Friday, April 13, 2012

Interview: Chris Diamantopoulos was Born to Play Moe in 'The Three Stooges'

Chris Diamantopoulos looks very different as Moe in "The Three Stooges."
"The Three Stooges" movie hits theaters today (check out my review here), and I had the chance to interview actor Chris Diamantopoulos, who plays an awesome Moe in the PG-rated film by Peter and Bob Farrelly.

Not only was he incredibly charming, but he also sounds like a fun dad. (He and wife Becki Newton, who is a great addition to "How I Met Your Mother" this season, have an 18-month-old son.)

And, according to "The Three Stooges" website, he was "destined" to play Moe: "He was born four days after the death of Moe Howard (May 4, 1975); he's lived in the same Hollywood apartment building as another of the Stooges, Larry Fine; and filming began on Chris' 36th birthday."

L.A. Story: My husband's really obsessed with the Three Stooges ...

Chris Diamantopoulos: A man after my own heart.

L.A. Story:  ... and we were interested in showing our 5-year-old daughter a lot of the sketches. You guys were so spot on, and your Moe was so amazing. What type of preparations did you make for this role?

Chris Diamantopoulos: Thanks for the kind words. I'll start off by telling you that my 18-month-old son is in his high chair with his mom watching "Pop Goes the Easel." They're watching "The Three Stooges." It's a very strange thing, and I don't know how smart an idea it is. but the only thing that puts him in a docile state to eat is if the Stooges are on. He must be remembering past events because he was on set with us when he was 6 months old.

But he really loves the Stooges. I'm not kidding.

Preparing for the role was fun. First you work on the voice, you work on the mannerisms, and you find the little idiosyncratic behavior that makes Moe, well, Moe. To me, that's what takes it from an impression to sort of more of a living, breathing thing.

In this instance with the Stooges, it was kind of a lifelong endeavor because I'd been such a fan since I was a child. And I really researched and studied them as a kid. It's funny, the things that kids get interested in and become hobbies for kids, whether it's a video game or "Dungeons and Dragons," or, for me, the Stooges, you never really think that all that time spent will ever amount to anything, certainly not in your adult life.

L.A. Story:  Regarding the stunts in the film, some of the scenes looked dangerous. Did anyone get hurt?

Chris Diamantopoulos: We did, in fact, get hurt. You know, you can't make a movie like "The Three Stooges" and expect that you're not gonna get hurt.

We went into it knowing that we wanted to be as authentic as possible, and we knew that the boys back in the day actually did hit each other, especially if it meant, for some reason, the bit wasn't working based on where the camera was and they just had to actually hit each other.

We slapped each other and punched each other, and I dislocated my shoulder and I broke a finger. I know Sean (Hayes) scraped up his leg. We fell off a rig. The truth of the matter is we were shooting, for all intents and purposes, an action film that had comedy in it. There was so much action. It was great fun, though, I have to say.

L.A. Story: My daughter laughed at all of those parts. It was really funny watching her laugh.

Chris Diamantopoulos:  OK, that's fabulous. God, that's great.

We had the premiere last weekend, and there were a bunch of kids, probably aged 3 1/2 on up. And the overriding consensus that I seemed to gather from that premiere was, the Stooges are basically the Looney Toons, but with real people.

For example, when Bugs Bunny would drop an anvil on Elmer Fudd's head, kids would laugh. And it's because you know that they're cartoons and you know that they're safe and the reaction is funny. With the Stooges, they're real people, but the sound effects keep it all in a safe place.

When asked by the moderator how he enjoyed working with the Farrelly Brothers, Diamantopoulos said, "On a personal level, you can't find two nicer guys than Pete and Bob Farrelly. And I'm saying that with all due sincerity -- they're just super conscientious, super sweet, and they treat everybody, from the catering all the way up to the stars, exactly the same way."

So are more family-friendly movies in Diamantopoulos' future plans?

"From the perspective of a father, I'd love to do more family films," he said. "But I'd also love to do a David Fincher movie."

(Inset image courtesy of Dan's Media Digest)


gifts to India said...

Wow very interesting sounds .....I will definitely see it..

L.A. Story said...

My daughter really had fun at the movie. :)


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