Chris O'Dowd Interviewed: "I Had A Friend That Was A Brick."

The comedy star vents forth on his BAFTA nomination, abusing Twitter, Bridesmaids and strange childhood pals...
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The comedy star vents forth on his BAFTA nomination, abusing Twitter, Bridesmaids and strange childhood pals...

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It’s 7.30 on a Thursday and I’m on a date at a North London boozer.  Unfortunately, instead of sitting inside said boozer giving the I’m-alright-me spiel to the poor girl I am sitting outside, on a bench, in the rain with a pen and pad on my knees.  A chain of events has led to my interview with Chris O’Dowd, nominee for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award at this weekend’s BAFTA awards, happening in an impromptu fashion and I’ve left her inside with a copy of How To Be A Woman.  I tell Chris this and he is up in arms:

For God’s sake man!  What are you doing talking to me?  Get inside with her.

I then explain having to duck out to call him has actually worked rather in my favour as my date-a TV journalist type- is actually a massive fan of his wife (Lily Allen look-a-like Dawn Porter) and due to following them both on Twitter knows rather a lot about them, though she insists it’s purely professional appreciation.

Well that’s great, says Chris, I’ll tell Dawn. She’ll be made up.

He might be lying about telling Dawn, probably lying, but he really seems like a very nice man, reflective of the character Nathan Rhodes in Bridesmaids that has seen him propelled to the dizzy heights of Hollywood recognition and the Bafta nomination.  How does he feel about the nomination?

I’ve been practising my I’m-okay-with-losing happy face


Well, first of all I’m over qualified.  And secondly, that I’m too old.

(It's worth noting here that O’Dowd actually won a Scottish Bafta when he was 25 (he’s now 32)).

I’m joking though of course, it’s brilliant.  Really exciting and a real honour. I can’t wait for the evening itself.

Are you going to prepare a speech?

No I don’t think so.  I don’t really think I stand too much of a chance! I’ve been practising my I’m-okay-with-losing happy face.

Have you got any other plans for the evening?

Not really, just to try and enjoy it.   I’m going to try and not drink too much, but then I promise myself that each time I go to one of these things.

Chris had been doing some serious promotion for the event through his Twitter account for the award (which is voted for by the public).  How do you think it went, I ask?

Oh, I felt a bit dirty doing it.  Like I was torn; I don’t want to care but I’m a comedian and comedians don’t get the opportunity to win big awards very often so I just decided to go for it.  I think people will forgive me.  I just don’t know if I will forgive myself!

Regarding Bridesmaids, did you ever imagine the part of Nathan would get you the recognition it has?

Oh God, no.  There’s an interesting story- we were at some event in LA somewhere, and Judd Apatow was in the room.  I just went ‘oh God’ to Dawn, and told her that he was the reason I was in LA, that I was doing what I was trying to do. I don’t think I even spoke to him that night, but it’s just crazy that now I’ve done 3 films with him (he also stars in the forthcoming This is 40, a sequel to Knocked Up).

I don’t want to care but I’m a comedian and comedians don’t get the opportunity to win big awards very often so I just decided to go for it

And what was it like being on a set dominated by women?  Was it intimidating?

Oh not at all.  They were very inclusive and Kristen Wig (co-writer and Oscar-nominated star of the film) is just a real sweetheart.  We did a lot of rehearsals for it and it was just really easy from the start.

What did you make of its marketing as a ‘female gross-out’ comedy?  Because I was actually put off by that and when I saw the film realised it wasn’t really true to what it was.

Well, I think the gross-out angle was just something to bring in the young male audience, because the film is really about female relationships and sums them up just about better than any film I can think of really.

What have you got coming up next?

Well I’m currently in Dublin filming Moone Boy.  It’s  starring Steve Coogan and is a  series loosely based on me growing up as 12 year old in Ireland, though this 12 year old has an imaginary friend and is a lot more creative than me!

Did you have any imaginary friends as a child?

No, but I had a friend that was a brick.  He was called Tomothy.

Lucky you!  Thanks Chris. Good luck on Sunday.

Thanks pal!  Good luck with your date….

Chris is nominated for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs, taking place on Sunday 12 February.  For more information go toorange.co.uk/bafta
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