Interview with P.J. Byrne

P.J. Byrne is having one heck of spotlight year in 2011 with both “Final Destination 5” and “Horrible Bosses”.  He is also leading his voice to the new TV series, “The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with P.J.’s, one of the funniest and nicest guys I have ever had the privileged of speaking with, about his new films and also what else he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: You have not one but two movies out this summer, “Final Destination 5” and “Horrible Bosses”, tell us about those?
P.J. Byrne: New Line has been really good to me and they are a great group of people. Some people seem to think that New Line is fading away, but that not true. “Horrible Bosses” did really well and hopefully “Final Destination 5” does the same. They really went for with this film and spent some money with this fifth film. They had Steve Quale directing, who is like a 3D stud. They got a dope writer as well plus a really great cast such as David Koechner, Courtney B. Vance and Tony Todd. They also brought some younger actors such as Nicholas D’ Agosto, Emma Bell and Miles Fisher. I don’t know why they put me in the movie or what the heck I am doing here! [laughs]

MG: How was it working with the 3D for “Final Destination 5”?
PJB: In any venue you work in you always want to be honest, genuine and true. You want to be in the moment and that’s your first goal as an actor.  If its a comedy or drama you want to play the moment as real as possible and make interesting choices. When your dealing with 3D, sometimes the box you are playing in gets a little smaller as they are always playing with the 3D effects. There are certain things that may cause the camera to pop back or cause an annoyance for the viewer, so things get a little tighter. Then there are certain scenes where its not as much about the 3D. I like to say that’s when they unleash me. That’s my arena and at that moment and its more about the character moments than the 3D, so your just making a movie in those places.

MG: What can you tell us about your character?
PJB: Isaac is the guy that, for those of you who work in an office, always irks you or gets under your skin. That person always seems to find a way to piss you off and Isaac is that guy. He isn’t really friends with anyone and all he really cares about is himself, chicks and getting chicks for himself [laughs]. Those are the only three things in his head. This is a character that I think people will cheer for to die! You just hate him so much and hopefully it will be a little funny when he goes down. Viewers know going into these films that the group of people you see in the beginning who don’t die will eventually die at some point in the film.  It should cause a myriad of emotions and when he finally does go down, human qualities take over and you think to yourself maybe he wasn’t that bad and shouldn’t have gone out in that terrible way [laughs].

MG: Going from horror to comedy, what drew you to the character Kenny in “Horrible Bosses”
PJB: That’s like the easiest question I could answer! I was going to get to meet Jennifer Aniston with my pants down! That’s what drew me to it, as it would draw any man in America to play this part. Working with Jennifer Aniston with your pants around your ankles is it and I don’t think there should be anything else.

MG: Was the film as funny to shoot as it was to watch?
PJB: It was great! I can’t wait since I was told there is going to be a bunch of scenes added to the DVD, which are hysterical. There’s a scene where I am propositioning the guys to help them out and that was one of those scenes where I was unleashed. Needless to say I shared with them the different ways I could please them and make them happier and just  handle them all at the same time, as that’s how gifted I am [laughs].

MG: How was it working with such a great cast?
PJB: The fact that they put me in that movie was crazy, as everyone was famous. I had no idea why they picked me but, thank you so much! All the good things you here about these people in the film are true. They are all very genuine and super smart. They are great to work with as an actor. Every take was different and interesting, as we all were bouncing things off each other and I hope that shows in the movie.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming voice over work on “The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra”?
PJB: This is interesting as Nickelodeon has been very hush, hush. I think I am allowed to tell you that I play Bolin who is one of Korra’s buddies. Aang is gone and now Korra is the new Airbender. My character Bolin is kind of the comic relief.  He’s around 16 years old and he is an earth bender. So don’t mess with me cause I will shut you down in the animation world or at least make you a very pretty seat [Laughs].

What can you tell us about your role in the upcoming film “K-11”?
PJB: I play a bad ass attorney, which is really cool. It’s a nice transition role, as in the beginning I maybe come across as sort of out of my league but by the end me and Goran Visnjic have this great scene where we go head to head and I shut him down! We started shooting yesterday and Jules Mann-Stewart is a great director. She has been doing this for a really long time and understands how to make a movie. She is such a sweetheart and everyone who is working on the film is there for her. I think since everyone is behind the director and that’s when you get a successful movie. “Final Destination 5” was very similar. I have been blessed with working with great casts and I have never seen any of those diva moments that you hear about or guys going crazy. We all just worked together to make a great movie, as we all had long days both in make-up and in front of the camera. There’s not a lot of sleep and people can get punchy but we didn’t allow it as we were all there for the same things. It was great and we are all close friends still to this day.


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