I recently got the chance to talk to P.J. Byrne about his role in ‘Horrible Bosses’. Here, P.J. talks about how he got involved in the project in the first place and about his role in ‘Final Destination 5’…
Hey P.J. Thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to talk to me. ‘Horrible Bosses’ has just finished its cinema release and will be released soon on DVD and Blu-Ray.
For those who didn’t get chance to see it, what’s the general premise of the film?
It’s about three regular guys who feel so trapped into their respective jobs, working for bosses who are manipulative and psychotic…that the only true option to escape and find happiness for them is to plot to kill their evil bosses.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Well, first I have to give credit to the great Lisa Beach for bringing me in to audition. And then to Seth Gordon and New Line for taking a chance on me. They could have put another famous actor in that spot and they went with me and I will be forever grateful.
An IMDB user – MHMovieReviews has done a review of ‘Horrible Bosses’ and has said – ‘Finally a great movie idea hasn’t been wasted on a slapdash script, poor directing, and unworthy actors. Instead director Gordon and his screenwriters have contrived a new kind of buddy comedy so ridiculous that everyone can relate to it.’ – would you agree with this statement?
I agree. Especially in this really tough economy now, when it’s more likely than ever that people feel they need to put up with some awful bosses because changing jobs is not exactly realistic, I think the message is: we are with you in the trenches of ‘Horrible Bosses’ hell. People who have horrible bosses can absolutely relate to this movie, and through some pretty earthy humor know they are not alone. We’re here to share your pain and to put a smile on your face!
Tell us a bit about your character in the movie, I understand that you have a pivotal role…
Ahhhh, yes…Kenny Sommerfeld – (good buddy from high school)…is a man so down on his luck he will pretty much do anything for $40 bucks…and I mean anything. He freaks out the guys so badly they realize if my character, the most successful person they know, has now fallen from the heights and cannot get a job….well… the only option they have is to take out their bosses.
The film stars the likes of Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Donald Sutherland – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
There is a reason these people are so successful and it’s not only because of their talent and professionalism but also because they are honestly fun to be around. You just want to work with dynamite people like this all the time.
Have you ever had a horrible boss?
I have….and just thinking about that boss gives me the sweats….ok …now I’m boiling…ok, great…now I’m crying…thank you.
Let’s talk about you P.J. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I fell into it….a roommate of mine from Boston College, Jason, was auditioning for a play and I tagged along…I knew if I went with him he would have to go grab a couple of beers with me after. I ended up getting the part and he didn’t. Sorry Jason….I did buy him a lot of beers that night.
What has been the most interesting piece of local / national news you’ve heard in the last month?
The debt crisis…I understand that we elect our politicians and send them to Washington because we like what they stand for and they represent our values but we also send them to Washington to find compromise and help grease the wheels of American prosperity. We don’t elect them to show up with ideological cement shoes.
You’ve had a number of different roles on a number of TV series and films – who has been your favorite actor to work with so far and who has given the best advice to you?
Mark Harmon from ‘NCIS’, by far, is one of the classiest guys in Hollywood and also a great actor to mix it up with. And Larry Charles was one of the best directors I ever worked for. He once said to me…”PJ I trust you, so do whatever you want, there are no rules with you” and I can’t tell how freeing and inspiring that was. If he asked me to run through a wall I think I would and probably could.
The newest instalment of the ‘Final Destination’ franchise has just come out, with lasers and bridges, etc and you‘re playing the role of Isaac in it. What can you tell us about both your character and the film?
There is always the person in the office that everyone can’t stand but you have to deal with him or her and that is my character Isaac. He thinks about three things….himself, ladies and getting ladies for himself.
I understand they’re still using 3D like last time…will cinema goers be frightened to death?
It’s different actually….this movie was shot in 3-D and the last movie was converted to 3-D…that is a big difference…and the cameras we were using at the time were brand new to the field! The movie looks amazing and I hope everyone brings an extra pair of diapers.
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
I will be returning to BET’s ‘The Game’ as the world’s meanest sports manager and I will also be playing Bolin, in Nickelodeon’s incredible new cartoon, ‘The Last Airbender’, ‘The Legend of Korra’.
Thanks for the interview!