As a kid Chris Kattan may not have anticipated the busy life of a working actor that he currently has, but he learned from a young age that comedy was his thing, “I did want to be somewhat of a performer because I got attention that way.” For him there was one clear goal, “How do I get the girl? For me it was being funny.”
And we couldn’t be happier with Kattan’s realization. After starting his career with stand-up comedy in the Groundlings with good friend Will Ferrell, followed by entertaining audiences on “Saturday Night Live” for an impressive eight years, Kattan moved on to feature films. Most recently he has bestowed his comedic talent on the new film Adam & Steve, a homosexual love story set in New York.
The story follows Adam (Craig Chester, who also wrote and directed) and Steve (Malcolm Gets), two young guys who have a one-night fling in the ‘80s that ends in an embarrassingly uncomfortable way. After 17 years they fall in love again, not realizing that they had met before.
Kattan plays Michael, the heterosexual roommate of Steve. “I played a lazy freeloader who spoke honestly. I liked the character and how he would say things that were faux pas but there’s something charming about it. It’s more of a human guy and that’s who I am.” Referring to his “SNL” characters Kattan admits, “It’s not like its natural to be a monkey and hump people. That’s fun to do and those days aren’t over but it’s nice to do something a little more human without taking myself too seriously.”
Although Kattan has been gracing the silver screen for quite a while, Adam & Steve is the first independent film he has done. “What drew me to it was not only was the script funny and smart and an opportunity to play somebody funny and human but it was also, if you’re in an independent film it would be nice to be the boyfriend of Parker Posey. She is the queen of independence, everyone says that of course and it’s true. She’s also a great actress.”
Posey plays Adam’s best friend and former fat girl Rhonda who is sickly drawn to Michael because of his inappropriate humor. Kattan says it didn’t take long for them to bond on set, “The chemistry was great. We almost seemed like brother and sister or girlfriend and boyfriend. Outside of the film we had sex constantly so it wasn’t difficult on camera,” Kattan jokes.
To most comedians, starring on “Saturday Night Live” is the ultimate goal. After years on the show Kattan has no regrets of his decision to leave, “That schedule is pretty hectic. It allows you not to do anything but the show. It was amazing to do, I miss it. After that it’s good to work on other things. It may not be blockbuster after blockbuster but it’s also allowing me time to grow and become a better performer. It’s nice to have that chance to grow and mature,” explains Kattan.
He realized the risk of leaving such a popular show, but Kattan reasons weighing the risks, “It [was a risk] because you’re leaving a job that was a dream to do but it’s also becoming a job. When it becomes a job you don’t feel as creative, it becomes more of a routine. You show up and people write for you whereas before I was writing for myself.”
Not only does Kattan love to star in funny movies, he is also a big fan of the new wave of humor that inundated theatres last year, “I love gross humor. Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers was amazing. It can be stupid but it’s human. And that’s the best brand of comedy.
“There’s got to be some element of humanity. When you’re just doing a one-note character it’s funny but it doesn’t really grow. The best comedians have some element of humanity in acting. Those are my favorite.”
Adam & Steve releases in theatres March 31.
Film: Interview [Chris Kattan: Adam & Steve]
Chris Kattan: Comedy With Humanity in Adam & Steve
By Amy Dunn
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Article posted on 3/27/2006
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