I’d say the answer is yes, because whilst it’s a big, big task, a big mountain to climb, we certainly had climbed some little foot hills with other people – and some pretty big foot hills with [John C. Reilly] and Will Ferrell. But there’s no doubt about it. And also, because it’s such a tough task, when I knew that John was doing it, I was like, ‘If he’s doing it, I’m in.’
John C. Reilly: Definitely the partnerships of my past work, and I’ve had a million of them! A lot of different people: Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell… Philip Seymour Hoffman and I did True West on Broadway, which is a total partnership play. So I was very familiar with what it took to be a good partner to someone. That said, working with Steve was very difficult, and much more difficult than some of my past partnerships. He’s prickly. Prickly would be a nice way to put it.
Steve Coogan: Prickly pear.
John C. Reilly: Of course, it gives you confidence to know like, ‘Well if I found chemistry with this person then, you know, maybe I can find it with this guy.’ When you have the past as prologue, as they say.
John C. Reilly: Stan and Ollie weren’t very precious about their work. It wasn’t like they were method actors, or ‘Oh, we only perform when it’s perfect conditions.’ At the drop of a hat they performed for people in public. They saw fans that liked them they’d start doing routines just to please people. So they were really kind of get-to-it sort of guys.
Steve Coogan: I got the feeling that when they worked in the studio, and the studio system sort of played to this a little, is they were on salary, and they clock on, do the job as best they can, and then clock off.