Now the improv genius brings his talents to far more family-friendly fare, the guinea pig-superspy caper 'G-Force.' We caught up with the busy funnyman and dished about acting with green screen, old folks ... and Brad Pitt? You won't find this summer's breakout star in short shorts on magazine covers (if you do, we want to see that) or see his every move chronicled across the web. In fact, you may not even know how to pronounce his name -- it's Zach Galifianakis (Gal-i-fa-NA-kiss) -- but you probably recognize him as the scene-stealing man-boy Alan in the surprise hit raunch-fest 'The Hangover.'
Now the improv genius brings his talents to far more family-friendly fare, the guinea pig-superspy caper 'G-Force.' We caught up with the busy funnyman and dished about acting with green screen, old folks ... and Brad Pitt? -- By Angie Argabrite
Which one of the guinea pigs was the biggest diva?
I never thought in my life I'd get a question like this [laughs]. Fortunately, I didn't really have to deal with the guinea pigs one-on-one, I was acting towards nothing. In that case, I was the biggest diva, just because of the process of elimination.
How was acting with green screen?
The acting towards nothing is pretty intimidating, but you get used to it. There's really no practicing you can do -- and you're talking to guinea pigs! So there're a couple of variables there that you have to keep in mind while you're saying the lines.
You talk to a fly, too.
Mooch [the fly] doesn't really talk back, so it makes it a little bit easier. He just kind of buzzes back, and somehow I understand what he's saying. The fly thing was difficult because he's flying around, and also, there's a scene in there where, I hope people get the joke, I say, "I don't like it when my fly is down." After I said that the director goes, "Cut. Why are you talking about your zipper down?" I'm like "Oh God, he didn't get the joke." [laughs]
Are you going to get your own 'G-Force' action figure?
When we were shooting the movie, the Disney people came to take pictures of me and to measure me. I guess if it's a hit, they'll make an action figure or a doll thing. My biggest fear is that they're going to make a ride out of it at Disney World, and it's going to be a cutout of me and it's going to say "If you're this tall, you can't ride." That's my biggest fear.
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While you were filming 'The Hangover,' did you have any inkling that it was going to be so huge?
Well, we knew it was going to be good. We didn't really expect anything more than just a good, entertaining, funny movie. I don't think anybody expected it to be what it is now.
In the end credits, you get it on with a senior citizen. Do older women hit on you now?
You're talking about 'G-Force,' right? [Laughs] I hope no women of that age have seen that movie ['The Hangover']. But that woman, when we were shooting that, I was so embarrassed for her and for me. But it turns out, I said, "Ma'am, I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable, you just tell me what to do here." It turns out she was an old porno actress ... and she's the voice of Juarez! [laughs]
In the end credits, is that you or is that a stunt penis?
In your upcoming Todd Phillips film, 'Due Date,' you play a guy traveling with an expectant dad to get to the birth of his baby. Do you know who's going to be playing the expectant dad?
No, but they're talking pretty big names -- Will Smith, Brad Pitt. I'm not kidding, it's like "the world's biggest people ... and Zach Galafianakis" [laughs]. And then there's actually Robert Downey Jr. also, I think. But who knows what any of that means. Hollywood is a lot of tall tales.
What's going on with the 'Hangover' sequel?
I haven't seen a script, and I don't want to jump the gun on anything like that. Bradley Cooper's a big hunk now, so he's going to be busy; he won't want to do 'The Hangover 2.' I would love to work with those guys again, I think we all want to do it, but it's just a wait-and-see type of thing.
You did a Comedy Central show, 'Dog Bites Man.' One of your co-stars in that, Matt Walsh, plays the doctor in 'The Hangover' -- did you get him the part?
No. Matt has been in all of Todd's movies; they're old buddies, and that's how that happened. But Matt and I, during 'Dog Bites Man,' I had some of the biggest laughs of my life when we filmed, because Matt was in it. But when we filmed the scene in 'The Hangover,' it was the hardest I've ever laughed in my life. It's not that funny, that scene in the movie where he takes the old man's pants down -- but I was laughing so hard at this old man's body because I know we're all destined for this, and it's such a cruel joke. I had to get up and leave the set; I didn't want to be laughing in front of this old man. Matt barely laughed, he's really good and professional, but when he breaks it makes me laugh so hard.
How much of your dialogue in 'The Hangover' was improvised?
A lot. Many, many lines. The structure of the script, the outline was very strong, and all the set pieces. But as far as the dialogue and things that had happened and the undercurrent stories like me emulating Phil or me having a crush on Bradley Cooper's character, none of that was in the script.
You're so in demand now. Are you in talks for 'Man-Witch'?
I don't know much about that, I'm not being coy ... it was a thing that Todd Phillips and I kind of talked about doing, but he wants to do 'Due Date' instead, so that's kind of taking priority. I think that's the answer to give you.
What about 'Say Uncle'?
That's something that may come to fruition.
And there's the HBO show you have coming out, 'Bored to Death.' Tell us about that.
It's a very well-written show with Jason Schwartzman as the lead, and then Ted Danson's in it. And then, I'm like third fiddle. It's kind of a detective story; I've seen some of it, and it's really very good.
Would you shave your beard for a part?
Yes. Of course. But I look like a fat Jodie Foster when I do that.