Yesterday’s press conference for the new Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine featured four members of the film’s impressive cast, and was full of good stories: Cate Blanchett talked about how she got involved via two of Woody’s notoriously brief casting conversations (“He and I spoke for about three and a half minutes,” before he sent the script, and “another 45 seconds when we agreed to do the film together”); Peter Sarsgaard recalled Allen’s sometimes brusque direction (“You sound like an actor saying lines”); Andrew Dice Clay discussed his motivation in his scenes (“I didn’t like Cate’s character too much because I hate the rich”). But the star of the afternoon was Louis C.K., whether joking around with Dice (“You’ve been rich for, like, 40 years though, man”) or cracking up the press with his stories about getting cast and making the film. When you put a microphone in front of Louie, he just goes, and he’s funny. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
How he was cast: I got a call that Woody wanted to meet me, so I went — it was a few blocks from me — I went to his office and I was just, I just wanted to meet him. To me, I always had very low expectations. I just thought, “I’m gonna get to meet Woody. He won’t pick me, and I’ll get to meet him before he dies,” so this is what I was thinking. So I went to his office and it’s this very nice little office and he’s got pictures of him with Muhammed Ali and all these people through the ages and I’m looking at that wall and waiting to meet him and his hat was sitting on his table, like I think he takes his hat off and puts it on the table upside down, and I’m like, “I’m looking at Woody’s hat that he wears to work, and even if they tell me he’s too busy and I never meet him, this was worth it.”
And then I went into this room and there he was and I remember thinking, “He looks just like Woody Allen.” He was so nice to me, and he said, “I like your stand-up and I know you can act, but I don’t know if you can be this guy, because this is a very tough guy, it’s a mean, tough guy, and so I need to see if you can be that guy.” So I went into the other room and I read a scene that he gave me, and I thought, “I can’t do this guy.” I mean, I can — I’ve never really been in a fight or anything, and this is, you know. I’m big and I’m not afraid of a lot of people, but I’ve never been in a fight. So I thought, “I can’t really be this guy, so I’ll just read it as myself and not get the part.” I just didn’t, you know what I mean? I wasn’t gonna be like, [classic tough guy voice] “’Ey.” Anyway, so I just read it as me, and he went, “Oh, well, okay,” and I knew I didn’t get the part right away. He was like, “Well!” It was like one of those things where somebody just wants to say “Well! That happened, that you read that.”
So I left and thought — and I think I cried, I was so emotional about it — “I just met Woody, he was nice to me, I didn’t get the part, and I’ll never see him again,” and then I heard that Dice had got that part and I thought, “That’s so perfect.” I was so happy for Dice; he’s a good guy. And that was the end of it to me, and then I got a letter, and somebody said someone who works for Woody is coming to your house tomorrow with an envelope, and a young woman came to my house, gave me an envelope, and said, “I have to take this back with me, so you can have it for 40 minutes,” and I opened it, and it was a letter from Woody saying “You couldn’t do that guy, but here’s another guy you could do,” and there was three scenes in it, and they just made me laugh and I thought, “This guy’s a total jerk-off, but I can totally play him.” And so he wrote and said, “Please do the part,” so I wrote back and said yes, and that’s how I got the part.
On doing someone else’s movie: I never go out for movies and stuff anymore. I don’t really, I have my life in a pretty good rhythm of doing stand-up and then doing my TV show and I spend time with my kids, and so I never really want to go live on somebody else’s movie set, so I don’t. And I never get the part, so I just never, I don’t go out for stuff. So it came out of nowhere. I had no interest in being in anything… I get offered stuff sometimes, and I usually just, yeah, I don’t want to do it. You’ve got to go live in, like, Shreveport, Louisiana for half of these movies, and I just don’t think that that’s worth anything, and I have custody with my kids for half the time and I want them to count on being with me.