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‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ stars, directors share insight

It’s easy to tell from the title that the people involved in making the upcoming film “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” must have a funny bone. The State Press spoke with the cast and directors of the upcoming comedy/drama in a conference call, in which they let their humorous sides show.

Question: Anna and Ryan, in addition to “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” you two have written and directed several other movies together, including “Half Nelson” and “Sugar.” Do you always see eye to eye or do you guys sometimes have creative confrontations?

Ryan Fleck: We see eye to chest because I’m a little taller. We try to hash out disagreements in pre-production and during the writing stage. We know how to handle disagreements efficiently.

Q: Did you guys give the actors free range to improvise?

RF: All actors were very collaborative. We’re open to other ideas. Zach really thrives on improv and you really need to let him go and do what he does best. He’ll give you some gems to work with because we’re not really funny people.

Q: Keir, if you could give Craig, the film’s protagonist, advice what would it be?

Keir Gilchrist: I don’t think I would be qualified to give him advice.

Q: Zach, do you feel overwhelmed by all your success?

Zach Galifianakis: It think if I were younger it would be overwhelming.  But since I’m older I’m handling it OK. I get a really good table at Sbarro now. Other than that not much has changed.

Q: What are your favorite mediums to work with?

ZG: Favorite genre is Cirque du Soleil. Best paying is by far the Internet. I like to keep occupied because idol hands are the devil’s workshop.

Q: Anna and Ryan, what do you think it is about your partnership that works so well?

RF: I’m glad you think it’s working. We’re able to make the other person’s idea better to make a third idea that is much better than what we could have done on our own.

Anna Boden: Dialectic.

Q: Zach, how do you choose your roles?

ZG: My first question when choosing a role is, “Is there any nudity.” When I find out there’s not, I’ll read the script anyway.

Q: Would you ever shave your beard for a role?

ZG: I can’t shave it off. I have a Port wine stain in the shape of India.

Q: What is one thing you hope people take away from the film?

KG: I hope people are entertained because I think the one purpose of film is to entertain. I don’t think people need to take away a message. If they enjoy it, that’s all that matters.

RF: The film has to do with not feeling alone. I hope someone goes in feeling depressed and they walk out thinking, “I’m not alone.”

AB: One of the great things about the story is that Craig learns to appreciate what he has, and I think we’d all be lot happier if we did that more often.

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” opens on October 8th.

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