Comedians Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke discuss the '80s and their roles in John Cusack's new time traveling comedy
Who wouldn't want to get in a time-traveling hot tub with their buddies and go back to the '80s to party-hard? Well, that's exactly what four friends do in the hilarious new comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine, opening in theaters on March 26th. The film stars acting veteran John Cusack and is directed by Steve Pink, the duo that brought us the contemporary comedy classics Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. In addition to Cusack, the movie features many actors who had a big impact on '80s films including Crispin Glover (Back To The Future), Chevy Chase (Fletch) and William Zabka (Johnny from The Karate Kid). Joining John Cusack in the film as his time-traveling hot tub buddies are three of the funniest and most popular up and coming comedians working in film today, Rob Corddry (The Daly Show, What Happens In Vegas...), Craig Robinson (The Office, Pineapple Express) and Clark Duke (Greek, Sex Drive). We recently had an opportunity to travel to Lake Tahoe, Nevada and sit down with Corddry, Robinson and Clark Duke to discuss the new film, the incredibly funny cast, the '80's, working with Cusack and Motley Crew. Here is what the had to say:
To begin with, the movie is a time-traveling comedy set in the '1980s so what motivated you guys to want to be in this film?
Clark Duke: You just named it all off man. It's a funny movie set in the '80s.
Rob Corddry: There are boobies in it.
Craig Robinson: Drug use.
Clark Duke: John Cusack.
Craig Robinson: Skiing.
Rob Corddry: More Boobies.
Clark Duke: Motley Crew
Rob Corddry: My Ass.
Craig Robinson: Chevy Chase.
Rob Corddry: Poison.
Craig Robinson: Chevy Chase calls Clark a girl or his character.
Clark Duke: Both.
It feels like the film is also a throw back to the hardcore R-rated comedies of the '80s, did that appeal to you as well?
Rob Corddry: The only thing I felt like this was missing in terms of being that kind of hardcore comedy was actual penetration, you know? I felt like if we actually ...
Clark Duke: Wait some of it was?
Rob Corddry: Yes, but not on camera. I know that you were penetrated during the shoot but I mean full on penetration.
Craig Robinson: You'd like to see that penetration take place?
What mainstream comedies in the '80s had full on penetration?
Rob Corddry: That had full on penny? I'm trying to think of one that didn't.
Craig Robinson:Debby Does Dallas?
Rob Corddry: Sure, all Porno's from the '80s.
Craig Robinson:Silence of the Lambs.
Rob Corddry: That's true. You make a great point.
Craig Robinson: They had penetration.
Clark Duke: They did?
Craig Robinson: Yeah, the director's cut.
Clark Duke: Really? How did I miss that? You'd think I would remember that part?
Rob Corddry:The Goonies had full on penetration.
Clark Duke: Really?
Craig Robinson: Freddy Kruger.
Rob Corddry: Yeah, that guy could have it any time he wanted to ... just full on penny.
Clark Duke: I guess this was all before my time you know? That's weird.
Rob Corddry: Go back and check the tapes.
So when you first read the script was it called "Hot Tub Time Machine" or did it have a different name?
Rob Corddry: Actually, the guy that wrote this ... this was a joke going back from his college days in the '90s when he said he was going to write a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine, Josh Heald ...
Clark Duke: His college roommates were Hurwitz and Schlossberg, the guys who wrote Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.
Rob Corddry: Yeah, and he told me this story that they were joking about it and that it was always a running joke. Like what a world it would be if you could pitch and sell a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine. Then one day he just decided to write it and it was terrible so they re-wrote it. No, I'm kidding. It was an instant classic and it made a lot of people very, very rich.
Clark Duke: Just run this after the movie comes out.
Was the script exactly what we see in the film, when you first read it, or was there a lot of input that you were able to give regarding your characters?
Clark Duke: There was a lot or improv, rewrites and input from the cast, the directors and the producers.
Craig Robinson: There was a lot of collaboration, absolutely.
Clark Duke: Collabo as they call it in the hip-hop world.
Craig when you started acting did you ever imagine that you would wind up singing a Rick Springfield song in a movie?
Craig Robinson: It's funny you should ask that ... no. I guess I've thought of singing and stuff in movies because I do sing. I have a band called "The Nasty Delicious" who played on the soundtrack and behind me on these songs so it was nice to live that.
Since the film is a comedy about the '80s and it stars four actors who had a huge impact on '80s films, John Cusack, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover and William Zabka, so what was it like having them in the film? Do you think they added a certain amount of authenticity to the project?
Clark Duke: I think it adds a whole other meta-level with Cusack being the lead guy.
Rob Corddry: Definitely.
Clark Duke: I think it turned the movie into something a lot more interesting then it would have been if it starred somebody who wasn't an iconic '80s figure.
Rob Corddry: I think getting Zabka, William Zabka put us over the line. That was really funny.
Clark, did the younger actors on the film look up to John, you think?
Clark Duke: The only younger actor was me and ... yes. I think he had more impact on me then the girls maybe but I was a huge fan of High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank, which Steve Pink the director, also wrote all those movies too. In addition I loved Cusack's '80s stuff, which is fun.
Are there any funny 80's moment that you wish had made it in the film that didn't?
Rob Corddry: Yeah probably Regan getting shot, that was funny. That would have been a good laugh.
Craig Robinson: Kool Mo Dee
Rob Corddry: Did I say Reagan getting shot?
Craig Robinson: Kool Mo Dee, just like a cameo from him or something. Like something would happen and he would just go, "How you like me now?" Then they would keep the camera rolling.
Rob Corddry: That's totally what the movie was missing.
Clark Duke: If the movie doesn't open big we'll know why.
Craig Robinson: Had that been pitched during the filming of this movie that would have gone in, providing we could've got Kool Mo Dee.
Clark Duke: Really? You think he would have been hard to get? I feel like Kool Mo Dee is just waiting by the phone.
What trends did you enjoy from the '80s and do you have any of that stuff still at home from that decade?
Craig Robinson: I have some leather pants that I wore a couple of times in my closet.
Clark Duke: Like Eddie Murphy?
Craig Robinson: No they weren't that tight or red. They were black and I use to wear them with a red silk shirt. I'm not lying, with high tops. It was pretty bad.
Rob you get to really go crazy with this character and have a great scene in the film where you are playing in your character's band, "Motley Lew," was there more of that shot that didn't make it into the film?
Rob Corddry: Well "Motley Lew" was a re-shoot just a couple of moths ago. We had shot the video, the Motley Crew, "Home Sweet, Home" video almost shot for shot. I don't know how much has actually made it into the film?
Clark Duke: Have you seen it with the effects on it, the title effects? It looks awesome.
Craig Robinson: You're going to love it.
Rob Corddry: I haven't seen it yet but I was a big Motley Crew fan in the '80s and have essentially been rehearsing for that scene since 1986, in my bedroom, which is sad and true.
Was that the wildest thing you had to do in the film or was there anything else that was asked of you that really took you out of your comfort zone?
Rob Corddry: There were a lot of challenges to my comfort zone in this film. I'm often pants-less, that's something.
Clark Duke: They wouldn't let you use your earpiece or cue cards.
Rob Corddry: That's right. I had to show my tits.
Did you get paid extra for that?
Rob Corddry: No, they don't do that. I was also on mushrooms most of the time while making this movie.
Do you find it difficult to perform on hallucinogenic drugs?
Rob Corddry: Yes, it's stupid. It's a terrible idea. Don't ever do that! Don't ever do it!
Clark Duke: That was pretty ridiculous in hindsight.
Craig Robinson: One day they served ...
Clark Duke: ... Spicy Italian sandwiches?
Craig Robinson: Yes. Spicy Italian sandwiches but they also served a big stew. I put all the mushrooms in there and the whole cast and crew ate a stew of shrooms and beef.
Rob Corddry: I feel terrible about that because some elderly old people went crazy.
Clark Duke: Yeah, they never came back.
Rob Corddry: So we lost them.
Craig Robinson: It was really a weird thing to do but it made for some good shots.
Clark Duke: We shot in Canada and I have to say that it is the fault of the loose legal system up there. They just don't care. It was a misdemeanor.
Rob Corddry: They don't care who you dose.
Craig Robinson: That's when we shot one of those ski scenes. That's why we ski so well in the movie.
How much of the skiing in the film is actual you guys?
Clark Duke: All of it.
Rob Corddry: All of our actual skiing made it into the final cut but all of our actual skiing was probably about three seconds.
Clark Duke: They taught Craig and me how for the movie.
Craig Robinson: Cusack skis and Corddry skis.
Rob Corddry: Cusack's skied the K12.
Clark Duke: In real life?
Rob Corddry: I'm kidding.
Clark Duke: Oh, in Better Off Dead. Sorry. No but he really can ski. The first take we are on the bluff thing and we were like, okay cut. He was like, I'm going to try one and he went whoosh, down the hill.
Craig and Rob, can you talk about the atmosphere on the set the day you shot the oral-sex scene between the two of you?
Rob Corddry: The atmosphere was pretty sexually charged. You know what I mean? I think everybody was really ... well most people were 100% erect for it, men and woman.
Clark Duke: We had fluffers.
Craig Robinson: No, no fluffers. I would just come in early and Rob would fluff me to prepare me and then ... I just came in his face.
Rob Corddry: Yeah, he resets really fast. Luckily for us or we would have gone into overtime.
Craig Robinson: It would be like seven takes and each time I would have to reload.
Craig Robinson: Yeah, but seven times.
Rob Corddry: That's all Craig Robinson right there.
Do any of you spend a lot of time in hot tubs in your normal everyday lives?
Rob Corddry: I'm not a big hot tub guy.
Craig Robinson: I would love to more.
Clark Duke: I hot tub quite a bit. I'm not going to lie to you guys.
Rob Corddry: You tub a lot? So much so that you freely use it as a verb?
Clark Duke: If the weather is right we'll stay in there all summer.
Rob Corddry: Unabashedly saying, tub this tub that.
Rob Corddry: Tub shorts you call those? You are fucking disgusting.
Clark Duke: I'm from Hollywood man, that's how we do it.
Rob Corddry: No. I avoid Hollywood. I go an hour out of my way because I don't want to go anywhere near your hot tub.
What are some of your favorite projects from the other actors in the film and lets include Cusack too?
Clark Duke: Grosse Pointe Blank from Cusack for sure.
Rob Corddry: Cusack's had some real classics ... Must Love Dogs? That was a huge douchy thing to say. I'm actually a huge fan of 1408. I thought that was a really good horror movie. With Clark, I'm a huge Sex Drive fan and can't wait to see Kick-Ass.
Clark Duke: He actually just named the only two movies I'm in besides this one.
Rob Corddry: Well you're three for three. That's pretty good. I was in a movie called Unaccompanied Minors so I got a couple big misses.
Craig Robinson: Serendipity.
Rob Corddry: Oh that's a nice one.
Craig Robinson: When we signed on to this movie I had to brush up and see who this Clark Duke was so they screened huge Sex Drive for me and I was like, oh this dude is kind of a pimp. So that was the only other thing I saw.
Clark Duke: That's the only other thing there is.
Clark, what was it like for you working with comedy-legend Chevy Chase in the film?
Clark Duke: It was a career highlight for me. He's my hero. I had to tell him that on the first day otherwise I was going to throw up. It was really fun. He was in the room next door to me at the hotel.
What was the most unexpected thing that he did with you in any of your scenes?
Clark Duke: My name being next to Chevy Chase's on a poster is the most unexpected thing that I could ever come up with.
Rob Corddry: That is pretty crazy.
Clark Duke: Yeah that was what one of my friends said when he saw the poster, "Your name is next to Chevy Chase!"
Craig Robinson: And then he farted.
Clark Duke: He did! On day one!
Rob Corddry: He can fart on cue.
Clark Duke: On cue, that's true. I don't think he would appreciate us telling you that.
Rob Corddry: Don't care.
Craig Robinson: He was going to put it in the movie. He made it part of the dialogue.
Clark Duke: Yeah but he could have denied that it was real and said it was a special effect or something.
Do you think that that just adds to his comedic legend?
Craig Robinson: Absolutely, it was kind of amazing.
Clark Duke: He's so funny in real life just in regular conversation. He's so mean but funny, you know, it's like his classic wiseass persona. He's also amazingly politically incorrect. I've never seen anybody do shit to waiters like him, ever.
Rob Corddry: So don't wait on him.
Clark Duke: No do, unless you're easily offended. He'll do bits about inappropriate gynecology at a nice restaurant like pretty amazingly. We had dinner every night for a week and it was pretty amazing.
Director Steve Pink and John Cusack have worked together so many times that they must have a real short hand by now, was it hard to break that or did they bring you into the fold right away?
Clark Duke: They have like a twin language.
Craig Robinson: They would talk at the same time. Here is John Cusack, executive producer and Steve, the director and they would talk at the same time and give two different directions so I wouldn't know what to do. They were like an old married couple. It started from day one but it turned out all right because I would just look in the middle between the two of them, say okay, and then just do whatever I wanted to do.
Rob you have this great gag in the film with Crispin Glover and waiting to watch him loose an arm, can you talk about working with Crispin?
Rob Corddry: I didn't get it, I really though Crispin Glover was going to loose an arm. Then they said that it was all going to be one big running joke in the movie and I was disappointed.
Clark Duke: Because you hate that guy?
Rob Corddry: I hate that guy and I really hate his arm. I hate that guy's stupid arm! No I don't hate him at all. I read a very early draft of the script in which very little of what is in the movie now was actually in the original script. The original script was kind of bonkers like my character actually rents a DeLorean thinking that it's going to take him back to the present. It's that kind of movie, you know?
Clark Duke: Not the thinking man's piece we have now.
Rob Corddry: But that bit was in every draft. That bit was like an original bit from the very first script I believe.
Finally, Rob was this film exhausting for you to do because your character has very high energy and it seemed like you always had to be "on," is that right?
Rob Corddry: Well what I do is I have to get a hard-on before every scene. If you see me acting in a scene in a movie I am erect.
Clark Duke: Which can be medically dangerous because we shoot twelve to fourteen hour days.
Rob Corddry: I have a hard-on right now!
Clark Duke: Does that make it hard to run?
Rob Corddry: No, you just put one foot in front of the other.
Hot Tub Time Machine blasts off back to the '80s on March 26th.