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Bridesmaids - Chris O'Dowd interview

Chris O'Dowd in Bridesmaids

Interview by Rob Carnevale

BRITISH comedian Chris O’Dowd talks about appearing in American ensemble comedy Bridesmaids and noticing the difference between small UK budgets and larger US ones.

He also considers his newfound sex symbol status and why life often reflects the troubles experienced by his character in the film.

Q: Kristen Wiig and [director] Paul Feig gave their cast a lot of room to improvise while making Bridesmaids. As someone who usually works in this country, have you encountered that working process before?
Chris O’Dowd: No, not really. It’s because Americans have so much more money. I’m being flippant in a way but the amount of time a bigger budget gives you does mean you can play an awful lot more. The IT Crowd we don’t improvise at all really. Very rarely. To be fair we do have a whole week’s rehearsal and do shoot it all in one night, so you’ve got every idea already out on the floor. But what I really liked about this process particularly was that you would do the script, which was really great. People sometimes improvise for the sake of improvising because they like the idea of improvising, whereas what they’re actually doing is just taking away really good lines that were there in the first place.

What was great in this was that we got the script and we would do a little improve if necessary and Kristen is the best improvisor I’ve ever worked with, so it’s kind of an amazing thing. But then we’d go back to the script and try and make it better using the bit of improv you’ve got rather than it being an either or. And also the fluidity and naturalism you’ve got by doing it in that way really gives a kind of reality to it.

Q: Have you suffered the romantic frustration your character suffers in this movie?
Chris O’Dowd: Yeah. Yeah, a lot of women being really unimpressed is something that I grew up with and perfected and live with on a daily basis. No, every woman has always loved me.

Q. So, how are you finding being described as a sex symbol?
Chris O’Dowd: Obviously the character is a very sweet guy and that’s all great. The sex symbol thing is so fleeting and I can’t wait to play a bald monk in the next… Look, if Jon Hamm had tried even like 10 per cent to get the girl he would have.

Q. Now that Hollywood has discovered you, are you still going to do the next series of The IT Crowd?
Chris O’Dowd: Oh yeah. If we can get it going, we’re talking about doing it at the end of the year or early next year – the last series.

Read our review of Bridesmaids