In Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Judd Apatow’s new parody of the Big Music Biopic, Office favorite Jenna Fischer ditches the frump to play tarted-up love interest to John C. Reilly’s ludicrous rock star. She spoke with Sara Cardace about misogyny and Cox jokes.
So what was it like shooting that wild wedding-night scene with John?
That scene was actually on the schedule for my third day of shooting, and I went to the director [Jake Kasdan] and said, “I think I need to know him a little more before we go at it.” On the call sheet it was even referred to as “The Animal Sex Scene.” Then it was scheduled for the middle of the shoot, but I got laryngitis. So finally it ended up on our second-to-last day of shooting, at which point, after shooting a whole movie that was so sexually charged, it felt like the perfect final chapter. It was crazy.
We’re hitting one another and having this tantrum. At one point you could hear Jake off-camera and he was screaming, “Try strangling each other!” so we’re doing that, and then you hear him scream, “But say ‘I love you’ while you’re doing it!” We laughed a lot on that set.
It never got old, those Cox jokes?
Any pun using C-O-X, we just didn’t stop. And when we get together now, it’s one Cox joke after the next, my personal favorite being a bit that got cut from the movie in which Dewey makes his own breakfast sausage—Cox sausage—and we all talk about how much we love Cox sausage in the morning.
Some people accuse Apatow of being a misogynist. What do you think?
Misogynist is far too harsh. I think he writes male-driven comedies, and he’s a male. I think it’s a little bit of attacking him because he’s so successful. It’s like people are looking for a reason to make it wrong. Are we supposed to get mad at Tina Fey because she writes female-driven comedies?
People assume you’re just like Pam on The Office. Are you?
Not really. I mean, I think I’m a polite person and I have those kind of midwestern values. I send out elaborate Christmas cards, and in that way I imagine I’m a little like Pam. This year, they involve a four-step process.
What kind of cards are we talking about?
They’re just Christmas cards! But for some reason I decided to make an additional insert, which requires me to put ribbon through these little holes, and I have special mailing labels and Christmas stamps.
Do you think you’ll ever leave TV?
Not really. I really love going to work with the same people at the same place every day.
Has the cast been keeping in touch during the strike?
Yeah. [But] we miss each other, for sure. I think the thing I’m going to miss most is that we usually have this Christmas episode, and then someone would host a party and we’d watch it together, and we don’t have that this year. It’s kind of sad. The whole writer’s strike is sad. In big ways and small, you know?