“Barry Munday”: Scanner interviews Chloe Sevigny and Judy Greer

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Barry Munday Judy Greer Patrick Wilson

We mentioned Barry Munday back in March when I saw it at the South By Southwest Film Festival and spoke with Judy Greer and Patrick Wilson (seen above in a still from the movie), as well as Chloe Sevigny and other members of the cast. Most of you were excited to hear that there was a wacky comedy coming out about a self-proclaimed ladies man who loses his testicles. You're in luck — the movie finally opens today in select theaters.

That doesn't mean we highly recommend it, however — it's been six months, but we still remember some over-the-top performances and some excruciatingly one-dimensional characters. Then again, the film is undeniably hilarious and guaranteed entertainment.

Here are some more tidbits from my interviews with the cast and crew in Austin. I spoke with Sevigny and Greer about their characters' motivations:

Chloe Sevigny

Me: The movie leaves it a bit unclear — is your character a stripper or is she not? Was that you on stage?

CS: That was me, surprisingly, dancing. I had learned a whole routine, I had studied it for hours to get the stupid thing right and, of course, in the last few seconds, it all came together. The director's girlfriend is a choreographer and she made up a whole routine to the Whitesnake song ["Here I Go Again"] and that was me… attempting to look like a stripper.

Me: Well, it worked.

CS: [Laughs] Hardly.

Me: Your character in this movie attempts to seduce Patrick Wilson's character throughout, which reminds me of your performances in Palmetto and some other movies.

CS: Yes. Palmetto, oh God. I forgot that I even made that movie.

Me: Sorry. And also Big Love. These characters are all usurpers… you know, they're not quite evil, they're wrench-throwers. That face you're making right now!

CS: [Laughs] Oh no! Am I being typecast as these evil ones? Ooh, maybe. I am a Scorpio, so…

Me: Ah, that's what it is.

CS: I think that Jennifer, the character [in Barry Munday] is used to getting all the attention and now along comes this boy [Barry] who chooses her sister, Ginger [Judy Greer], and she's going to stop at nothing to — well, I don't think she would actually act on it, but she wants to at least know that he wants her. So, she's going to flirt with him to some extent, but she really loves Ginger and I don't think that she would [ruin it.] It's just a coincidence that I always end up playing [assumes mock-sexy voice] "the seductress." 

Me: Are you that aggressive in real life?

CS: With men, I can be very aggressive, yes. I find that men are often intimidated by me. Like, I have to be the aggressor, but I'm trying to rethink that. I'm actually thinking of becoming a spinster. I've been dating for a while and everybody gets to that point where it's just like: "Well, if it comes to me, it comes to me." But I can be pretty aggressive… I think that can be a turn-off for a lot of men. I'm trying to figure it out [but] I'm an alpha female, what can I say?

Me: We're all going to get something.

CS: Yeah, assholes. [Laughs]

Judy Greer

Me: …some of your biggest roles, like this movie and Arrested Development, involve you playing wackos, basically. Are we going to see you playing a dramatic role where you're closer to so-called "normal" than the other characters?

JG: Well, I'm in a kid's movie called Marmaduke that I'm pretty normal in. I have this other movie coming out called Love And Other Drugs… I don't know whether everyone's crazy in it… I think I kind of play a normal person in that.

Me: Weren't you afraid your ugly duckling transformation would get scoffed at like The Breakfast Club scene where Ally Sheedy puts on some makeup and all of a sudden she's attractive? It seems like right after you get rid of those glasses, your character and Barry Munday finally hook up.

JG: It's kind of true, but at the same time, that's the only real change that happens with this character and I really liked that because I didn't want it be like, "Oh, when you find love you become beautiful and you become interesting and you care more." I didn't want a man to "save her" — that's my own feminist thing — I didn't want her to have a guy before she "became" attractive, like all of a sudden it's a makeover movie. And that's my hair for real!

Me: No way. What is this then?

JG: Magic, movie magic! I know the right people.

Me: I can't do that.

JG: Yeah, you can. Well, you're a boy… it'd be weird if you got a blow dry.

Me: How much of what you go through in the birth scene was in the script and how much was you?

JG: There's this amazing documentary called The Business of Being Born that Ricki Lake made and I watched it a couple of times… we talked about what things we wanted to incorporate from it to this birth scene. My character, Ginger, is a bitch so I couldn't exactly learn from the women in the documentary saying, "Oh, my baby is being born now!" I had to be like, "BLEAHAHHEEH!"

Barry Munday opens today in select major cities. It's already out On Demand, Xbox Live, Playstation, Amazon and Vudu