Q&A with ‘The Other Guys’ director Adam McKay

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“The Other Guys” director Adam McKay talks about the virtues of online video, “Anchorman 2” and why he and Sony are banking on the Euro this summer. “The Other Guys” opens nationwide Friday.

Inception’s been #1 for three weeks straight now. You guys think you can take down Leo?

(Laughs) Fingers crossed we can. Not that we want to dominate “Inception” but only because it’s been #1 for three weeks–feels like it’s going to tail a little bit.

Otherguys2“The Other Guys” marks your first action movie.

Yeah, we always try to do something new each time. It was really exciting to shoot in New York, something I haven’t done as a director, and to work with Mark Wahlberg, who, I can honestly say played one of my favorite comedic performances ever in “I Heart Huckabees.” It was great.

Obviously you and Sony want the film to do well but how important are box office figures to you as a director?

I love the creative process but every time you can get into the black on a movie it means they’re going to leave you alone next time. That simple. But Sony’s really collaborative and creatively very strong so they know with our movies tend to do really well at the box office and then do better with DVD and cable play–I think a lot of our movies sort of gather our following there. And even though DVDs have been dropping we’ve held pretty well in home entertainment.

How do you see “The Other Guys” playing out?

I think it’ll do really well. The big thing they’re (Sony) looking for is foreign box office. They really feel like there’s some play there and we haven’t really hit that before, Will (Ferrell) and I. So if we can do $80 million overseas or even, fingers crossed, $100 million, then we’ll be in great shape.

How many scripts do you read on a given month?

Good question. Ya know, it’s increased quite a bit. I don’t read too many for myself because I generally write what I direct but occasionally there’s one that someone says “Oh no, you gotta read this” so that’s one or two scripts for myself per month. But for our company there’s an additional four or five that I read and I’d say we get a total of fifteen to twenty each month.

You mentioned your company, Gary Sanchez Productions, which you and Will Ferrell founded. Strange cause you guys don’t really seem like office guys. Is that where you’re most productive? The office?

Yes and no. (Laughs) When we have to write a script we normally rent a hotel room somewhere and just turn off the phone. It’s impossible to get six, eight, ten hours of sustained writing going with office phones ringing and people coming by. So when it’s time to really write a script, like rewrites, it depends on who I’m writing with. If it’s Will, then we’ll go over to his house; if it’s Chris Henchy we’ll go to his house. And then for regular work: producing, just giving notes and such the office is great.

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