CATEGORIES Movie NewsIn "Piranha 3DD," which hits theaters this Friday, the community of Lake Victoria is besieged by another swarm of prehistoric, man-eating fish. In the first film, it was drunken spring breakers who fell victim to the gory attacks. This time around, it's the partygoers at the Lake's "Adults Only" water park Big Wet (which happens to be watched over by stripper lifeguards and celebrity spokesman David Hasselhoff). The piranha invade thanks to an illegal river pump OK'd by the park's dirtbag owner, Chet, played by none other than "that guy!" comedic scene-stealer David Koechner. (You might remember him as the sleazy Todd Packer on "The Office" or the sleazy boss from "Waiting..." or the sleazy boss from "Final Destination 5.")
Koechner spoke with Moviefone and explained how to convincingly portray a slimeball that unwittingly unleashes a stomach-churning monster massacre -- and how to do it while not being distracted by the constant on-set nudity. He also sheds a few more details on his other big project: re-assembling with the Action 4 News Team for "Anchorman 2."
What exactly convinced you to sign onto "Piranha 3DD"? A couple things. I like to work. I have a wife and five kids, so it's always good to work. Number two, it's something I haven't done before. I like being able to hop from different types of projects and Dimension Films is such a great company. And it really appealed to me because I like being able to say I was in "Hannah Montana" and "Piranha 3DD."
The "Piranha" series is pretty infamous for its nudity. Did you avert your eyes on set or were you all-in for the experience? I look at it like this: the female form is god's art. I love it, I admire it, I honor it.
I'm a big horror junkie, but when I saw the first "Piranha 3D," even I wasn't prepared for how R-rated it was. You're playing a sleazy proprietor of a water park that uses strippers and is called Big Wet, how exactly did you sell this project to your wife? I said, "Honey, daddy needs to go make money," and she said "OK". [Laughs] I'm always telling her exactly what's in the script.
Was she in for any surprises when she saw it? Not in this one. There's a movie called "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy," and in the first scene I'm in... you see, there's a woman who is um... riding me doggie-style wearing nothing. After she saw that movie, she was like "Oh did you tell me about that?"
How is David Hasslhoff when the cameras aren't rolling? Does he ever turn off that public persona of "The Hoff"? I'd met David years ago, when he and I had done work on a sitcom. I've actually seen him out socially a couple of times and he's a real sweetheart of a guy, really pleasant, bright, funny and he's a stone-cold pro. I think he's trading on a brand. He knows exactly what he is. This is show business. He get's it. Who do you channel to properly convey the character of Chet? It's not necessarily that you need to channel someone, but I think a guy like Chet, he's very greedy, he's selfish, he's a bit lascivious and I would say every human being has those demons inside of them. So the challenge is to provide those kind of situations in your own life, into your character. Are you buying it? Cause we all know somebody who's a horrible person.
You've always played a great "obnoxious" guy in comedies. What do you think it is that filmmakers keep seeing in you for those roles? Once you do it, and they think you've done it well, they go "Oh that's what he does." So for good or ill, that's what you got.
Then what's the character that filmmakers haven't seen yet, and you know you would totally blow them away with? Whatever's next. No, I think at one of these points I'll do a really intense drama that people will go, "Oh I didn't know he could do that."
Since we're talking about drama and "Piranha 3DD" is a Dimension film -- which is part of the Weinstein Company -- how would you say "Piranha 3DD" is similar to Weinstein's other big prestige project this year, "The Artist"? My character's clothes are black and white. [Laughs]
Obviously, this film has a very high body count. How do you deliver a fantastic on-screen death? I'd say every actor's dream is to have a death scene. Just enjoy it and make it believable.
Did you practice at home? Since I was a kid.
Your big competition this weekend is "Snow White and The Huntsman." What would you say to Kristen Stewart's legion of fans to convince them to forget about that movie and go and see "Piranha"? I wouldn't try and convince them. I'd say make sure you see two films this weekend.
I'd be remiss to not talk about "Anchorman 2." How many times do you anticipate being asked about it? It has not stopped since the first movie went into theaters, and I hope it never does. I was speaking to Will and Steve and Paul when we were shooting, and it's been the same for them. So I love it.
It's still really early in the project, and it's going to be a while before people see it. If you could say one thing to the rabid fan base to tide them over until it premieres, what would you say to them? I would say, go see the teaser trailer playing before "The Dictator." Adam McKay has said it's going to be centered around the next big change in news, after having females at the anchor desk. The next big event in the news was the cable news networks, the advent of 24-hour news.
You've shared the screen with so many fantastic comedians. Who has made you crack up the hardest? That's a tough one. I've worked with a lot of great people, it's too hard. I will say onstage it's hardest for me to keep it together with Matt Walsh, who is seen currently in "Veep" and was the doctor in "The Hangover." For whatever reason, he's got my number without even trying; he just kills me. There were a couple scenes that were in "Wake Up Ron Burgundy" where Steve [Carell's] character changes and becomes the old lieutenant that used to guide us when we were all in Vietnam together. That's a backstory we all came up with together and that was just too immense for me to hold it together. I was laughing every take.
Have we seen the last of your other notorious comedy project: "The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show"? Dave Gruber Allen ["The Naked Trucker"] moved to Utah to help his parents who are older, and so right now there are no plans to do anything. I love working with him and would love to do the concerts again. I got a movie idea that I would love to convince Dave to do one day, but we'll see.
What's more natural: the nudity of the Naked Trucker or the strippers of "Piranha 3DD"? The nudity of the Naked Trucker.