It’s safe to say that John C Reilly was rather excited about portraying silent comedy star Oliver Hardy in Stan & Ollie.
“I have been preparing for that role my whole life. Ever since I started watching Oliver Hardy,” Reilly tells Metro during a break in our discussion about The Sisters Brothers.
Due out later this month, Reilly stars opposite Steve Coogan, who portrays Hardy’s legendary comedy partner Stan Laurel, in Stan & Ollie. But rather than focusing on their glory years, it is set in the nadir of the career.
“The main focus of that story is their last theatrical tour in England, Ireland and Scotland,” Reilly explains. “We shot most of it, pretty much everything in England, places like Brighton, Bristol, old towns like that, and London.”
Why does John C Reilly always share the lead?
Laurel and Hardy are arguably the most famous comedy double act in the history of both cinema and double acts, thanks to their hugely entertaining brand of slapstick comedy.
It makes a lot of sense that Reilly would star as Hardy, too, since the Boogie Nights and Chicago actor often shares the lead of his films alongside another actor. Even The Sisters Brothers, as the Western pits him against Joaquin Phoenix.
“You sound like you have been reading my press,” responds Reilly when I point this out to him. “There must be something about me that loves being in a duo, because I keep on doing it over and over again.”
“It shares the workload everyday. And if things go south it isn’t all your fault, that’s another benefit.”
“I have been really lucky, it is not just that I am drawn to duos it is that audiences are drawn to duos. There are a lot of duo things out there. I have been lucky to get to work with some really talented partners in all of those films.”
Stan & Ollie is released on December 28, just three days after Reilly can be seen alongside Will Ferrell in Holmes & Watson.