John C. Reilly

Actor continues comedy transition in 'Dewey'

Year to date, this career-character-thesp-turned-top-comic-actor hasn’t had a huge presence in the marketplace. Call Reilly’s appearance on this list a function of great odds. Queued up for a Dec. 21 release is biopic sendup “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” which he headlines. Not only does this light, “Airplane!”-style Sony ensembler arrive with an “Apatow movie” christening, it’s counterprogrammed against the awards-movie glut in the same frame that catapulted “Night at the Museum” to more than $573 million in worldwide B.O. last year.

Point of view

“I don’t see it as an abrupt change at all,” says Reilly of his transition away from dramatic pics like “Casualties of War” and “The Hours” to more whimsical projects like “Talladega Nights.” “I feel like I was often cast as the somewhat funny person in a serious movie. In terms of what I’m doing as an actor, I approach it with the same honesty and flesh out the character as much as I can. The only difference is the circumstances are ridiculous, so it’s a comedy.”

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