This Friday, Dwayne Johnson will once again appear in a family friendly film that’s a mix of fantasy and reality. His latest is entitled Tooth Fairy, and it implies everything that’s associated with the name. The uber-masculine Johnson will don that tight spandex suit, with the matching wings, and even the fairy dust. The actor takes on the legacy of the mystical creature with the help of screen legend Julie Andrews, and actor, writer, and director Stephen Merchant.
Tooth Fairy is directed by Michael Lembeck who’s put together an amazing cast to tell a simply story about having faith in spite of life’s harsh realities. On the surface it’s a comedy, but there’s a deeper meaning underneath all the jokes and glitter. We had the opportunity to speak to Johnson about working with not only Andrews, but Billy Crystal, and Seth McFarlane on the film. He also discussed why wearing a tutu didn’t bruise his ego, and how making the Tooth Fairy was a dream come true…
In the film, Johnson plays a professional hockey player, whose arrogant attitude crushes the spirit of a young boy, and as punishment he’s sentenced to work as a tooth fairy. One of the biggest things the average viewer will have to get over is Johnson’s outfit, so if it’s uncomfortable for us to watch we wondered how it felt for him to wear it.
I felt fine. I think anytime you set out to make a comedy, I don’t think you should put parameters on it. If you’re going to make a comedy, if your sole interest is making people laugh and feel good, and entertaining them, you check your ego at the door. For me it was pretty easy.
He took his comedy gig very seriously, and it didn’t hurt that he was acting opposite some of the best comedians in the business. Stephen Merchant, is known for his work on the BBC version of “The Office” and the cable show “Extras,” and this was one of the few times he’s acted with material that wasn’t his own. Therefore, both he and Johnson worked together to come up with funny things that weren’t always in the original script.
Stephen was wonderful, he’s an incredibly talented guy. There were times when we’d come to the set and we would say, “Lem [Michael Lembeck], listen we have this idea. We’re going to have the most ridiculous, ludicrous fight ever and not throw a punch at all.’ And he’s like, ‘OK, let’s see it.’ And of course that’s what you whined up seeing in the movie.
Billy Crystal has a small part in the film, but it’s one of the most hilarious and stand out bits. We learned in the interview that a lot of it was improv and Johnson just followed his lead. He felt honored to be working with one of the great comedic actors that he grew up watching as a kid.
I had grown up admiring Billy, he’s such an iconic comedic actor. That’s why it was such a pleasure and honor to work with both him and Julie [Andrews]. Billy Crystal, Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, and Robin Williams were all guys who I really admired growing up so to be in a scene with Billy was fantastic.
Another treat you’ll get from watching Tooth Fairy is a cameo by “Family Guy” creator, writer, and actor, Seth McFarlane. Johnson recently made an appearance on the show, so it seemed liked the duo bartered some kind of a deal. McFarlane’s an animation man, and we rarely see him on the big screen, so his cameo in the film made us wonder how he got involved.
I’m such a big fan of the show “Family Guy” and Seth, and of course his home is at Fox, so the executives over at Fox had come to Lem and said, ‘Hey, what do you think about this idea?’ Lem was like ‘Great, we’ve got a great part for him,’ and of course Seth and I became buddies after that. I said anytime I could return the favor, if you’d let me come on to play, I’d love to, and that’s what you saw.
Next on Johnson’s agenda is the action thriller Faster, and the upcoming comedy The Other Guys. With so many movie genres covered on his resume, we wanted to know if he actually watched any of his older films. Not out of arrogance, but as a way to improve on his craft.
I do, sure. And I enjoy them and for me it’s a way to learn. I always want to continue to get better so for me it goes back to the environment I was raised, in terms of athletics, always watching film and going back and watching performances seeing how you can get better.
You can see Johnson on January 22, 2010 when he takes on the lead role in Tooth Fairy.