As “Why Him?” made its world premiere at the Regency Bruin Theater in Los Angeles Saturday night, it also served as a marker for two seasoned actors: Megan Mullally‘s jump to a major cinematic role and Bryan Cranston‘s return to comedy.
“Have you ever seen me in a big part in a big movie?” the actress quipped. “No. This is my coming out party. This is a big deal for me; I was 57 years old, and I had never gotten a big part in a big movie.”
While Cranston has had the opportunity to play many roles on film and earned accolades for his work, he received more praise from the film’s screenwriter, Ian Helfer, for getting back to his comedic roots. “Bryan is an unbelievable actor, an American treasure,” Helfer said. “He hasn’t done comedy since ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ 20 years ago, and we were so thrilled that he wanted to do his first comedy with us.”
Cranston brings the laughs as Ned Fleming, an overprotective Midwestern dad who meets his daughter’s tech billionaire boyfriend, played by James Franco, over the holidays.
While the filmmakers, Helfer and John Hamburg, mentioned the story wasn’t an exact recount of their younger days, Helfer confessed he’d been in the position of Franco’s character before. “I’m not going to name names, but I briefly dated a very famous news man’s daughter, and at the time I was a very unsuccessful actor in New York, and his daughter brought me to his house,” he said. “That guy was so not happy to see me. I was the last thing he wanted to see. It was so funny because he was in everyone’s living room at seven o’clock every night.”
The evening also brought out cast members Zoey Deutch, Griffin Gluck, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Devine, Kaley Cuoco, Cedric the Entertainer, Zack Pearlman, and producers Shawn Levy and Dan Levine.
“Why Him?” is set to land in theaters on Dec. 23rd.