Seth Gordon Interview
Seth Gordon Interview
Seth Gordon is an American writer, director and producer who has recently made a name for himself with work on the American The Office, Four Christmasses (starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), and the documentaries Freakonomics and the cult hit, King of Kong. Taking up the role of director on Horrible Bosses, he worked alongside Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin O’Farrell, as well as Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis in a wish-fulfillment comedy about getting rid of your boss forever.

How did the project come about?

Seth Gordon

I had sold King of Kong to New Line and they wanted to find another film for us to do and they'd been sending me a few scripts over the years and this one, when I read it, I just couldn't help myself – I had to be a part of it because I had laughed and laughed to the point of tears when I read it and that's so rare to find something you respond to that much.
Did the script change much between when you first read it and what ended up on the screen?

Seth Gordon

Yeah, there's a bunch of nuances that changed and I added some of the fantasy stuff and changed when the guys commit to different aspects of the plan, just to make the story flow a little simpler and the way [one of the major plot developments] unfolded was different but to give the writers credit, it was in incredibly good shape when I joined.
How does the experience of directing a feature compare to directing episodes of TV comedy or documentaries?

Seth Gordon

I'd say it's really a difference of speed more than anything. Being able to direct a feature, you're given the time to really make everything right, to really get the blocking and the performances right. In TV you're doing 30 pages in a week, whereas in film you do maybe 10 pages a week, something like that. And then compared to documentary, I don't know, it could hardly be more different. You have to rely so much on yourself in a documentary because it's usually such a small crew, you don't have this apparatus behind you.
Which of the three genres do you feel more comfortable in at this point?

Seth Gordon

I definitely like the feature film side, the narrative feature film side the best, although if I could make a living doing documentaries and provide for my family and kid, then that's what I would do.
It's fantastic to see Jennifer Aniston in a part like this. Was it easy to convince her to take the part and how did you convince her to take the part?

Seth Gordon

She didn't take much convincing. The script really did all the work because it was so well-written and she was really game to do it. I think, as soon as she saw the role, because it's not the kind of role she's offered very often, at least, that's what I understand. And I'm really glad she did it, you know, because it's allowed her to show a whole other side of what she can do.
The first time the guys pronouce Motherfucker Jones, Jamie Foxx corrected them...
Did you discuss with her at all the fact that this is a departure for her? Was she nervous about doing some of the more extreme stuff?

Seth Gordon

I wouldn't say she was nervous in the slightest. I mean, besides the fact that she's a total professional, I think she saw a bunch of great reasons to fully commit to the part and that's what she did, all guns blazing and even on a few occasions contributed some new lines that were never in the script.
Do you have a favourite scene in the film?

Seth Gordon

Probably, above all, the cocaine scene. Although there's new favourites every time I get to see it. I mean, now that I've had a little bit of distance from the actual hands-on film-making part, because we've been wrapped for about a month, I get to see and appreciate different parts with a little more perspective, but the cocaine scene I feel is the funnest (sic) set-up and pay-off in the movie.
What was the hardest scene to film?

Seth Gordon

Technically, the hardest scene to film was the car chase, because it was really important to me that the chase feel visceral and physical and real and not like it had been shot on a green screen. So that meant putting the real actors in real jeopardy at times in fast traffic and doing our best to, of course, keep them safe, while making the performances motivated by a real situation.
Did you cut anything out that you hated to lose?

Seth Gordon

Lots. My background as an editor makes me very ruthless about the kinds of things that can actually go while not hurting the story for the audience, which just means that a lot of stuff ends up on the cutting room floor and ultimately it's going to be a great DVD. But there were lots of things that we nearly didn't cut out, both individual jokes and whole scenes. The first time the guys pronouce Motherfucker Jones, Jamie [Foxx] corrected them in an ad-lib and said, “It's MuthafuckAA, white boys say 'ER'” and I wish I'd actually kept that in because it's such an added nuance to their interaction and goes really well with Charlie being a hamster. And there was a big fight in the lobby of the police station where the guys all turn on each other and we cut that out because the story moves a little quicker without it.
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Content updated: 14/12/2019 01:48

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