One of the kings of R-rated comedies, Seann William Scott, has created another memorably dysfunctional character in Role Models.
Paul Rudd and Scott play respectively Danny and Wheeler, two salesmen who trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, they are given the choice to go to jail or spend 150 service hours with a mentorship program called Sturdy Wings, where they discover jail doesn’t look so bad.
Danny is paired with 16-year-old Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who is obsessed with medieval role playing, and Wheeler is given Ronnie to mentor (Bobb’e J Thompson), a foul-mouthed, out-of-control 12-year-old.
I sat down with Scott at the Casa del Mar Hotel by the beach to discuss his new role…
Q: How much input did you have about your character and the dialogue in Role Models?:
A: David (Wain, director and screenwriter) wrote some fantastic dialogue, but we improvised a ton. He really let us just go off the page and it seemed like my favorite moments in the movie were things we improvised. Paul had an idea of what he wanted to do and he wrote his stuff, I wrote my stuff. I kept thinking we should be best friends like Wedding Crashers, which was so great because those guys were best friends and would finish each other's sentences. Paul's idea, which I really think was a smart one, was that we should be more like the Odd Couple, and that forced us to improvise in a different way, so it was a really good idea on his part.
Q: Do you think you would be a good mentor to a child?:
A: Yeah. You would probably be surprised with that answer, but yeah. My nephew is eight and I could totally be his dad I think, although when his dad's away, I'll have him watch American Pie movies and Road Trip and Old School. I have him watch all the crazy stuff because I feel like it's awesome to see him say [in a shocked voice], 'Uncle Seann!' I'm like, 'Come on, you're going to be hearing this in five years. This is just to get you started now.’
Q: I heard if Bobb’e felt like doing his lines he’d do them, otherwise it was like, ‘Whatever’.:
A: Yeah. It was true. I've never worked with a child before - animals and children. Never again. No. With Bobb'e he has the ability and the instinct to just want to riff which I love doing. But being a comedian at that age, he wants to say whatever is on his mind and, a lot of stuff is fantastic, but sometimes he had to stick to the script. But whatever he did, I watch the movie now and he steals the film. He's so funny. Even if he wasn't as awesome as he is, just hearing a little kid drop F-bombs is fantastic to me. To me, it's the whole reason to see the movie.
Q: Did anyone get hurt in the Medieval battle sequences with the stick swords?:
A: I don't know. I was only in the end scene. I never saw them film those first two scenes. I was like, 'What the hell is this? This is so bizarre,' which is great for the character, and then I was like 'I want to do this. I really want to rock people'. I would probably add some things in my foam axe to make it hurt a little bit more [he laughs]. It's kind of like the batter who adds a little cork in his bat to get a little bit more power. I would not be able to hold back. I remember just walking into this, and these people are serious about it. I don't begrudge them at all, because I think it would be kind of great to whack people with foam swords.
Q: Who was your role model as a kid?
A: My dad was my role model. He was great. I'm going say my dad and my oldest brother who was one of the guys who started The Onion newspaper. He was a really great mentor for me. All my brothers too... I don't want my other brothers to read this and be like, 'What? I was your mentor,' so we'll just leave it with my dad. It's a safer answer.