Cox biopic satire a lot of work, says director Kasdan



Director Jake Kasdan on the set of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which opens in theatres on Friday.


When fans of the music biopic genre get together to make a satire of it, the result can be a showcase of hilarity, vulgarity and just plain silly fun.

So director and co-writer Jake Kasdan of 2002’s Orange County teamed up with Knocked Up brainchild Judd Apatow (producer/co-writer) to bring to life the almost-true story of rock legend Dewey Cox in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which opens in theatres this Friday.

Starring character actor John C. Reilly in a breakthrough leading role, Cox is a chameleon of a character whose humble beginnings in ’40s-era Alabama see him ascend to rock star status with an array of phases including rockabilly, outlaw country and ’60s psychedelic. Inevitably, Cox seems to fall into the same traps his real-life counterparts are prone to: sex, drugs, alcohol — and, of course, the guilt-ridden memories of his brother’s untimely death.

“The truth is, it takes so long to make one of these things that if you don’t have some real affection for the movies you’re sort of riffing on ... you just would never do this because you’d grow out of interest,” explains Kasdan.

In fact, there was so much to be told about the fictional rocker that the 90-minute movie was originally shot at three-and-a-half hours. (Extended scenes and musical phases will be available on the DVD for those who want more “Cox”).

Speaking of ... ahem ... when asked about some surprise male nudity in the film, Kasdan explains there’s a delicate balance between funny and repulsive, which is why he screened the movie many times in his editing process.

“There’s no question that I worked on that scene more than any scene in the movie. And in fact, that is the image I’ve spent more time looking at than any image in the movie, because you don’t know how much is the right amount of penis until you’ve gone too far.”

Plus, he justifies: “We had seen so much of Harvey Keitel’s penis over the years that it had to be reasonable to get someone else’s in there!”

  • Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story opens on Friday.