, Sellers was the dual embodiment of Everyman's daydreams and nightmares. He imagined himself to be sophisticated even as everyone around him shoveled scorn. He always allowed a split-second of agonizing self-awareness just when things were at their worst, then immediately persevered in deluding himself back to the top.
Martin has displayed the same qualities since before "The Jerk," and while he is prone to some of that extra mugging, he clearly respects the Sellers ideal. His writing style is more obvious than the laid-back originals, but he can still sell a line: "What are the chances the body would fall exactly within the chalk outline on the floor!"
I would say don't sweat the details, but some will still ask about plot. The French national soccer coach is assassinated; chief inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline) worries no one can solve the case, so he seeks a fall guy on whom to blame a bungled investigation.
Enter Clouseau, fresh off a banana boat the size of a supertanker. But with the able (and quaintly amusing) backup of sidekicks Jean Reno and Emily Mortimer, Clouseau conquers all.
Along the way, fountain pens leak, burglars hide behind curtains, fingers are stuck in live electrical sockets. Antique globes bounce down steps and into the streets, there to wreak havoc on the many French bike racers who dared to question Lance Armstrong. Clouseau tries the good-cop/bad-cop routine, starring in both roles.
Questioning the curvaceous Xania, Clouseau snaps at his partner, "Why must you browbeat her? Can't you see she's sexy?"
It's not quite on the high comedic plane of "Do you have a license for that moon-key?" But AM-bourg-airs will do. Just ask the kids.
Steve's version of Pink Panther got a facelift
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2006 Monday
Business Desk; Part C; Pg. 1
Taming the New `Pink Panther';
Sony's decision to tone down sexual content in the remake pays off with top box office ranking.
Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
When Sony Pictures bought Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer last year, one of the films it inherited was a remake of "The Pink Panther," the classic Peter Sellers comedy.
The $80-million movie, starring Steve Martin as the famous French detective Jacques Clouseau, was already shot, edited and in the can. But everyone who saw it agreed it had a fatal flaw: Martin's character, who was a bumbling innocent in the 1964 film and its four sequels, came off more like a dirty old man.
In one scene, Inspector Clouseau -- determined to bed an international pop star played by Beyonce Knowles -- broke into a New York pharmacy and stole Viagra, which then visibly took effect under his clothes. In another, a woman knelt in front of Clouseau to measure him for new clothes. "You have quite a long in-seam," she said, sliding a tape measure up his thigh.
When "The Pink Panther" opened Friday, however, those bits were no longer there. That's because at the behest of Sony movie chief Amy Pascal, the studio spent about $5 million to re-shoot and reedit a number of scenes in the hopes of winning a PG rating.
"I saw a great family movie in the movie, but not everything was appropriate for a family audience," said Pascal, whom director Shawn Levy described as relentlessly blunt about the original film's shortcomings.
More than once, Levy said, when he showed Pascal changes he'd made to address her concerns, she replied, "You ain't done yet."
The revisions Pascal suggested, as well as a savvy marketing campaign that seeks to exploit Martin's popularity among kids weaned on his "Cheaper by the Dozen" films, among others, are being credited with helping turn this "Panther" from a potential stinker into the weekend's box-office leader.
Though facing stiff competition from the teen-friendly horror sequel "Final Destination 3," and to a lesser extent from the animated feature "Curious George," the return of the "Panther" series -- the first in more than a decade -- took in an estimated $21.7 million.
"We're thrilled," said Jeff Blake, Sony's chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution. "We were hoping for the widest possible audience, and the PG really gave us an advantage."
Exit polls showed that the movie drew families, adults without kids and a group the studio hadn't focused on: teens. By deciding "to play to our strengths and double down on adults, parents and kids," domestic marketing chief Valerie Van Galder said, the studio's campaign appealed both to young Martin fans and older moviegoers who remember the historic franchise.
The original "Pink Panther," directed by Blake Edwards, starred Sellers as a trench-coat-clad doofus whose obliviousness somehow never kept him from getting his man.
The first film and the several sequels that followed were hardly chaste. Edwards, who would go on to direct "10," among other films, had a ribald sensibility and a love of double entendre. But Sellers' Clouseau, whose thick French accent turned a simple word like "room" into an exercise in throat-clearing, was no cad. In romantic situations, as in investigative ones, he was simply clueless.
Martin's Clouseau, as conceived by the comedian himself when the project began at MGM, was more sexually provocative -- "a pompous lothario," according to Levy, the director. Martin co-wrote the script, and when it was shot, it was peppered with references to oral sex and erectile dysfunction.
Last spring, even before the ink was dry on billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's deal to sell MGM to a group of equity investors including Sony, the movie was screened for Pascal at MGM's headquarters. Already, MGM had tested the movie and found that audiences were uncomfortable with the new Clouseau, recalled MGM's former production chief Michael Nathanson.
Pascal, he remembered, didn't mince words. "Amy immediately saw the potential of the movie and wanted to enhance it," said Nathanson, who had already identified places the film needed help. "She had a very strong view to make Clouseau a more sympathetic, likable guy versus a lecherous, groping man."
At the same time, Pascal wanted the filmmakers to shoot additional scenes that would clarify some confusing plot twists and punch up the film with more broad physical humor, long a strong suit of Martin's.
Levy and the film's producer Bob Simonds -- who had both worked with Martin on the first "Cheaper by the Dozen" movie in 2003 -- acknowledged that the film wasn't working.
"Sometimes you end up with a feathered fish," said Simonds, a veteran of the comedy genre whose resume includes the Adam Sandler hits "The Wedding Singer," "Big Daddy" and "The Waterboy." "Audiences were laughing but they weren't going nuts -- it was like we had one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake."
So the filmmakers went back to work.
Out went the Viagra-stealing scene. Instead, a new riff was assembled from existing footage and added shots: Martin visits Beyonce at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, ducks into the bathroom and realizes his flaming cocktail has lighted his hair on fire. In the commotion, he loses an unidentified blue pill down the drain, the room becomes a blazing inferno and Martin ends up falling through the floor and landing behind the hotel's reservation desk.
Without missing a beat, he suavely asks for new towels to be sent to the room.
Many other once-sexually explicit elements were either excised or toned down. Still in the movie is a scene in which Clouseau's secretary (played by Emily Mortimer) asks him if he ever gets lonely.
"No, not really," he replies, adding in an apparent reference to either cyber-dating or cyber-porn: "Not since the Internet."
In another scene, Clouseau's partner (played by Jean Reno) walks in on what appears to be the Inspector humping Mortimer from behind. In fact, Clouseau is administering the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge an egg caught in her throat (when he succeeds, the egg pops out of her mouth and flies out the window, hitting a cyclist in the street below).
"We tried to render innuendos fleeting and vague enough that we as parents get one joke while our kids get another," said Levy, who admitted that the revisions -- and the resulting seven-month delay of the film's release -- were agonizing at times.
"Finishing a movie twice is the least fun part of the process," he said. But he acknowledged that before Pascal's intervention, the new "Panther" was "tonally ambiguous in that it was not clearly for families and it was not clearly for an adult audience.... The tinkering that Sony requested of me made the movie so much better."
In its marketing campaign, which cost more than $20 million, Sony aimed to appeal to Martin's young fan base by using many of the film's new slapstick-inspired scenes in television ads. For example, one ad shows an unwitting Clouseau falling down a subway entrance after trying to mask his identity by holding a newspaper so close to his face that he cannot see.
Van Galder, Sony's recently named domestic marketing chief, said the trick was to invoke the old Clouseau while also introducing him to young moviegoers who'd never seen him before.
"We needed to have Steve Martin step into the shoes of this classic comic character and brand him as Inspector Clouseau," she said. "He speaks to kids who love the physical comedy and adults who know and love the franchise."
Martin has been actively involved in promoting the movie. He not only appeared in character in a pop-up ad for Nick.com. and an in-theater spot pleading for patrons to turn off their cellphones, he also plugged the movie when he recently hosted "Saturday Night Live."
Van Galder acknowledged that the studio's biggest challenge was to attract teens and young adults, who flocked to the "Final Destination" sequel this weekend and drove it to an estimated $20.1 million in ticket sales. With that in mind, Sony bought spots on Teen Nick and MTV.
Van Galder also has high hopes that "A Woman Like Me," a song that Knowles sings on the soundtrack, will help build the film's cool factor. The song currently tops the nation's music charts, and her music video is in heavy rotation on MTV.
"Our secret weapon is Beyonce," Van Galder said on the eve of the film's opening.
With its premiere, the Knowles-Martin combination appears to have struck a bull's-eye. For Sony, which suffered a dismal 2005 at the box office, the turnabout is a relief. So far this year, each of Sony's three releases -- "Underworld Evolution," "When a Stranger Calls" and now "The Pink Panther" -- has won the weekend with more than $21 million in ticket sales.
"We're three for three," Blake said.
Steve speaks about PP, some new stuff not seen elsewhere
Profile: STEVE MARTIN REINVENTS INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU FOR THE PINK PANTHER REMAKE
Not only does the actor star as the bumbling detective, but he was co-scripted the film as well
By: KEVIN KINDEL
Contributing Writer Published: 2/13/2006
It was forty-three years ago that Peter Sellers donned the bumbling persona of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in Blake Edward’s classic, THE PINK PANTHER. This film marked the first in a series of kooky detective comedies that was a precursor to THE NAKED GUN movies.
With Hollywood’s stigma toward fresh material and their incessant tendencies toward remaking popular movies from the past, it was only a matter of time before they got around to revamping the farcical misadventures of the screwy, French inspector.
Actor, Producer, Writer, and all around funnyman, Steve Martin (THE JERK, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS) co-wrote the screenplay with Len Blum (PRIVATE PARTS).
"I don't view it as a remake because we totally redid the script," says Martin. "And it all started with reservations, not only with this film, but actually a lot of films. Though you have these reservations and what happened in this case was that the idea for gags overcame my reservations, and I just fiddled with the script secretly. And I still wasn't going to do it and I ran into [director] Shawn Levy in a parking lot and he said, 'Have you read this PINK PANTHER thing?' I said, 'Yeah. I was actually fiddling with it.' And I told him some of the gags and he thought that they were funny, and I said, 'Why? Are you interested in directing?' He said ‘yeah’ and then we were off and running. As soon as you have an ally that you trust, it makes things much easier."
Initially, Martin says the studio insisted the movie be called a "re-imagining," but the actor didn’t have a clue what that meant.
"So it's not officially a remake because a remake to me is when you use the same script or the same story, and so I don't know what you call it," Martin says with a laugh. "I really don't know and who cares. It's THE PINK PANTHER."
Regarding his comedic style of writing, Martin adds that the process is mostly about pleasing himself.
"If I write something and I laugh that makes me feel good, and then I'll maybe call someone and ask what they think of it, or I'll be at lunch and ask them what they think of it," says Martin. "The strangest one was when I was writing a monologue for The Mark Twain Awards and I didn't have anything, and I was like, 'I'm going to write this.' It was at night, I was having dinner by myself, had a little glass of wine and I'm just writing and I'm laughing and laughing and the next day I read it to a friend who just starred at me. So I threw it out. I realized that I had made a mistake and so laughter isn't always the key."
Opposed to imitating Peter Seller’s madcap depiction of the witless detective in the new PINK PANTHER, Martin explains it was important to him to completely reinvent the character of Inspector Clouseau for the new film.
"It would've been harder to imitate Peter Sellers," admits Martin. "I realize that Peter Sellers knew the character inside out and he could probably adlib all day as that character and I thought that is the sign to me when I have it, when you can adlib all day as the character. Eventually that came. I first worked on the accent, and then I worked on the outfit and the physical attributes, which I didn't have any problem with at all, and finally when I realized that I was thinking like him I felt very comfortable."
In fact, back in 1980, Martin had met Peter Sellers who gave him a bit of advice that has stuck with him to this day."He said something really profound to me," adds Martin. "I was in Hawaii and we were both promoting a film and I was coming off a sort of hot standup career, and you know the cycle of sort of criticism, discovery, enthusiasm, success, slaughter. Right? So I was coming off the sort of slaughter years of my standup career, which I stopped in 1980 when I had just done THE JERK and it wasn't out. I was in Hawaii at a luau and it was at night and he came up to me and he was a god to me, and he said, 'I know you're under a lot of criticism right now, but I know what you're doing.' It was kind of breathtaking really. So I felt like there was like a little torch passed to me. And we have the benefit of his performance and his definition of the character. But I bring a lot of heart to my performances. I don't know if it's good heart or bad heart, but I always like to find that little emotional moment whether it's CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN or FATHER OF THE BRIDE or SHOPGIRL or CYRANO. There is something there that kind of runs through my work and I like to think of it as good sentimentality. I think that sentimentality now means bad, but I think that there is good sentimentality, and I think that's what this movie brings. I think that the relationship between Jean Reno and myself is warm, between Clouseau and Ponton."
One of the major omissions in the new film is the character of Cato (Burt Kwouk) – who was Clouseau’s trusty sidekick in many of Sellers’ PANTHER films.
"In the script that I inherited, Kato was gone already," says Martin. "And it's just as well because I always viewed that as a great initial scene in one of the movies, I can't remember [which one], but I think that it was A SHOT IN THE DARK. And then they have this fight, and then when Kato answers the phone you realize that he's his houseboy, essentially and that was it for me. I didn't think that it stayed as funny. I don't think that it would be so funny in the movie today."
Describing his working relationship with film director, Shawn Levy (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN), Martin explains that what makes it work so well is they have the same temperament.
"We don't like to belabor a joke over and over," says Martin. "We like to get it and move on. But neither of us will move on until we get it, but we know that you don't have to do twenty-five takes in a comedy. If you got it, you got it. He will also cover things three different ways. Like we'll have an ending gag, and it's like, 'I'm not sure if that'll work, but lets make sure that we have this shot so that we can cut away if we need to.' And we both do that very quickly."
Improvising was a major part of filming the new remake as well according to Martin.
"There was improvising, but I always say that you improvise before you shoot," explains Martin. "You don't really improvise on camera because it throws the other actors off. That's to be done in rehearsal. That's when you're saying, 'What if?' Or like I met with Kevin Kline and Shawn Levy in my apartment and we went over the scenes where I whack him with the classical pointer and was just working out the scene before we shot it to see what we could come up with. Kevin is his own artist. Jean Reno is his own personality and his own presence. So there was no problem with that."
For Martin, returning to the kind of off-the-wall, slapstick comedy was important since it hearkens back to the type of movies he did in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and he feels it now brings his career full circle.
"One of the reasons that I wanted to do this is because I want to go back to broad comedy, and this is just a ready made thing for broad comedy," says Martin. "The character is ready made for this. It felt great. It feels really good. What I love about these kinds of comedies, and in our PINK PANTHER in particular, is that it will go from very physical to what I'll call tiny, tiny, little verbal jokes. So it's all over the place and always sort of coming at you like big, tall, smart and dumb."
Monday, February 13, 2006
Pink Panther No. 1 at Box Office
Feb 13, 10:38 AM EST
'Pink Panther' Claws to Top of Box Office
By DAVID GERMAIN
AP Movie Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Inspector Clouseau bumbled his way to the top of the box office as Steve Martin's "The Pink Panther" debuted with $21.7 million to lead a rush of new releases.
New Line's horror sequel "Final Destination 3" ran a close second with $20.1 million, followed by Universal's animated "Curious George" at No. 3 with $15.3 million and the Warner Bros. thriller "Firewall" starring Harrison Ford in fourth with $13.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The overall box office rose slightly despite the Winter Olympics and a Northeast snowstorm, both of which kept many movie-goers at home. The top 12 movies took in $106.8 million, up 3 percent over the same weekend last year, when "Hitch" opened as the No. 1 movie with $43.2 million.
After a slump in which attendance dropped 7 percent in 2005, Hollywood is off to a better start this year. Revenues are at just over $1 billion, up 8 percent from last year's. Factoring in higher ticket prices, attendance has risen 5 percent, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
Sony's "The Pink Panther" stars Martin in the role defined by Peter Sellers, whose French detective Clouseau was the idiot-savant hero of a string of 1960s and '70s comedy hits by Blake Edwards, who continued the franchise into the '80s and '90s after Sellers' death.
The remake drew a broad audience, with parents and their children accounting for 51 percent of the crowds and viewers evenly divided between those older and younger than 25.
"It was just all over the place, kids, parents, teenagers. We had everybody," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony, which inherited "The Pink Panther" from MGM in a Sony-led takeover last year.
The top 10 was dominated by five family-friendly films - "The Pink Panther," "Curious George," 20th Century Fox's "Big Momma's House 2," Universal's "Nanny McPhee" and the Weinstein Co. animated tale "Hoodwinked" - and three horror flicks - "Final Destination 3" and Sony's "When a Stranger Calls" and "Underworld Evolution."
"It's a battle of the genres," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "Family films and horror films are the most consistently performing genres at the box office, and there really is a lot of choice out there for both right now."
Focus Features' "Brokeback Mountain," the favorite for best picture at the Academy Awards, remained the top-grosser among Oscar contenders, finishing at No. 8 with $4.2 million and lifting its domestic total to $66.6 million.
In limited release, the acclaimed concert film "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" opened strongly at four theaters, taking in $57,303 for a $14,326 average, compared to a $6,241 average in 3,477 cinemas for "The Pink Panther."
Directed by Jonathan Demme ("The Silence of the Lambs"), "Heart of Gold" presents Young as he premiered the songs of his latest album, the country-tinged "Prairie Wind," at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium last August. "Heart of Gold" expands to more theaters this weekend.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Pink Panther," $21.7 million.
2. "Final Destination 3," $20.1 million.
3. "Curious George," $15.3 million.
4. "Firewall," $13.8 million.
5. "When a Stranger Calls," $10 million.
6. "Big Momma's House 2," $6.8 million.
7. "Nanny McPhee," $5.2 million.
8. "Brokeback Mountain," $4.2 million.
9. "Hoodwinked," $2.502 million.
10. "Underworld Evolution," $2.5 million.
Steve's hanging out in NYC
SIGHTINGS . . .
S.I. Newhouse and his wife, Victoria, at En Japanese Brasserie on Hudson Street the same night as Virginia Madsen and Michael Stipe . . . STEVE Martin at Performance Space 122 congratulating the cast after seeing "No Great Society" by Elevator Repair Service . . .
Saturday, February 04, 2006
An article on SNL with some Steve quotes
After 31 years, 'Saturday Night' is still alive and well
By JAKE COYLE
"Saturday Night Live," like rock 'n' roll, is perpetually dying.
Throughout the 31 seasons of the sketch comedy show, on a near annual basis, critics have written off "SNL" for not being "what it once was."
When Chevy Chase left the show early in the second season, his replacement was derided. Three decades later, Bill Murray remains one of our most celebrated comics.
"It's been dying since the second season," says Lorne Michaels, the show's creator and executive producer. "It's always about reinvention."
With four years since Will Ferrell was a cast member and two years since Jimmy Fallon departed, the present incarnation of "SNL" has been one, Michaels says, of "transition."
But the newest crop of cast members has helped energize this season of "Saturday Night Live," which continues tonight with Steve Martin hosting for the 14th time, with Prince the musical guest. This year's four newbies -- Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis -- have all made notable contributions.
"I think you're seeing the wave of the future," Michaels, 61, says. Tina Fey, who co-anchors "Weekend Update" with Amy Poehler and is one of "SNL's" three head writers, agrees.
"I think there's a generational shift happening now," she says. "I feel, for sure, like a senior, and there's a lot of great, exciting freshmen that are coming in."
Samberg has lately become immediately recognizable to viewers. His mock hip-hop video with Chris Parnell about cupcakes and "The Chronicles of Narnia," titled "Lazy Sunday" (penned with new writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), was a huge hit online.
Hader has proven himself with savvy impressions, including a hysterical, spacy Al Pacino. He's also experienced a few typical first-year roles, including playing a man frozen in a coma in one sketch.
Wiig already has a recurring character -- a checkout lady at Target who couldn't be happier with her job, who races away from her register to pick up each new product she spots.
Sudeikis, who was a writer for two seasons before entering the cast, has proven capable in carrying a skit himself -- as he did in a virtual one-man sketch where he gradually descends from shopping for a wedding ring to trying to steal one.
There also have been some behind-the-scenes changes. Seth Meyers, the fifth year "SNL" member known for his Sen. John Kerry impression and the elaborately insulting scientist Dr. Dave Klinger, has recently been promoted to head writer. The new position, Meyers says, alleviates his pain if none of his sketches make the show: "It's gives me something to do rather than stew in my own juices of disappointment. You can actually still help the show."
Aside from the Internet phenomenon of "Lazy Sunday," "SNL" sketches also were recently made available on Apple's iTunes for $1.99 each. These 21st-century options, Michaels says, "change the whole dynamic."
"The audience of the show has always been young, and I think they're more likely to be aware of the new technology," he says.
Steve Martin doesn't like to stroll down memory lane too much: "I'm not sentimental about anything after 1970. I don't know why," the 60-year-old deadpans.
"I forget how young everybody was when we started," he says of being back at the "SNL" studio in NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters. "And when I come back here, I think, 'Gee, everybody is so young.' Then I realize, but we all were. I'm reminded of an essential truth, that this is a very young show."
While "SNL" is still clearly geared to the young, in 31 seasons countless loyal viewers have inevitably grown up.
"The problem with a show that's been on for 30 years is that it's sort of everybody's sketch show," says Meyers. "It is, actually, your parents' sketch show because when they were your age, they were watching it."
Of course, most of the cast members of "SNL" are not freshmen. Together, they make up a genuine ensemble, which Michaels says is currently like "what football has in special teams. ... There are people who are there who do something where they're the best for that."
Veteran Darrell Hammond keeps up impressions of Donald Trump and MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Fred Armisen can mimic Prince or hawk chandeliers with a Long Island accent. Chris Parnell remains, perhaps, the show's MVP, a constant reservoir of both middle-class straight men and wannabe rappers.
Will Forte has emerged as possibly the show's craziest performer. Recently, as the ponytailed lead singer of the house band for morning talk show "Duluth Live," he downed a fake bottle of whiskey and began screaming things like "Go Thunderbird Spirit!" And that still leaves Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph (who returns after maternity leave Saturday), Finesse Mitchell and the "TV Funhouse" clips from Robert Smigel.
If there is a star of "SNL" right now, it might be Poehler, who seems to see more screen time than anyone else. But it may be too early to proclaim whose generation this is.
In the end, what might be the dominant aspect of "Saturday Night Live" isn't its fluctuations, but its consistency.
"Nothing has changed," Martin says. "Not even Lorne's photos on the walls in his office."
From the indefatigable KMT
Another PP article
Steve Martin fills role made famous by Peter Sellers
A touch of Pink
Louis B. Hobson
February 4, 2006
HOLLYWOOD — Though he thinks he should keep it a secret, Steve Martin is tickled pink he’s the new Inspector Clouseau.
WHAT A JERK ... Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, opening Feb. 10.
“My heart is so with The Pink Panther. I want to make another. I’m so happy with this film I feel, with hip replacements, I could go on forever,” says Martin.
Then he adds cautiously: “I’d love it to become a franchise but don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to jinx things.”
On Feb. 10 when The Pink Panther opens, Martin will be stepping into a role Peter Sellers created in 1963.
The bumbling French detective Jacques Clouseau became one of Sellers most memorable creations and a comedy icon.
Sellers revived Clouseau for A Shot in the Dark (1964), The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), The Pink Panther Strikes Back (1976) and Revenge of the Pink Panther which he filmed in 1977 less than three years before his death.
“Of course I had reservations about playing Clouseau. Every role I do starts with reservations,” admits Martin, who received Montreal screenwriter Len Blum’s screenplay after Kevin Spacey and Mike Myers had toyed with it. “While I was reading it, I came up with some ideas for gags. The more gags I envisioned the more I overcame my reservations.”
Still Martin refused to commit until he bumped into director Shawn Levy.
The two had worked together on Martin’s 2003 hit Cheaper by the Dozen.
“When Shawn told me he was interested in directing The Pink Panther, I knew I had an ally I could trust.”
Martin says Sellers was so good as Clouseau because “Peter knew the character inside and out. They say he could ad lib as Clouseau endlessly.”
The first thing Martin did was work on a faux French accent because “that is so much a part of the humour.
“Then I concentrated on the physical look I wanted for him but it wasn’t until I started thinking like Clouseau that I actually felt comfortable.”
Martin admits once filming started he felt so at ease with his Clouseau accent he used it off camera as well as on.
“I almost lost my girlfriend (Anne Stringfield) over using that accent off set.”
Martin says there are certain attributes he shares with Clouseau including the man’s “naive belief he can do anything. I admire his will to believe in his own genius.”
Then, with a chuckle, Martin adds “I also share his lust.”
Though he insists it was never his intention to imitate Sellers, Martin admits he “had the benefit of his performance. We knew why it worked.
“I’ve been wanting to return to broad comedy for quite a while and Clouseau was a ready-made character to do it with.”
Martin says his Clouseau is not all pratfalls.
“I like to find the heart of all my characters. I call those little moments of pathos good sentimentality. I tried to take my Clouseau from very physical comedy to little verbal jokes.”
In 1980, shortly before Sellers died, the two comedians met in Hawaii.
“We were both there promoting films,” recalls Martin. “I was there for The Jerk and he was there promoting The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu. I was coming off a really hot stand-up career and there were critics who felt I didn’t belong in films. Peter came up to me and said: ‘You’re under a lot of criticism now, but I know what you’re doing.’
“It was a wonderful gesture on his behalf. It’s something I needed to hear.”
In The Pink Panther, pop diva Beyonce Knowles plays Xania, the girlfriend of a murdered internationally famous soccer coach (Jason Statham). Jean Reno plays Gendarme Gilbert Ponton, Clouseau’s assistant assigned by the devious Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Kevin Kline).
Beyonce says she was “too nervous to laugh. Steve Martin is such a comic genius. I didn’t want to betray the trust he had in me by casting me.”
Clive Owen has a cameo in The Pink Panther as a British agent with the code name Agent 006. “I think we knew at the time we approached Clive he was being considered for James Bond,” reveals Martin.
“I think that’s a big part of the joke of having him play our Agent 006.”
Martin admits he and Levy have ideas for a sequel, but is adamant he “won’t write a thing until this movie is out and we see how it performs. Then we could be working on the second one by the end of the year.”
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Steve talks about making PP
Monsters and Critics.com
Steve Martin in the 'Pink'
By Angela Dawson
Feb 2, 2006, 19:00 GMT
Steve Martin met his comedy hero Peter Sellers at a luau in 1980. Both were in Hawaii promoting their respective movies and Sellers surprised Martin, then a rising young comedian, by introducing himself.
'I was coming off the slaughter years of my stand-up career and he said to me, `I know you`re under a lot of criticism right now but I know what you`re doing,' recalls Martin. 'It was breathtaking, like a torch was passed to me.'
A quarter-century later, Martin, 60, is stepping into Sellers` signature role, that of the bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau in 'The Pink Panther.' The film co-stars Jean Reno, Kevin Kline, Emily Mortimer and Beyonce Knowles.
In the all-new story, which Martin co-wrote, Clouseau is investigating the high-profile murder of a professional soccer coach and the theft of his priceless Pink Panther diamond. Among the suspects: the victim`s girlfriend, an American singer (Knowles).
Clouseau`s boss (Kline) assigns a gendarme (Reno) to assist the inspector in his investigation, using the gendarme to keep tabs on Clouseau`s progress (or lack of it) on the case. The chief hopes Clouseau will bungle the assignment so he can step in, solve the murder and win France`s prestigious Medal of Honor.
As with the classic 'Pink Panther' comedies of the 1960s-`80s, Clouseau stumbles his way through the investigation, oblivious to the chaos and mayhem he creates wherever he goes.
For Martin, 'The Pink Panther' marks a return to his roots in physical comedy. 'One of the reasons I wanted to do this was because I wanted to go back to broad comedy,' he explains. 'And this was just a ready-made thing for (that style of comedy). It goes from very physical to what I call tiny little verbal jokes. It`s all over the place and always sort of coming at you: big, tall, smart and dumb.'
Martin, an author and playwright as well as an actor-screenwriter, had toyed with the 'Pink Panther' script for some time. He wasn`t completely convinced he could do it until he ran into director Shawn Levy. (The two had previously collaborated on the 2003 hit comedy 'Cheaper By the Dozen.') 'I asked if he was interested in directing this, and he said `yeah,` then we were off and running,' recalls Martin.
The gags he conceived overcame whatever trepidation he`d felt early on about playing the iconic character. The key, he says, was getting the accent right. He took his cue from his predecessor and practiced with a voice coach.
'Peter Sellers knew the character inside out and he could probably ad-lib all day as the character, so the sign to me that I had it was when I could do the same, and eventually I got to that point,' he says.
(Martin nearly drove his girlfriend crazy with the accent, which he would fall into during regular conversations.)
Though the character is a bit of a stereotype, Martin says the film has nothing derogatory aimed at the French. 'That`s not where we`re coming from,' he insists. 'We`re not trying to insult a country.'
After nailing the accent, Martin concentrated on Clouseau`s look, including the inspector`s trademark mustache. 'I grew my own because I can`t stand that paste-on thing on the lip,' he says. With a fake mustache, 'the upper lip looks frozen, and for comedy that`s ridiculous.'
Martin clearly relished playing the bumbling inspector and says he hopes audiences will enjoy it as well. 'My heart is so with `Pink Panther` and I want it to do well so that we can make another one,' he says.
Born in Texas and raised in Southern California, Martin became a television writer in the late 1960s, winning an Emmy for his work on 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.' By the end of the decade he was performing his own material in clubs and on TV.
A frequent guest on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' Martin went on to host 'Saturday Night Live' several times and created a number of memorable catchphrases ('Well, excuuuse me!'). The multi-talented performer won Grammy awards for his comedy albums 'Let`s Get Small' and 'A Wild and Crazy Guy' and had a gold record with his single 'King Tut.'
Martin`s first film, a short he wrote and starred in called 'The Absent-Minded Waiter,' was nominated for a 1977 Academy Award. Two years later, he made his movie debut in 'The Jerk,' directed by Carl Reiner. He went on to star in three other Reiner comedies, 'Dead Men Don`t Wear Plaid,' 'The Man With Two Brains' and 'All of Me.'
Throughout the 1980s, Martin tried different types of comedy, from the romantic 'Roxanne' to the edgier 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.' In 1989, he starred with Mary Steenburgen and Dianne Wiest in Ron Howard`s family comedy 'Parenthood' and continued to show his versatility in films such as 'Grand Canyon' and 'The Spanish Prisoner.'
Audiences have responded best to comedies like 'Father of the Bride,' in which he starred with Diane Keaton, and the more recent 'Cheaper By the Dozen' comedies, co-starring Bonnie Hunt.
For the past decade, he has explored other creative avenues. He wrote a play ('Picasso at the Lapin Agile') and became a best-selling author with his 130-page novella, 'Shopgirl,' which he adapted into a movie and starred in last year. His 'Pure Drivel,' a collection of witty short stories, was published in 1998. Martin`s second novella, 'The Pleasure of My Company,' also became best seller.
Martin has been enjoying one of his best years, having impressed critics with his dramatic turn as an older man who courts a younger woman in 'Shopgirl' and drawing huge numbers at the box office with the 'Cheaper By the Dozen' sequel. 'Sometimes you just get lucky,' he says modestly. 'I`ve never had three hits in a row. I don`t know if (`Pink Panther`) will be a hit, but I think it might be.'
Why we never get outtakes on Steve DVD's
MARTIN KEEPS HIS MOVIE BLOOPERS TO HIMSELF
Funnyman STEVE MARTIN insists fans will never see his bloopers on film sets - because he refuses to let TV cameras shoot the proceedings.
The CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN star hates to think of a DVD featuring his mistakes and on set gags and so he insists all his directors ban outside film crews from his sets.
He says, "I hate that 'Making of...' for television. I'll do a take seven, 12, 15 times to get it right, but it just doesn't seem right to have a guy there with a video camera, putting your scene on TV or DVD.
"I have a policy that there's no shooting during takes. You can shoot a rehearsal but you can't shoot a take. You're giving your secrets away; you don't tell the audience how it's done."
New Interview with Steve on PP
Interview: Steve Martin
"The Pink Panther"
Posted: Wednesday, February 1st 2006 2:21AM
Author: Paul Fischer
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Steve Martin is as iconic an actor one can meet. A ferocious intellectual and a true comic artist, Martin finally returns to his roots and in top form playing the legendary Inspector Clouseau in al new Pink Panther. While many have scoffed at another Panther, reaction to the film has been positive and audiences are discovering how truly masterful Steve Martin is. As the classic actor met the media this past weekend, he did concede to PAUL FISCHER that it was no easy task to decide to step into some considerably legendary shoes.
Question: Could you talk a little bit about what reservations, if any, you had about revisiting a character that's so well known?
Martin: Well that's where it all starts, with reservations, not only for this film but actually for a lot of films. And, by the way, I don't view it as a remake because it's a totally new script - but you have these reservations and then, essentially in this case what happened was the ideas for gags overcame my reservations and I just secretly fiddled with the script that existed and thought, hmm, that's kind of funny, that's kind of funny, just privately. I still wasn't going to do it and I ran into director Shawn Levy in a parking lot and he said, "Have you heard about this Pink Panther thing?" and I said, "Yeah I was actually fiddling with it a bit". And I told him some of the gags and he said, "That sounds funny", and I said, "Why are you interested in directing?" and he says, "Yeah". And then we're off and running. as soon as you have an ally that you trust it makes things much easier.
Question: So how hard is it to make this character your own and to completely divorce yourself of Sellers?
Martin: Well, it would have been harder to imitate Peter Sellers. I realised that Peter Sellers knew the character inside out and I figured, hmm, he could probably ad-lib all day as that character, and I thought that is the sign to me when I have it is when you can ad-lib all day as the character, and eventually that came. I first worked on the accent and then I worked on the outfit - the physical I didn't have any problem with at all - and, finally when I realised, oh, I'm thinking like him now I felt very comfortable and I felt different from the great Peter Sellers.
Question: And what about the accent which just carries the film, how much was Elmer Fudd...
Martin: I'll tell you, you're right a bit about Elmer Fudd, but he didn't come into my consciousness, but I had a very good accent coach named Jessica Drake and she gave me some tips, and she also said it's actually a French thing to say, what is it - a little bit of a lipsa - that's not it, it's something else. It's in the movie. You know what I'm talking about, the Elmer Fudd thing - the old wabbit.
Martin: So she actually came up with that and I thought that's a very funny idea.
Question: Now, that was a striking moustache. How much attention did you pay to the design of the moustache?
Martin: Well, we didn't know if I was going to wear a moustache, we were just in the sort of costume department trying on clothes and different ideas, and my makeup man came over with a pencil and he went - umhmumhmumhm - and he drew it on, and I thought, oh... suddenly it came to life. And then I did grow my own moustache, but I can't stand that pasted on thing on your lip that never moves.
Question: How did you feel about going back to broad comedy after all this time?
Martin: Lovely. It was one of the reasons I wanted to do the film, I wanted to go back to broad comedy, and it was like here is a ready-made broad comedy. The character is so ready-made, it felt good. What I love about these kinds of comedies and our comedy The Pink Panther in particular, is that it'll go from very physical to what I'll call tiny, tiny little verbal jokes. So it's all over the place. We're always kind of coming at you - big, small, smart, dumb. You know?
Question: We always have to come up with catch phrases, so instead of a remake what would you call it - a re-imagining, an updating...
Martin: Well, it's funny that you'd say that because the studio at first - this was when we were with MGM - insisted that it be called a re-imagining, and I said, "What does that mean?"
Martin: So it's not officially a remake, because a remake to me is when you use the same script or the same story. So I don't know what you'd call it - a play? It's... I don't know. I really don't know, and who cares anyway it's The Pink Panther movie.
Question: What qualities do you think you share with Clouseau, if any?
Martin: Qualities? Lust.
Martin: Well I don't know. I just love his innocence. Now I don't know how innocent I am anymore but I feel innocent a lot. And, in one sense Clouseau's will to believe in his own, genius is what motivated me early on. Not genius but to naively believe you could do something. You know? And I think that Clouseau has that naïve belief that he can solve it. And my character on stage when I was doing stand-up early on had that in spades. he had great will, confidence and in that sense they're kind of connected.
Question: How many of your original ideas are in the movie?
Martin: a lot. I don't know how to enumerate them. I mean there are a few ideas that didn't work and we re-shot little scenes to sort of bridge them so they could be cut, but you take a chance with comedy.
Question: You mentioned stand-up, do you ever miss doing stand-up?
Martin: No, I don't. I do enjoy the occasional sort of 5-minute monologue; introduce somebody, the Oscars, just those little things.
Question: When your day was over did you find yourself slipping into that accent?
Martin: All the time. Oh, yeah. I almost lost my girlfriend over it.
Question: In what way?
Martin: Would you like to make love?
Question: Cheaper by the Dozen 2 was one of the big hits of the holiday season, you seem to be riding this crest of popularity. Do you think it's because people just love you?
Martin: No. It's not that.
Question: It's like you're more popular than you were...
Martin: Sometimes you just get lucky. I've never had three hits in a row. I don't know if this will be a hit but, I think it might. But I've never had three hits in a row in my life. You have a hit and you can five flops, then you have a hit and you get to make five more flops because you've made a hit.
Question: A few years ago you said you were looking at your career and you said maybe you'd be happier just writing your "funny little plays"...
Martin: Well, my heart is so with The Pink Panther and I want it to be a hit so we can make another because all of us loved it. And it's fun to play the character, and it's fun to think as that guy - to think funny as that guy - and it's fun to come up with things.
Question: Is there a magic number like a trilogy that you'd want to stop at - I mean if it becomes so successful you could keep on going forever, would you?
Martin: Well with hip replacements I could, yeah.
Martin: I would... I've often fantasised about this being my career - like two more of them.
Question: So this would be your franchise...
Martin: Well I would love it - secretly, but don't tell anyone.
Question: Were you at all concerned when, the film's release kept getting delayed and MGM...
Martin: Well we had to suffer a bit - and there's nothing you can say... the film was made, was ready to go and then the studio was sold. And then, of course, you know this is a big release. I'm on every bus. they're taking ads out on important television shows. They're spending a lot of money to open this film, to promote it. And, so when a movie's delayed in the internet's mind there's only one reason, it's because it's lousy. And so I hope that when people see the film - first I hope they love it, and we're getting that kind of feedback already, that's it's got a good audience and people are enjoying it - and I hope we get a few apologies.
Question: There's a sort of strange percentage of our country that seems to think that France has been our enemy for the last 4 or 5 years...
Martin: Right, I know.
Question: Does that sort of encourage you to make certain kinds of French jokes or does it sort of cause you to stray away from certain ones?
Martin: I don't know that there are French jokes in the movie, There's nothing anti-French, I don't think, that I can think of. And that's not where we come from, to try and insult a country.
Question: Does it encourage you to stay away from certain stereotypes.
Martin: No. Stereotypes? Well, you know... I mean that's what Clouseau is I guess, I don't know. No, I don't think there's anything, offensive in the movie about France.
Question: Would you talk about your writing style? How do you know when it is really funny? If you like laugh out loud?
Martin: That's a good sign. Yeah.
Question: ...and if at any time do you bounce it off of anyone or do you just know this is funny, this is going to be good.
Martin: Well I bounce a lot. If I write something and if I laugh that makes me feel good and then I'll maybe call somebody and say what do you think about... or I'll be at lunch and say what do you think of this? The strangest one was I was writing a monologue for the Mark Twain Awards actually and I didn't have anything and I thought I'm going to write this. It was at night, I was having dinner by myself, had a little glass of wine. I wrote this monologue and I'm laughing and laughing. And then next day I read it to a friend who stared at me and, he was a comedian and he said, hmm... and, I threw it out. I realised I'd made a mistake. So laughter is not always the key.
Question: What do you see as being the main differences between this Clouseau and the Sellers Clouseau, because there seems to be a little bit more heart almost to this character?
Martin: Well we had the benefit of his performance, and his definition of the character. But if you're talking about the heart aspect, that's something I kind of bring to my performances. I don't know if it's good heart or bad heart, I'm just saying that I always like to find that little emotional moment like, whether it's Cheaper by the Dozen or, Father of the Bride or Shopgirl. There's something, that kind of runs through my work a bit. And I like to think of it as good sentimentality. I think sentimentality now means bad, but I think there's good sentimentality, and I think that's what this, movie brings a bit. I think the relationship between Jean Reno and myself is warm
Question: Did you ever meet Peter Sellers?
Martin: I did. I met him in 1980. I think that he said something really profound to me. I was in Hawaii and we were both promoting a film and I was coming off a sort of hot stand-up career, and you know the cycle of sort of criticism - discovery, enthusiasm, success, slaughter. Right? So I was coming off the sort of slaughter years of my stand-up career which I stopped in 1980 when I had just done 'The Jerk' and it wasn't out. I was in Hawaii at a luau and it was at night and he came up to me and he was a god to me, and he said, 'I know you're under a lot of criticism right now, but I know what you're doing.' It was kind of breathtaking really. So I felt like there was like a little torch passed to me.
Question: Any film plans for 'Picasso?'
Martin: No. They keep reading - there was, but it's so complicated and it so boring. Right now it's just going to remain a play.
Question: Was Kato something that you took out of the script?
Martin: No. In the script that I inherited Kato was gone already. And it's just as well because I always viewed that as a great initial scene in one of the movies, I can't remember. I think that it was 'Shot In The Dark.' And then they have this fight, and then when Kato answers the phone you realize that he's his house boy essentially and that was it for me. I didn't think that it stayed as funny. I don't think that it would be so funny in the movie today.
Question: Are you writing already on another 'Panther?'
Martin: No. We'll wait until this opens.
Question: What do you get from writing plays and novellas that you don't get from writing screenplays?
Martin: Well, the thing about a play and a novella is that it's not collaborative. A screenplay is or a film is anyway. So if you write your - one thing about a play, when I was doing my plays and we would be rehearsing and an actor would say that they didn't understand this line I could explain it. I knew exactly why the line was there which was such a comforting feeling and sometimes in a screenplay you go, 'Oh, well I'm actually just trying to get to the next scene.' There's a little bit of cheating going. But you can't cheat in a play or a novel. It's up to you.
Question: Did you ever run into a block while you were you writing 'Pink Panther?'
Martin: Not really. Writer's block - I have a line on that. Oh, yeah I wrote it in an essay. Writer's block is a fancy excuse for getting drunk. Writer's block to me, if I'm so called blocked I just get up and walk away and do something else and focus on the problem a little bit and wait a couple of days and go back.
Question: Do you have an desire to direct?
Martin: No, I don't. It's so demanding. It's so demanding and think about it - writing, directing and acting. That's a choice that you don't make casually.
New pics and trailer for Pink Panther
New trailer for the Pink Panther here.
New pics from the movie here.