Rob Riggle’s going to have a busy summer. The former Marine Corps officer, who stole scenes in The Hangover as a Taser-happy cop, kicks off the season by trading blows with Ashton Kutcher for the action comedy Killers. From there, Riggle co-stars, alongside Drew Barrymore and Will Ferrell, in Going the Distance and The Other Guys. In between those projects, Tom Hanks tapped him for a role in Larry Crowne. Riggle took time out his jam-packed schedule to talk to us about stunt sequences, Twitter, and a possible return to sitcom television.
Q: Henry, the character you play in Killers, has some secrets he’s trying to hide.
A: He does. I play Ashton Kutcher’s best friend, and I’m either a good guy or a bad guy in it. To find out for sure, you are going to have to see the movie. Just know that it is a crazy, mixed-up world in the CIA.
Q: And a violent world, at that. For a comedy, this film has a lot of action.
A: I get to fire guns! I’m in fistfights! I even get to drive a Trans Am and do some stunt driving. It was awesome.
Q: And does Rob Riggle do his own stunts?
A: Rob Riggle does a lot of his own stunts, but he does not do all of his own stunts. [Laughs] We had some great stunt people involved. But Ashton was a producer on this movie, as well. And he and I have a big fight scene. And when we did it, Ashton was like, “Let’s get after this. Let’s really make it look real.” I was onboard with that. But when we finished, we had bumps and bruises. We broke the skin a couple of times. One of his kicks accidentally went astray and chipped a tooth of mine. We got after it, no doubt about it. If it looks real onscreen, that’s the reason.
Q: Now, when Ashton goads you into a fight, does he ridicule you for having only 1 million Twitter followers to his 4 million?
A: [Laughs] No, he’s very nice about that. He would have every right to
sit there and mock me, though, with my piddling 1 million followers. But,
no, Ashton’s very nice about that.
Q: The recent trailer for The Other Guys, with Will Ferrell and
Mark Wahlberg, had a lot of solid laughs. What can you tell us about it?
A: That film is a total blast. I’m back working again with Ferrell and
Adam McKay, whom I absolutely love to work with. [Riggle had a part in Talladega
Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.] It’s going to be a funny, funny
movie. Those guys always come up with great stuff. They are both
improvisers, like myself. When we get on set, Adam lets us go for it. It
is such a blast working with those guys.
Q: Do you know if either Ferrell or McKay are behind the fake Twitter
account ParamountFilms, which is taking the studio to task for passing
on an Anchorman sequel?
A: You know, I just heard about that. I do not know for sure.
Q: Are you following the feed?
A: No, because I just heard about it a few days ago. But I’m going to
have to check it out.
Q: I was sorry to hear about your television sitcom, Gary
Unmarried, getting canceled.
A: Yeah. I felt really bad for the cast. They are good people, and it
was a fun little show.
Q: But you also recently shot a pilot episode for a new TV program,
A: I did. It didn’t get picked up for the fall, but the rumor is that
they are debating about bringing it in for the mid-season. It’s a very
funny show, I think. It’s called Team Spitz, and I play an
old-school, bombastic high-school football coach who is now in a
private school that has challenging faculty members and obnoxious kids.
There’s an obvious clashing of worlds, and I think we find some pretty
funny stuff in there.
Q: In the meantime, you’re still working on Tom Hanks’s next film, Larry
A: I am. We have a few more days of shooting left, and then I’m done.
But I’m telling you, to do a scene with Tom Hanks has just been one of
the greatest honors I’ve had as an actor. It has been amazing. I love
being around him. I love listening to him, hearing his ideas and
watching his process. Any time I get into his vicinity, I turn into a
sponge, just so I can learn as much as I can in the short amount of time
I have with him.