Great interview with Jon Lovitz in the AV Club. He’s friends with Madonna! Who knew? The best part is when they ask him about the movie Trapped In Paradise, a film where Jon, Dana Carvey, and Nicolas Cage are stuck in like Alaska or something. I never saw it. I remember the poster. it looks like the poster for Grumpy Old Men, only with three men instead of two.
JL: [Pauses.] Well, I feel like I’m very fortunate to be in movies at all, but I called it Trapped In Shit. I love Dana, and Nicolas Cage was great and we became friends, but the director [George Gallo] just wasn’t there. He wasn’t directing. It was a bad time in my life personally, because my father had just died Dec. 25. And I’m up in the snow with no light—we did night shoots for six weeks. It was like 25-below. Everyone was fine, but after six weeks, the whole crew started going crazy ’cause there’s no light. It really affects your mood. Then we moved to Toronto, so we’re shooting inside. It wasn’t fancy, but inside during the day, this was a luxury. It was like 31 degrees, but it felt like summer. So as soon as I worked during the daylight, my mood changed.
But the director would say, “Just do whatever you want.” He was bragging about what a great director he was before he hired us: “I’m as good as Rob Reiner and Martin Scorsese.” This is George Gallo. I said, “Don’t you think you should let other people say that?” We never even got to read the script. He’d go, “Well, let’s rehearse this.” I’d go, “Oh good, we get to rehearse.” And he’d start screaming at me, “Do whatever you want!” And I go, “Saying ‘do whatever you want’ is not direction.”
Six weeks in, Dana and Nicolas took over. We were doing this scene where we had to take these trash bags out from the trunk of a car and change clothes, and it was complicated. Nicolas was like, “What do you want?” And George goes, “Do whatever you want.” Nicolas said, “No!” Nicolas ended up basically directing that scene, because we had to choreograph it. It’s too much stuff in action; you can’t just do whatever you want. You have to shoot a master, then you shoot coverage—you have to match everything. You have to plan it out. It’s absurd.
And the movie did horrible, but people like it. I’ve done a lot of movies where I thought, “This will be fun” and it’s a disaster but then people like it. So you never know. But what made me angry was the director started blaming us and said I didn’t know my lines, which was complete bullshit. I was on the set and I asked him, “Is this the scene where…?” Because when you’re doing a movie, they shoot out of sequence. So we’re shooting in the middle of this empty field and there’s nothing. I asked the director, “Is this the part of the scene after we steal a Lexus and it goes over the cliff, and we’ve climbed up the hill, and it’s starting there?” He goes, “I don’t know! I don’t have time for these questions! You have to know the script!” He was right—I should have known it better, and I hadn’t looked at it enough—but it turns out the answer to my question is “yes.” So I knew it enough. And he wrote the thing! It was like, “You don’t know where we’re starting the scene from?” I mean, he didn’t know anything.
I don’t care, I’ll tell everybody: He wouldn’t even come out of his tent. It was freezing cold, we’re out there shooting this scene and there’s a problem on the set, and he’s 50 yards away in his tent. We go, “George, what do we do? There’s a problem.” And he goes, “I’m looking at fucking Jupiter.” It was ridiculous.
Ha! “I’m looking at fucking Jupiter” is the second best quote of the decade, right after Bronson Pinchot’s quote from Tom Cruise in another A.V. Club interview:
He was tense and made constant, constant unrelated homophobic comments, like, “You want some ice cream, in case there are no gay people there?” I mean, his lingo was larded with the most… There was no basis for it. It was like, “It’s a nice day, I’m glad there are no gay people standing here.” Very, very strange.