Interview: John C. Reilly: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Though his resume contains a heavy load of blockbusters, John C. Reilly has never been in charge of opening up his own film. With help from Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, as well as Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights, there has always been a bigger name alongside that of Reilly. However, that is all about to change. On Dec. 21, Reilly is breaking new ground as he sets to open the highly anticipated comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

Due to the writers' strike, many talk shows have been temporarily pulled off the air, which has given Reilly the perfect opportunity to take his act on the road. We were lucky enough to be there when Reilly and his band arrived in Austin to put on his Dewey Cox and the Hard Walkers show and were granted a short interview that led to some hilarious and informative insights about the film and the man they call Cox.

According to Reilly, his part in the film was a direct result of Talladega Nights. When Reilly and costar Ferrell were singing a song in a scene that never made the film, writer Judd Apatow heard him playing the guitar and was impressed. Then this movie idea came up about a country music "legend" and Apatow knew that he had to have Reilly.

According to Reilly, "I'm just lucky that he picked me."

But Reilly's work started long before the cameras began to role, in fact six months before.

"We recorded about 40 songs in about six months before we started filming. It was really like a six-month character study," Reilly said. "As we made decisions about the songs and the lyrics ... we also had to make decisions about the character and plot."

From there the talk moved into the music that is actually used within the film. Many critics are saying that the film has gone too far, making fun of some of the most highly regarded musicians in history, yet Reilly defends the music.

"We didn't pick any music to make fun of that we did not have a strong feeling towards," he said. "We actually are never making fun of the musicians themselves, but the mythology that gets built up around musicians and all those crazy outrageous stories that you hear over the years."

The next topic of conversation had to do with the guest appearances that occur within the film. Just by the trailer you get a small peek at the potential star-studded supporting cast, and I am here to say that every appearance helped the film excel. And with so many hilarious friends, who can blame Reilly and Superbad alum Apatow for using their friends.

"I'm the man on the poster," Reilly said, "but when fans of comedy come to see this movie they are going to be shocked."

Reilly went on to say that the first cut of the film was almost four hours long, and unfortunately some of the guest spots had to be cut - which only leaves me with high anticipation for the DVD.

As the interview was winding down, Reilly had a few words to say about the film in general.

"The whole movie is about Cox," he said. "The dick jokes are like a bottomless cup of coffee."

He then went into how this film was about as anti-holiday as you can get. Hoping that college students who are tired of their families will go out and see it, Reilly just asks for one thing: "Show Cox some love!"

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About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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