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It’s hard to read blurb after blurb about you without seeing certain adjectives pop up repeatedly —
Like “cat shit?” Oh wait, “cat shit” isn't an adjective, it’s a noun.
Well, I meant, uh, “schlubby.”
You know, it’s really funny, I never got the “schlubby” thing until I started doing movies. I did so much stage, and nobody ever said “schlubby” or anything like that. That actually just started. It’s funny, it’s fine — I can’t really do anything about it, you know? And I never think of any of the characters as schlubby, particularly... but, you know, what are you going to do?
It also seems like interviewers often make a big deal of the women you’re paired with, whether it’s Virginia Madsen in Sideways or Minnie Driver in Barney’s Version. That’s such a coded way of saying, “What was it like working with someone so much better-looking than you?”
[laughs] Well, there’s nothing coded about it, really. It’s not really that subtle.
Does it ever get to you?
Nah, not really. I mean, what would be the point? Nothing I can do about it. It’s fine. There’s a part of me that has always found kind it of weirdly rewarding to think, "It’s so jarring for people to see me on the screen with those women." I just find it funny, like, “What are people supposed to look like?” I guess they’re supposed to look like... not me, I guess. [laughs] But, people want to have a narrative, they want to be able to write certain things about you for their article, and who am I to take that away from them?
Looking back, Sideways actually seems like the outlier in your filmography. You so rarely play a romantic lead — how was that different for you? And would you return to that?
Sure. I had an amazing time making Sideways. The greatest thing was that none of us ever thought anyone would have any interest in making this movie, so we were all sort of just having a good time. We were all like, “Who would put the four of us in a movie about wine? And then who would watch that movie?” And you know, I like doing different things in movies. I get bored doing the same thing over and over again. I would happily do another movie like that, sure.
You’ve been married for sixteen years. What is your one piece of marriage advice that could also double as acting advice?
[laughs] Oh, uh... no. Jeez. I’m not the guy to be giving marriage advice. Nope.
Well, how did you meet your wife?
Drama school. She was at the Yale drama school, and so was I, though she was in a different department.
Is there an insane underbelly of intense, promising-young-actor sex at Yale?
Sure. Actorcourse? Yes. Totally. That’s really one of the main reasons to go to drama school. Maybe even the only reason.
Bubba Ho-Tep question: Let’s say you, Bruce Campbell, and Ossie Davis are all single and all walk into a bar intent on meeting women. Who does the best?
[instantly, raising his voice] Which one of does the best? Me! Done. Easy question!