Interview: Eric Mabius Talks Price Check, Written by: Karen Benardello
Often times in life, people struggle to find the place where they belong, and try to figure out what’s best for themselves and their families. They often have to overcome a conflict with other people to figure out what matters most to them in the world. That’s certainly the case with the main character, Pete Cozy, in the new comedy-drama, ‘Price Check,’ which hits select theaters tomorrow. In writer-director Michael Walker’s second feature film, Pete strives to find a more financially stable job, and when he finally does, it comprises his family life.
‘Price Check’ follows Pete (played by Eric Mabius), who has found himself a house in the suburbs and a job in the pricing department of a middling supermarket chain. Pete’s job allows him to spend quality time with his wife and young son, and they appear happy, despite the fact they’re drowning in debt.
Everything changes for Pete when he gets a new boss, the beautiful, high-powered Susan Felders (portrayed by Parker Posey). With Susan’s influence, Pete finds himself on the executive track, which surprises and excites him. While his salary increases, he also has to spend more time with Susan at work, however. His personal relationship with his new boss subsequently crosses the line of professional etiquette. Their growing relationship creates tension in the store and his personal home life.
Mabius generously took the time recently to discuss filming ‘Price Check’ over the phone. Among other things, the actor discussed what attracted him to the role of Peter, what his working relationships with Posey and Walker were like and how his real-life marriage and children helped influenced and prepared him for his role as Pete.
ShockYa (SY): Price Check’ follows your character, Peter Cozy, who works in the pricing department of a middling supermarket chain. However, his world is quickly turned upside down when the company hires fast-talking, high-powered Susan to fix the chain. What was it about the character and the script that convinced you to take on the role of Peter?
Eric Mabius (EM): I went to an art school for college, I went to Sarah Lawrence. I have a lot of friends who are in the record business, or who are in the magazine business. They were interning, and they were all people who had dreams of starting their own label or their own magazine.
This character, Peter, is sort of that character, 15 years later, when his dream of running a record label and promoting the big bands has dried up. He has gotten married and has a child, and how does he put food on the table? There’s something that I wanted to explore there.
It’s about what we’re willing to sacrifice for the things we’re willing to get. That’s not the only thing that occurs-what are we willing to do for money? What is security, and why does that represent the simplicity in relationships?
I thought Michael Walker’s script was fantastic. His first film, ‘Chasing Sleep,’ with Jeff Daniels, I loved and respected. All of these elements culminated with (Parker) Posey being cast. I’ve always wanted to work with her. We’ve crossed paths, but never worked together.
SY: Speaking of Michael, ‘Price Check’ is the second feature film he both wrote and directed. Do you generally prefer working with directors who also wrote the script?
EM: That’s kind of a case-by-case situation. Often times, you’ll find directors who are very precious of what they’ve written. But Michael was not. He understood what had to get done for the greater good, and wasn’t too attached to things. He had a great desire to collaborate, which I think is more than half the battle.
There were things that had to go, that we didn’t think would. Then there were things that stayed, that we didn’t think would.
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