This is a pretty big deal for me, for the press day of the upcoming true crime film Most Wanted Jim Gaffigan agreed to speak with me. I have also been a fan of his since he played Hyde’s big brother from the Big Brother program on That 70s Show. Least to say I was a little nervous while conducting this interview. What Jim does in this movie is magical and you all should check it out!
AJ Friar: Hey Jim, how are you doing?
Jim: Good. Thanks for having me.
AJ Friar: So what peeks your interest in choosing Most Wanted?
Jim: I really enjoyed the script, but I was also really excited about the opportunity to play at character that was such a departure from what people would think I would do. A two timing drug dealer, granted he’s a commercial fisherman too, but it felt like something that… I was like, “I don’t know if I’m going to get many opportunities to do something like this,” but I mean, mostly responded to the story, I just thought the story was so interesting and I saw it as an opportunity. I feel like the film industry, you got to show people exactly what you could do. So, I knew that this was an opportunity that I could show people that I could do this character, hopefully.
AJ Friar: Right. And in my opinion, [inaudible 00:02:]departure from comedic roles and show some range which you did incredibly in this film, are you a true crime person per se? Are you interested in your own true crime aspect of what goes on?
Jim: Sorry, you cut out a little bit there. Am I drawn to dramas?
AJ Friar: No. Are you drawn to true crime? Are you interested in that kind of stuff?
Jim: Oh yeah, no, I would say, yeah. I mean, I definitely find thrillers… I did this movie American Dreamer, but this is the true crime one. But I find it fascinating the mathematics of finding how I could become the character is something that I enjoy that path, so that I’m not acting, I’m just a guy. So, but yeah, I think through crime is really interesting. I think that human beings are just a weird animal, you know what I mean? You look at Most Wanted, the cops broke the rules, but they were well-intended. But my guy was just a bad dude. His main motivation was purely financial. And I think that’s fascinating.
AJ Friar: And what are your thoughts on… I hear this so many times from actors that are comedians, it’s so much harder to do comedy than it is to do drama because you’ve really got to make people laugh and you don’t really know what’s going to fall flat when you’re doing comedy.
Jim: I mean, they are two different things, but I do think that what people should realize that comedians are pretty serious people. They just happen to go to the next level to provide a relief from that tension that they might’ve created. But they’re pretty serious and focused people that want to create laughter. But, all the comedians I know are really maybe sarcastic and sardonic, but they’re pretty sincere people.
AJ Friar: And, when you were growing up, which comedians inspired you? Which ones would you say, maybe not in a top five, but some that just really inspired you.
Jim: Oh sure. Comedians?
AJ Friar: Yeah.
Jim: Yeah. I would say that David Letterman definitely had a huge influence because I was living in Indiana and I saw him on TV and he could somehow be funny, make fun of someone, and they were in on the joke. When I was a little kid, Jonathan Winters was somebody who was absurdist and playful. And then I think also Bill Murray who’s not standup per se, but is comedic kind of [crosstalk 00:06:03].
AJ Friar: And I was talking to Jamie Kennedy about this, like a month ago. Back when I was growing up, it was HBO was the big ticket for standup specials. And now you got Netflix, you got Tubi, you got Amazon Prime getting into the game. What was it like having Amazon Prime picking up The Pale Tourist for you coming out next week?
Jim: It’s interesting. So this is my second special with Amazon prime. And, I’ve always kind of view, this is my eighth special and I’ve always viewed the special as, some of it’s like I’m harvesting the material, and I also want to expand it to different people. And so, I started with Comedy Central and obviously HBO was a big deal when I was younger and it still is a big deal, but the streaming platforms… I was really surprised because my last special, Quality Time, it being on Amazon Prime, I didn’t realize that many people were watching stuff on Amazon Prime. I was really surprised and pleasantly surprised. And also I would say that Netflix is huge. Netflix, I haven’t had a special on there since on Cinco. So, this would be the third special not on Netflix, but I’m excited to get back to Netflix because Netflix is probably twice the size it was the last special I did.
AJ Friar: Yeah. Because now they won a few Academy Awards and now they just [inaudible 00:08:12] out there now. And it’s just incredible what these streaming services can do because when I was younger, the first gaming console I had was the Super Nintendo. I never thought we would have streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix and its just so incredible to see what they can do with their marketings and things.
AJ Friar: So, Jim, what would you like to say about The Pale Tourist getting ready to come out soon [inaudible 00:08:47]?
Jim: I think the main thing I would say is that it’s a unique project in that it’s not… All stand up is self-assignment. And so Pale Tourist was… I was starting to do international shows and I was like, “All right, I’m going to do a special just in a certain country or just in a certain part of the world.” And it started with Asian American, which I taped. I did Quality Time, and then I went and I did this tour of Asia and I just decided to film all the material I came up with in Asia. And that material turned into Asian American. Now it wasn’t super high quality production. So, I just recently put that on YouTube, but then I was like, “All right. So, I’m going to do Spanish American and Canadian American.” Just material about Spain. Just material about Canada. And then I was going to do it about Mexico. I was going to do Mexican American or it was going to be Latin American. I hadn’t decided, and of course I couldn’t do Mexican or Latin American because COVID hit.
But so these two specials are part of a larger series. The albums like three hours long. It has the Florida Man which is all this material I did about Florida. And it has Asian American, but the Amazon Prime specialist is just Spanish American and Canadian American.
AJ Friar: All right, Jim, so one more thing about Most Wanted. What would you say was the best experience you’ve had while filming Most Wanted?
Jim: Oh, the director was amazing. Daniel Roby is somebody who wrote and directed, but he also, he really set the tone. He knows exactly what he wants, but he’s also open to suggestions and either way shooting in British Columbia was pretty amazing. I mean, British Columbia, I remember hearing, “Oh, it’s so beautiful there.” And then, I’d been to Vancouver a couple of times, which is a great city, but I was really in the beautiful British Columbia there.
AJ Friar: And what was it like working with such a great cast with Josh Hartnett and everybody involved?
Jim: I mean, it’s amazing. This movie, it has elements of big budget, but it’s also has a lot elements of small Indies. So everyone was there for the right reason. And it was an all Quebecois cast. I mean all Quebecois crew. So the whole camera department, the makeup, the wardrobe was all French Canadian. So it was an amazing experience across the board. So everyone involved. I felt like I got to, obviously it’s another country, but it was a completely different culture that I got to expose myself to also.
AJ Friar: And one final question, since this is infamoushorrors.com. Did you grow up having any favorite horror films that you grew up with?
Jim: It’s so interesting because with my family, we rented this house and it’s kind of in the woods. And I remember I grew up in kind of the woods and there was this, what was it called? But it was about essentially there was a chemical plant and they spilled things and they created this monster. I got a text, my friend, because we were both terrified of it. I was probably a teenager. Shoot.
AJ Friar: It wasn’t The Toxic Avenger. Was it?
Jim: No, no, no, it wasn’t, but it sounds like The Toxic Avenger, right? The horror films I grew up on creature features like there was The Lady With the Green Thumb. I don’t know if you know that story about this woman who had a house that these guys wanted to get. So eventually the guy sent in some people that just drag her out of the house and she chopped off her thumb and then she planted it and she grew back from the thumb. That was amazing.
AJ Friar: All right. Well, thank you so much. It’s been a real pleasure talking to you tonight.
Jim: Thank you.
AJ Friar: All right. Have a good night, Jim.