Hardworking, consistently employed funnyman Rob Riggle has been very busy of late, in films like: 22 Jump Street, Let’s Be Cops, The Internship and on TV in The League, Wilfred, Drunk History, New Girl, etc. He currently has the unique pleasure of sharing screen time with lovable dummies Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) in Dumb and Dumber To, which opens this week. Even better than that, he plays not one but two different characters, twin baddies Travis and Captain Lippincott – one of whom pulls off one of the best running gags in the film by disguising himself with body paint.
Screen Rant recently sat down with Riggle to discuss the comedic magic of a Farrelly brothers script, how they pulled off the convincing camouflage body suit gags and how to keep yourself from getting bored during multiple days of two-plus hours of body paint application.
Check out the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To followed by our interview with Riggle:
Screen Rant: What do you like most about being directed by a co-directing team like the Farrellys?
RR: They’re a great compliment to each other. They’re both very smart and very funny so you have a great baseline to work from. Peter is I think a little more mischievous and Bobby is very funny but very methodical, they’re a wonderful hand-and-glove combination.
SR: Given the fandom surrounding the original movie and that it’s been 20 years since it was released, was there a lot of secrecy surrounding this project in wanting to protect surprises and plot details?
RR: Not secrecy, more like anticipation. Every once in awhile there would be paparazzi around set or people trying to take photos, but it wasn’t anything that required the set to be locked down or anything.
SR: You’re experienced with comedy and funny scripts, but what is different about a Farrelly brothers script?
RR: It makes you laugh out loud reading it. Things pop out as you’re reading it, I’m a visual thinker so I visualize everything and how it’s going to play out and I have a tremendous amount of trust in the Farrelly brothers, I know that they’re going to take what’s there and they’re going to make it come alive in great ways and then of course there is Jeff and Jim, they bring such great improvisation and find things in the moment. You could have ten guys read the same line and two of them will do it really funny, the other eight will read it normally and you realize there are ways of doing it better. With Jim and Jeff it’s that way.
SR: The amazing body paint gags, how did that read on the page and how did you do it?
RR: There’s a great artist from England, Carolyn Roper, she was the one who did the painting because people have asked, “Is that CGI or some kind of digital graphic?” It’s actual paint, camouflage and real artistry as far as depth perception and whatnot. She was amazing and it took hours and hours of standing still to be painted like that and I think the end result was totally worth it.
SR: What are you thinking about during the makeup process?
RR: Well I had to stand at attention like that when I was in the Marines for inspections and things, so I call them mind vacations and I go all over the place. I go “I’m going to think about my family for awhile,” what’s going on with them and the like, and then I think about, “What do I want to do tonight?” and then I’ve already killed an hour. I’ve even done things where I’ll think, “What’s the lottery at right now?” Say it’s at $70 million. I go, “Okay, $70 million means that you real lying get $35 million and that gets taxed in half, so I’d take home $17.5 million and then I go, “Okay, what would I do with $17.5 million?” I piece together what I would do with the money and then I’ve killed another hour. And then all of the sudden two hours have passed and I’ve figured some stuff out. I’m totally prepared to win the lottery and keep my family happy.
SR: Were there any special epiphanies you had during these makeup sessions?
RR: No because when I’m done detailing it I realize I have a better chance of being hit by lightning than winning the lottery.
Dumb and Dumber To opens in U.S. theaters on November 14th, 2014.