Kevin James Interview - Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Shirley Knight was not big enough for her role so she had to wear
Why did you write yourself a part with so much physical comedy?
Kevin James: "Because that's what I wanted to bring to the table. This was the first movie I was kind of doing on my own, without Adam [Sandler] and Will Smith. So I said, 'You know what? I'm going to make it the most physical, demanding role I've ever done."
And you did all the stunts yourself?
Kevin James: "Most of them I did. A couple things they wouldn't allow me to do but I wanted to do it anyway."
And I heard you allowed a lot of improvising.
Kevin James: "Yeah, we had fun. Once we got what we needed in a scene, because everybody was really talented in the cast, we just let them go, and a lot of the stuff they did we used."
It's a really romantic movie. Talk a little about the romance.
Kevin James: "You know, Paul is just smitten immediately. He's a guy who is hurting for love. He's got a void in his life and he needs to fill that void. He longs for someone and he meets someone who's just incredible to him and he makes it his goal to save the day and fall in love, all in the same afternoon."
How tough was it to keep it a PG rating?
Kevin James: "You know what? Because I was concerned at first, I wanted to make it as funny as possible and I wanted it wherever it ended up, it ended up but it just naturally went there. I wanted everybody to feel comfortable. I have two girls so I wanted everybody – young girls – I want everybody to feel comfortable going there with their families and have a great time, you know?"
Shirley Knight: "Fun. He's just fun all the time and silly. We did some improvs and he made me wear a fat suit. He said, 'You've got to be bigger,' so I said okay."
Was it hot?
Shirley Knight: "It wasn't because we were in Boston so it was fine, yes."
You did some improvs. So even though he's the writer, he didn't mind you guys changed up the words?
Shirley Knight: "Well he's the one who's changing. I was just joining in."
This is a PG movie. How nice is it to be in a movie that every age can go see?
Shirley Knight: "It's fabulous because my last Happy Madison film was an R-rated film so this is great. I brought my godchild Morgan today."
Did you have to ride a Segway?
Shirley Knight: "No, no. But I got to test it out. At one point I said to Kevin, 'I want to ride it. I want to ride it,' so I got to do it."
And how was the experience?
Shirley Knight: "It was good. It's kind of easy but you have to be cognizant of where you're going."
Raini Rodriguez: "Okay, so I play Maya Blart and she's the daughter of Paul Blart, played by Kevin James."
And how much fun is it to be Kevin's daughter?
Raini Rodriguez: "Absolutely fun. Like it is hilarious. He's just so funny and crazy, you just don't know what to expect from him next."
Did you crack up on the set or did you keep yourself under control?
Raini Rodriguez: "When we're filming the dinner table scene, hopefully they do bloopers and stuff and you'll see this, but I'm sitting at the table and across from the camera they're doing my close-up and he's sitting on the other side just to read me his lines. And as I'm doing the lines, I'm supposed to be like very serious and he's behind the camera just making all these faces at me and trying to be funny. And like I'm just cracking up so hard. Or like he'll burp and go, 'That was Raini. She did that.' I'm like, 'Wait, no I didn't!'"
That's totally going to make it on the blooper reel.
Raini Rodriguez: "Oh, I hope so. It would be a priceless moment."