Peter Farrelly explains why he and brother Bobby revived ‘The Three Stooges’

Larry (Sean Hayes, center) intercepts a Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) finger-poke, as Curly (Will Sasso)winces because he knows he’s next.

Other directors might not be brave enough to attempt to top what is already a classic, but directing team Peter and Bobby Farrelly, known for their monumental success with films like “There’s Something About Mary,” were unafraid of tackling one of the most iconic comedy teams of all time. As their rendition of “The Three Stooges” hits theaters this weekend, we spoke with Peter Farrelly about taking on Larry, Moe and Curly.

How did you decide that the moment was right to update of “The Three Stooges”?

Now was the moment because the studio gave us the money. For 10 years, they were like, “No f–in’ way. We’re not doing it.” It was [about] trying to convince the studio that you could take these characters from 70 years ago and put them into a present-day setting and make it work.

There were so many rumored cast members — everyone from Sean Penn to Woody Harrelson. Once you settled on Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso, did you change the script to suit them better?

No. In fact, we never write around any cast. The character is the character and then the actor has to come in and fit the bill — in this case, probably more so than ever. We wrote for Moe, Larry and Curly and we wanted them to be exactly Moe, Larry and Curly and that was one reason why it was so hard to get actors. That was sort of intimidating to a lot of actors.

Can you talk about casting Larry David as a nun?

Larry David plays Sister Mary Mengele. Larry is probably the most influential comedy figure of the last 25 or 30 years. We’re huge fans and we wanted to get him in the movie. That was the role he found interesting. He could’ve played the dog if he wanted to. We just wanted him classing up our project.

At the end of the film, you have a disclaimer about all the slapstick, warning kids not to try it at home. Was that a big concern in the making of the movie?

This was a PG movie and it’s actually almost a G movie, because it’s cartoon violence. There’s no nudity, there’s no language, there’s no drug use. It’s a very clean movie. A couple people have said, “shouldn’t it be PG-13?” And I say, “Oh, like ‘The Hunger Games’?” I mean, come on.

The sequel to “Dumb and Dumber” has been announced. Where do you want to take these characters this time around?

Before “Dumb and Dumber” came out, if I told you what the story was, you’d be like, “Do not make it. Do not waste your time.” All I can say is that it’s not the type of plot that I can make it sound good. It’ll sound like sh– but trust me, it’s the exact same guys doing more of the same stuff, but we don’t want to give anything away.

How did it come together?

We’ve never done a sequel and the only movie that we ever wanted to do a sequel to is “Dumb and Dumber.” There’s no growth in these guys, and you could do it over and over, and we could do it in our sleep. We always wanted to do it, but Jim [Carrey] wasn’t ready until now. He saw it a year or so ago on video and he laughed his ass off and he was like, “This is what I want to do. I want to make people laugh hard like we did then.”


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