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Bobby Cannavale

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Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale portrayed Jim Paxton in Ant-Man.

Significant roles

  • Angel in Washington Heights (2002)
  • Randy in The Guru (2002)
  • Joe Oramas in The Station Agent (2003)
  • Javier Duran in Happy Endings (2005)
  • Chetty Jr. / 'Fryburg' in Romance & Cigarettes (2005)
  • Mike in Fast Food Nation (2006)
  • Special Agent Hank Harris in Snakes on a Plane (2006)
  • Bobby in 10 Items or Less (2006)
  • Marty McBride in The Ten (2007)
  • Don Meyers in Dedication (2007)
  • Agent Steve Perelli in The Take (2008)
  • Lee Vivyan in Diminished Capacity (2008)
  • Dr. Timms in The Promotion (2008)
  • Shanks in 100 Feet (2008)
  • Commander James Kent in Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
  • Michael in The Merry Gentleman (2009)
  • Subject #40 in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (2009)
  • Jimmy in The Other Guys (2010)
  • Joshua in Weakness (2010)
  • Terry Delfino in Win Win (2011)
  • Randy Stevens in Roadie (2011)
  • Superman in Movie 43 (2013)
  • Jake Fernandez in Parker (2013)
  • Butchie Peraino in Lovelace (2013)
  • Chili in Blue Jasmine (2013)
  • Tony in Chef (2014)

Quotes

  • "Well, that was cool. And that was, again, another personal situation for me. Paul Rudd and I, you know, he’s one of my best friends—and he’s playing Ant-Man! It’s the weirdest thing in the world. We used to play cards for 50 cents a hand when we had no money at the same time, and here he is playing Ant-Man. He called me up and he’s like, 'Dude, they want you to play this part. You should come out. It’s just me and you in all of the scenes.' It was kind of easy for me to do."
  • "It’s pretty funny. I think so. I haven’t seen anything but it felt funny. It’s Paul, so I think they’re not hiring Paul Rudd to be The Winter Soldier. It’s going to have a sense of levity to it, like Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians is a blue chips superhero movie but it’s a pretty funny film. They just got the right people. When I looked around and saw who I was surrounded by, Corey Stoll, actors I’ve seen for years in little movies that I really liked, it just felt like I belong here. That was a really cool experience because as big as that movie is, and as really as big a production as that was, the actual work in the scenes were really fun. It felt like we were on an indie film. Rudd’s one of my oldest friends so most of our scenes are together, me and Paul and Judy Greer. Both those actors are really good improvisors. Adam McKay and Paul did a big rewrite on that script, so the scenes themselves felt like an indie film. It really felt like a comedy that we were doing. I think that probably happened because Guardians of the Galaxy was such a success. So it didn’t feel like I was working on a really serious superhero movie. It didn’t feel like Thor or something."
  • "He’s a new character. I mean, the whole story is pretty new because the origin story of Hank Pym, who’s the original Ant-Man, that’s Michael Douglas’s character. Paul’s character is a protege. The whole story is really new. At least I think that’s true because nobody ever came up to me and said, ‘Hey, you need to dye your hair red’ or something."
  • "Then of course you have those big scenes... I spend so much time in front of a blue screen and that was just a trip for me. I’m not used to that kind of thing, but it was a really good combination of bringing a real off the cuff sensibility to a big huge action movie that was really fun."
  • "Judy Greer is in it and she plays my wife."
  • "You know, look, I'm not playing the guy in the suit. So I don't have that kind of pressure. But if you know Paul, you know he's a pretty down-to-earth guy. I have to say, the whole thing, for as big as it was, felt like an indie film. With the exception of all the blue screen and the ridiculous suit that he's in. And the fact that I've got to look at something that's not there and react to something like an explosion when there's no explosion. Aside from that, the actual scenes themselves were really fun and funny and we improvised a lot. It almost felt like an Adam McKay film. Since Guardians of the Galaxy, I think Marvel's sort of taken a different approach to their films and have injected them with a lot of levity. It's a great choice to have Paul play that role, sort of in the same vein as having Chris Pratt do Guardians. It still has the totemic idea of the hero, but the sense of humor is what's different in comparison to something like Thor."
  • "They sort of pumped the part up a bit in the new version and they both called me and said, 'You've got to do this'."
  • "...It was a trip! I’ve never been in anything like that before. There’s a ton of people on this crew. You could fit the entire Station Agent crew in… it was just huge! And there’s blue screen everywhere. I remember one time we were shooting at nights for three weeks. I hadn’t seen anything behind me that wasn’t a blue screen for three nights in a row. I remember one night at four in the morning being frustrated and just saying, 'If it’s going to be blue screen all the time, why can’t you just make it be night? Why do we actually have to be here at night?' That part of it was baffling to me."
  • "The actual work — the scenes with me and Paul Rudd, and Judy Greer and Michael Peña — felt like an indie film. It felt like fun. Peyton Reed and the others, they weren’t mercurial about the script. They weren’t mercurial about the humor, at all. They let us be in charge of that. We improvised a lot. Judy Greer’s very funny. Paul’s very funny — he’s a great improviser. The rewrite of the script that Paul did with McKay — and I’ve worked with McKay before — lent itself to that. You could see that there’s a funny scene and we could actually riff off of that, and that felt impressive to me in this big huge blockbuster film. It made me feel kind of good, that it felt like Marvel was going for something different. It didn’t feel like Thor. It felt more like Guardians of the Galaxy, which I really enjoyed and I thought brought a certain levity to a superhero movie that I had never seen before."
  • "It was a trip because I’ve known Paul for so long, since before he was famous like this, and it’s just a trip to see one of your best friends in ridiculous leather suit with dots all over him and you’re not supposed to laugh. We just laughed. He's supposed to be this big [pinches fingers together]. Then I’m supposed to see him growing in front of me. But what I’m really seeing is Paul off-camera standing on an apple box. Then he jumps off the apple box. And I’m supposed to act like he’s growing in front of me and then lands with this really heroic pose, but he’s jumping of a box with green dots on him. He's supposed to have a mask that they CGI in. so I’ve never seen the mask. Every time I see him to talk, he goes like this [hits a pretend button] because there’s a button there that isn’t really there. I wasn’t used to that. He'd start to talk and he’d be like, [pretends to push button]. I’d ask ridiculous questions all the time. Peyton Reed, he just kept saying, 'Dude, just do it.' But I’d say, 'I don’t understand. Does the mask go up this way or this way?' And there’s a visual effects guy there and I want an answer. They got so tired of my questions: 'So I don’t understand — If I was just over there, how did I get over here so quick?' Reed would be like, 'Cannavale, it’s a superhero movie, dude. Just do it!' But I’d say, 'Yeah, but do I have superhuman speed, because I was just three blocks away and now I’m here and I’m not even out of breath. Should I be out of breath?' He’d be like, 'Dude, it’s not the Unbearable Lightness of Being. It’s just [frick]ing Ant-Man. Just say the line.' Then it just became a joke. I had a blast. We laughed so much on that thing."
  • "Guys like Corey Stoll and Rudd, Judy Greer and Michael Pena, Martin Donovan — really, really good actors. And so I looked around and thought, 'You know, if these guys are doing it, I’m okay.' There were no wrestlers or anything. We had T.I., but T.I. was great. But definitely very different from the movies that I’m used to making, for sure."
  • "I literally wrapped with Scorsese — I worked with Scorsese all summer on the rock and roll pilot, and it was literally the longest pilot ever. It was like a 38-day pilot, so we shot all summer. I literally wrapped with Marty at like one o’clock in the morning, an intense scene, this intense, dark scene, and wrapped with him, big hug. And then I got onto a plane in Atlanta for a blue screen test of me fighting with a 50-foot ant. And I wrote Marty right away — I was like, 'This business is weird.” [Laughs] “I can’t believe I was just with you, and now I’m reacting to an ant I can’t see."

Trivia

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