Rob Corddry Interview For ‘Warm Bodies’
A funny new twist on a classic love story, ‘Warm Bodies’ is a poignant tale about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world. ‘Warm Bodies’ stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton and Dave Franco. Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), the film is out now in the US and is set for a Febuary 8th release in the UK. My interview Nicholas Hoult for the film can be found here, my Teresa Palmer interview can be read here, while my Analeigh Tipton interview can be found here.
How were you approached for ‘Warm Bodies’?
Rob Corddry: I was sent a script, and at first, I don’t even know if I was on their radar to tell you the truth. But I went in and done a big audition, a whole days worth of auditions, and I think the audition went really well. I was really obsessed with the script and the book, so talking to Jonathan Levine about it, I think we connected. I felt very good about the audition after speaking with Jonathan.
‘Warm Bodies’ has a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ homage element to it, with you character being somewhat of a Mercutio. Did that affect how you played M?
Rob Corddry: Yeah, I’m Mercutio. And that went across my mind way too much (laughs). ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of my favourite plays, ever. It’s probably the perfect Shakespeare play. And for me, the first half of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is some of the funniest stuff ever written – and I think largely because of Mercutio. Because there’s not a lot of back-story for M in ‘Warm Bodies,’ my idea of him was that he’s this sardonic guy, he likes to party, he’s fun-loving, he likes to nudge his buddy a little bit… but he dies (laughs). So I did think about Mercutio quite a bit.
Is it hard to arrive on set when you know your bag of tricks is grunts and groans?
Rob Corddry: (Laughs) The hard part was that we did a workshop with a Cirque du Soleil guy for a couple of hours, for the movement – that was pretty embarrassing (laughs). It was like theater class in college, the worst kind. But we learned a lot from it and Nic and I really bonded. Other than that it was cool, if you’re saying something or not you still have to have a light in your eyes or no ones going to believe you.
When you had the script, could you gauge what your grunts and groan conversations were saying, what they were articulating?
Rob Corddry: Sometimes (laughs), but mostly if I was having a grunting conversation, we would just play off each other. And we had something of a cogent conversation; at least in terms of tone and some mannerisms that we sort of developed as we went, you know? But we did have a sense of what we were talking about. That was funny (laughs).
I read that your wife is a speech therapist, did that factor into the speech and expression side of playing M?
Rob Corddry: Yeah. I went about it as if I was playing a brain‐injured patient. We talked about how brain‐injured patients can sometimes see the word in their head, but they don’t know what it is or what it means, and it’s hard to get it out. So, even when I’m grunting, I’m trying to make a word.
Many “best friend” roles don’t usually have their own arcs in stories, but how was it to have an arc with M? In the film, R’s change sparks everything, but M’s change is representative of everyone else….
Rob Corddry: Yeah, those “best friend” guys or girls are usually just straight plot devices. I actually get to change. I might be the only best friend in movie history that has his own trajectory (laughs). I really like that, it was a fun character to play.
And how was it working alongside Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer on ‘Warm Bodies’?
Rob Corddry: Nic is really fantastic, he’s a really cool, smart guy who’s so down to earth – and so is Teresa. Both of them are fantastic. It’s such a relief, when actors turn out to be really cool. Because it can so easily go the wrong way, and does sometimes (laughs). But they’re great.
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