The news that Taran Killam wasn’t coming back to “SNL” was shocking, but that’s still not as surprising as the review he gave his own movie in a sit-down with The Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post caught up with Killam and his “Brother Nature” co-star Bobby Moynihan at the AOL Build studios on Thursday, and the pair broke out their “SNL” characters, Jebidiah Atkinson (Killam), a notoriously curmudgeonly critic, and Drunk Uncle (Moynihan), a character that’s self-explanatory, to review the new flick.
In a HuffPost Entertainment Snapchat, Killam’s Atkinson said, ”Personally, I laughed more at ‘Deliverance,’” while Drunk Uncle simply added the word, “Immigrants.”
Atkinson’s trademark is lambasting everyone’s favorite movies and plays, so his bad review is more like high praise. As support, “Brother Nature” — a buddy comedy about a straitlaced politician, Roger (Killam), meeting his zany, potential future brother-in-law (Moynihan) — has received some solid reviews.
In addition to the Snappin’, Killam and Moynihan opened up to HuffPost about the former leaving “SNL,” hijinks on set of “Brother Nature” and the fact that some people actually think Moynihan plays the dragon in “Game of Thrones.” (Wait, so he doesn’t?)
While leaving the “SNL” offices, you made a “Hard Knocks” video. How did that happen?
Killam: It’s insane! I had so much fun doing it. I chose to clear all my stuff out on Saturday, and I ended up waiting like 40 minutes for security to let me into the dressing room, and I was just like, “What can I do with this time?”
I started taking footage because the “Hard Knocks” season finale just happened Tuesday, and I’m from LA, and I’m a die-hard Raiders fan for life now — very excited to have our own team [the Los Angeles Rams]. It was just fresh in my mind, and I decided, “Well, maybe I’ll shoot all this stuff,” and me and [”Hard Knocks” narrator] Liev Schreiber have this mutual friend, so on a fucking long-shot I’ll email these 3 paragraphs [of dialogue for voice-over] and send it to Jonathan Marc Sherman to see if he’ll do me a favor because he’s the greatest miracle worker of all time, and he did.
I took the footage, I moved all my stuff out that night at, like, 8 p.m. I wrote to Jonathan Marc Sherman. I was like, “Hey, is there anyway you can help me out with this?” By 7 a.m. the next morning, I had the audio file in my hands. It was absurd. I am not an early riser. My wife got up and started making breakfast and getting ready for the day. As I saw that, I was up and I was like, “Honey, I love you. I’m making eggs, and then I’m sitting on iMovie. I’m gonna edit this together.”
Killam: It was so fun. A lot of the most well-received [projects], and the things that I’m proudest of at “SNL,” are things I kind of just did on my own. There’s this Robyn “Call Your Girlfriend” re-creation video that I shot in my office with Jake Szymanski. Bobby was there, and Abby Elliott and Sarah Schneider. It was actually Sarah Schneider’s idea. And people love it. I get more compliments on nothing else than that video … and Mokiki is something that Osmany Rodriguez and Matt Villines, who directed “Brother Nature,” and I just went off and shot footage on our own and just made it happen. It’s one of the things I’m by far most proud of on the show, so this is a nice punctuation.
Bill Pullman is in “Brother Nature.” Did anyone get him to do the “Independence Day” speech?
Moynihan: It’s one of the happiest moments of my life. One of the costume designers had a party at her house on a day off, and Taran is very good at games and gaming and including everyone, and we played Mafia. I had never played before. Bill Pullman was, I believe, the sheriff at the time, and he was pleading his case, and he was about to make a speech, and it got super, super quiet. I just whispered — half involuntarily — “Please do the speech from ‘Independence Day.’” He looked up and just gave a wink, and just kind of went on. He didn’t do it, but that was enough.
Taran, your character is running for office in this movie. If you were running Trump’s campaign, what changes would you make?
Killam: I would convince him of that beautiful property in Scotland that he has, and the new golf course. If he’s president, he’s never going to see that. Think of the golf course.
I know you tweeted support when Leslie Jones was hacked. What are your thoughts on what happened?
Killam: I reached out, and Leslie and I shared a dressing room these past two seasons. There is no one who thinks of others more on the show than Leslie. She is truly one of the most generous people I worked with. The fact that she’s become some sort of lightning rod for ignorance and hate truly baffles me. It’s one thing to ignore it — it’s not new terrain that people are mean on the internet and people are hateful and dumb, really — but the invasiveness of hacking and stealing her personal information, and putting it out to the public and doing it in such a truly, objectively evil way, makes me sad that that’s in the world. There’s nobody who deserves it less.
Bobby, you’re the dragon on “Game of Thrones.” Any spoilers for Season 7?
Moynihan: Yes. All of them. I’ve played so many “Game of Thrones” people, like George R.R. Martin, a lot at dress rehearsal, six or seven — but that dragon will still be my favorite. Also, in my time at “SNL,” I don’t think I’ve ever had a more clear vision of, “This is the costume I’m looking for,” and having them go, “Here it is.” The way it looked and worked: Everything was a complete dream.
Killam: Also, [Peter] Dinklage is a great card player.
Moynihan: We were making up stuff that hadn’t happened yet, and I was like, “Are we even close?” And he was like, “No.”
Killam: [Dinklage said,] “I don’t even see dragons.”
Moynihan: And then, the first thing is almost the exact same shot of him in the dark touching the dragons.
From “Game of Thrones”:
[Laughs] So was that actually footage of you?
Killam: Yes, they stole our sketch footage.
Moynihan: People genuinely talk about it online and bring it up to me, saying, “You are the motion-capture dragon.” They don’t realize it was an “SNL” sketch. That makes me happy. I like that world of assuming.
“Brother Nature” is available in theaters and VOD.
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