Joel David Moore on becoming Joey Ramone in ‘CBGB’

Joel David Moore does his best Joey Ramone in the biopic "CBGB." Credit: Getty Images
Joel David Moore does his best Joey Ramone in the biopic “CBGB.”
Credit: Getty Images

Hiding under a huge wig, dark sunglasses and a leather jacket, Joel David Moore — of “Dodgeball” and “Avatar” fame — gets in touch with his own skate-punk roots to play Joey Ramone in “CBGB,” a film tribute to the NYC rock club’s genesis. The role called for a lot of reminiscing — and a lot of thought about how much times have changed.

How much of getting Joey right was just about the look?
That was a big, giant part of it. I had a lot of valuable resources to look at. You don’t get to meet Joey, because obviously he’s dead, but you have the entire public awareness of him. There was no casual arrogance with Joey Ramone. He was a very, very smart guy but there were some social patterns that were… different. He was a little tucked in, and I think that was what I was really going for. When you see him on stage, he becomes a little bit of a rock star but he’s really just getting up there and tapping his head and singing his song and done.

What’s the most punk rock thing you’ve ever done?
How punk rock? I mean, I’ve jumped out of a plane. That’s pretty badass. But punk rock? When I was a kid in Oregon I ended up doing such dumb things. Like a friend of mine wanted to sell me a car — this is terrible — and I knew it was stolen. I was probably 16 and he was 14. I got in and there was a f—ing screwdriver in the ignition. And he was like, “Give me $200 for this.” I was like, “I’m 16, where am I going to get $200?” And he goes, “Okay, give me, like, 20 for it.” I was like, “Dude, this is totally stolen.” But because we’re in this rebel mode of our lives, whether it’s rebelling against our parents or rebelling against society or whatever, I was like, “F— it,” and I took the car and we drove around all night. If I’d gotten pulled over I would’ve been arrested. There was no version of me going, “Oh no, my buddy gave me the car and he said just take it.”

Do you think a movement like this could happen again, given how culture and communication have changed?
Not in the same way. I think the punk movement was a movement of a bunch of people, and social media allows for movement of certain people. Justin Bieber blew up from social media. He blew up from the YouTube generation and then somebody getting him onto a social media platform and now he has 45 million followers. He can do what he wants. It’s switched places. Back then it was a grassroots movement of people, and now it’s movements or persons, one person at a time getting famous.

And that’s mostly due to social media?
Social media has made us more aware but dumber because we’re getting pieces of information. Back in the day if you wanted to go to CBGB you’d see a bunch of different bands. Now you’re just following one person and his tour around America or what he’s doing or what he wore or if she shaved her head. It’s so easy to just click in for just a second and then come out. Every time something happens in Syria we can go onto Twitter and find out from the news sources we’re following, but we’re just clicking in for a second. Back in the day you had to read a two-page article on what is happening in Syria, the history of it and why they’re in this mess. Now I can tell you, “Oh man, 47 people just died in Syria.” Why? “Oh, I don’t know, I didn’t read why. I’m just giving you the news blip of what’s going on.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…