Interview with Garret Dillahunt

Garret Dillahunt is the star of Fox’s new hit TV show “Raising Hope”.  The show was the first this season to receive a full order for new episodes.  Garrett has also been in films such as 2009’s horror remake of “Last House on the Left” and The Coen Brothers’ “No Country for Old Men”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Garret about his new hit show and his upcoming films from this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your new show “Raising Hope”, you play Burt Chance?
Garret Dillahunt: I do play the character named Burt  Chance.  I guess I am at the patriarch of the show.  I am also a grandfather on the show.  We are a blue collared family.  We are hard working and we love each other very much, but we aren’t the best parents.  My wife and I had our kid in our teens, she was 15 and I was about 17.  We didn’t do a great job raising him, even though we love him.  Now our son has a kid.  With his new baby we all have a chance to do a better job than we did first time around.

What has been the best part of working on this show?
GD: It is not an awful thing to go to work and try to make each other laugh all day.  We are doing a show that a lot of people can relate to.  It is a good thing.  I feel lucky to be apart of it.  It is not just a comedy show but a really good one.  It is really unique.  I feel like I will be able to look back on this show and think it is one of the top things I am proud of.

MG: Congratulations on Fox giving the show a full season order, what can we expect from the rest of the season?
GD: I am really happy about that.  It is the kind of show that will build a following.  People are going to want to buy the box set of this show.  I am really happy that they recognized that and they are grooming us for a long life.  We are shooting our Thanksgiving episode right now.  We did a Halloween one.  We also have a Christmas episode in the pipeline.  It is not all baby jokes [laughs].  You really get to know this family.  Everyone takes stage at one time or another.  There are all kinds of stories to be told here.  Keep tuning it and keep telling your friends.

MG: What was it like working on such an intense film like “Last House on the Left” remake?
GD: It was great.  I like to find ways to challenge myself.  With this one in particular the source material is so revered.  The challenge there is to make a film that is respectful and worthy of the fans expectations.  I have also never done a horror film before either.

MG: Where you a fan of the original film?
GD: To my shock and I am a movie watcher, I had no knowledge of the original.  I even like horror movies.  I didn’t know about it.  I thought it was an ok candidate for a remake, since some remakes are dicey.  I thought I am in this business and I was not familiar with this film.  I also thought I was not alone in that and I thought it might bring some attention to it.  I believe now the original has probably received a lot more attention now that it has had in a long time.

MG: Tell us about work with the Coen Brothers in “No Country for Old Men”?
GD: Well they are the Coen Brothers man, no question it would be a great time.  They are really cool dudes.  They are funny and know exactly what they want to do.  They let you do your own thing.  I was determined to be in this movie in some form.  I got along really well with Tommy Lee Jones.  It was really a blast.  I learned so much from the set as well.

MG: What else do you have in the works?
GD: Well “Raising Hope” is taking up a lot of my time but I do have a couple of films.  I actually just saw them at the Toronto Film Festival.  I ended up doing “Hope” because I wanted something can could help me pay for my film career.  The kind of movies I like, get drawn to and get offered are usally low budget affairs.  Even though I love them, I also need to pay the rent.  Thank God, I have found this incredible comedy.  It could end up being the best job of my career.  One of the films is called “Oliver Sherman” and the other is called “Amigo”.  “Amigo” is a John Sayles film about the Philippine-American War.  They are actually having a screening in LA on Nov.6th at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  “Oliver Sherman” is with me and Donal Logue and Molly Parker.  It is about a couple of veterans and dealing with coming home.  I am really proud of that one.

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