Read Shockya.com's exclusive interview with actor Larry Hankin, who portrays Granger in the new comedy ‘Buzz Kill.’ The film, which was written and directed by Stephen Kampmann, follows a once promising screenwriter, Ray Wyatt (played by Daniel Raymont), who refuses to get a job in advertising just to please his wife Sara (portrayed by Reiko Aylesworth), and moves into a run-down apartment as a result. His new landlord, Granger, hassles him for money, and is reluctant to fix the problems that plague the apartment.
Ray’s future improves when an L.A. producer wants to meet with him to discuss his new screenplay, ‘Great Shame.’ Having little travel money, Ray allows a young waitress from a local dinner, Nicole (played by Krysten Ritter), to travel with him. After Nicole leaves him in the middle of their trip because she’s become bored, Ray encounters the notorious Karaoke Killer (portrayed by Darrell Hammond), who steals his car and script. While Ray follows the killer to get his screenplay back, he’s reluctant to turn him into police, as he’s the first person interested in the new ending.
Hankin discusses with us, among other things, what attracted him to the role of Granger. He also talks about what his working relationship with Raymont was like, and how shooting independent films differ from big budget studio movies.
Written by: Karen Benardello
ShockYa (SY): You play Granger, Ray Watt’s landlord who insists he pay his rent, despite the negligent conditions of his apartment, in ‘Buzz Kill.’ What was it about the script that convinced you to take on the role?
Larry Hankin (LH): Well, I like Steve Kampmann, who is the director. I’ve seen him direct other things, another movie that he’s done. I like Steven.
Then when I read the script, I liked the character, he’s so out there. I love those kinds of characters, and that’s what I do. They fit into what I’m able to do. I thought it was really funny.
SY: How did you prepare for the role of Granger before you began shooting the film?
LH: I’ve lived pretty much like that for many years of my life. That’s about it. For that particular role, Granger, there’s not much research that you have to do. There’s serious roles where you do, but Granger’s just a natural. It was on page, what you would professionally say. It was in the script, how to do that guy was right on the page.
SY: Daniel Raymont, who plays Ray Watt in ‘Buzz Kill,’ has said the cast did some improvisation while shooting. Did you do any improv while filming?
LH: No, not that much. One was because I liked the way it was written. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But I didn’t have that big a role. My scenes were kind of quick. I didn’t think it was necessary, and I think we got the funny. It was pretty funny. So I didn’t do much, no. (laughs) I didn’t do much. But it depends on the moment, really.
SY:The main character Granger interacts with in ‘Buzz Kill’ is Daniel. So what was your working relationship with Daniel like?
LH: Oh, it was great, Daniel is really cool. He understands deadpan humor, which is the kind of humor I like, as does Steven. He’s very good. I liked working with him. When you’re working with some really good, it’s not work, it’s fun and easy. It’s not work at all. So big points for Daniel.
It’s comedy, which is very hard to find, especially dead pan comedies. I think they’re rare, not hard to do, but rare, and Daniel did it well.
SY: Steven Kampmann both directed and co-wrote the script, with Matt Smollon, for ‘Buzz Kill.’ Did the fact that Steven worked on the screenplay help in his directorial duties?
LH: I don’t know. I just show up and do my work, I don’t check if Steven did his homework. He seemed prepared. He had a really good working relationship with the cinematographer (Stephen Treadway), and that’s always a good sign.
My scenes were mainly hand-held, and they worked together to get the joke. I really liked that. They had really good focus on what was important, and they worked together well. So that was just a good sign to me. I took that as I didn’t have to worry about the director, because I saw how well he was working with the cinematographer and with Daniel. So I just relaxed, and went with whatever was happening.
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