Andy Dick discusses putting his life on screen in all its glory

In Danny Roane: First Time Director, Andy Dick plays the title character who is a television actor that drinks too much and gets basically ousted from the film industry. In order to find redemption he decides to break back in by directing his own movie which of course leads to it's own comedy of errors.

As Andy Dick is a one of a kind talent, Danny Roane: First Time Director could only be a one of a kind film. Dick recently sat down with us to discuss the upcoming DVD release and just about anything else we both could think of.

Where did the idea for Danny Roane: First Time Director come from?

Andy Dick: Just my life, plain and simple, my life.

When making a film about the film industry did you see it as a way to settle some scores or point out absurdities about the film industry?

Andy Dick: Oh, yeah, that's obvious. Yes, yes, yes...

Were you worried at all in doing that that people would know who you were talking about? Or, did you not care?

Andy Dick: Well, I'm not talking about anybody in any kind of bad way except me, so I didn't care. Anything that I've said about myself has already been said about me. I wasn't making fun of any people specifically. Maybe... and I wasn't even making fun of James Van Der Beek. I was very happy that he went along with... he really poked fun at himself.

Was that cathartic in a way how you pointed the camera at yourself?

Andy Dick: Oh yeah, hell yeah. I felt like I got a lot off my chest. The weird thing, here's something that's very strange... one of the opening scenes was Jimmy Kimmel, right? When I'm on Jimmy Kimmel's show and I urinate on him (laughs). That happened a year before I actually got carried off for groping Ivanka Trump. So that's a real example of life imitating art. I had written that scene and gotten carried off by security a year before it actually happened. Which is so strange.

Was it surreal to be directing a movie about that kind of stuff? You're starring in the movie and you're making a movie about making a movie.

Andy Dick: Yeah, right. I didn't mind it. It's surreal to explain it, when I'm trying to explain the movie. The only thing that was difficult was deciding what to keep from my life, what to throw out from my life, what to tone down from my life and what to turn up from my life. Definitely, I had a giant equalizer in front of me that just had the label my life. I would turn this up and turn that knob down. I want to be entertaining but I also want to keep it real. I want people to walk away with a sense of what it might be like to be somebody like me. Not necessarily me, specifically, but what it might be like to be in this industry and try and keep a career going for so long. And at the same time battle with addictions.

Since you wrote and directed this movie, how closely did you follow the screenplay? I have to think that with your background there must have been improvisation.

Andy Dick: I hired actors that I knew personally. I hired actors that I knew could take the script and use it as a springboard... it's like a playground, that they can just jump off that and go anywhere they want. There was a lot of times when actors would completely go off script and sometimes I would use it and sometimes I wouldn't use it. I should have done a director's commentary where I really point out what was improvised and what was scripted. I spent 2 years writing that script. There was a real solid script there that we did jump off of. We really went nuts off of it.

We talked about the easy part being you putting your life on screen. What was the hardest part of making this film?

Andy Dick: I would say just making it in general. I brought it around to so many different places. I wanted somebody else to put up the money because I wound up putting up my own money for it; just getting it made. Once I got into the first day of filming it was like smooth sailing. It was easier than I had anticipated. The hardest part, I guess, is the anticipation, "Oh my God, I can't believe I'm going to make a movie." It was just an incredible, anxiety that I carried for two years thinking, "I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know how to do this." Where are we going to get the money? Are the actors going to come? Is it going to be good? Then, literally, the first day of filming I said, "This is easy." I've been doing this for over 20 years, I don't know what I was scared of?

It might have been that you had been doing this but you weren't the person who was...

Andy Dick: Running the show. Exactly. I wasn't the person manning the ship.

What are you working on now? What do you have coming up next?

Andy Dick: I have two scripts that I'm working on. Two script ideas that I just think are great. I think today I'm going to sign the contracts to have my own show on VH1. As well as the show runner/executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm wants to meet to talk about some kind of scripted show, that sounds promising. I'm going back into TV which is weird because I really wanted to shy away from it (laughs). I've been shying away from it and I wanted to stay away but it looks like it's my bread and butter. I've been doing it for 20 years and I like it and it's easy and it's fun. I think this TV show that I do will give me the opportunity to let people in on the non-monster side of Mr. Dick.

Danny Roane: First Time Director comes to DVD on November 6 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs