John C. Reilly

John C. Reilly reunites with Will Ferrell for their latest comedy, Step Brothers

Oscar-nominated for his role in hit musical Chicago, John C. Reilly, 43, turns to comedy with Step Brothers. Reuniting him with his Talladega Nights co-star Will Ferrell, it casts both as spoilt stay-at-homes brought together when their single parents marry.

Step Brothers has been a big hit in the US. Does that make it hard to keep your anonymity?

I live away from the main hubbub of LA. I live on the outskirts of town – almost a rural area – so I can very much tune out when all that stuff is happening, which is I think is very good for me, personally.

Really, you’re in a very fortunate position – acting in big movies while keeping your own life relatively normal?

I’m aware of how lucky I am. Being able to make pretty good money, and get to do a lot of fun work, and at the same time I’m not besieged by photographers.

Did you draw from your own life in creating Step Brothers?

Both Will, Adam and I all used stories from our pasts. We all have children so we were all in touch with childish, spoiled behaviour – although my kids are great but everyone has their moments. So a lot of it was very personal to our lives.

As you were the fifth of six kids in your family, were you as spoilt and as mischievous as Dale?

I was more like a middle child. My youngest brother was the baby, so he got all the attention that the baby gets. And my older brothers were getting into so much trouble that I was left in the middle, doing plays. I was up to no good but my mother didn’t know it!

Your father ran an industrial linen supply company. Were ever tempted to join him?

I tried. But I was not cut out for the linen supply business. I was not dependable enough. I was never a very dependable employee for anything. Perfect for the actor’s life! I was never a very reliable employee except for acting.

You’re a father yourself. What has parenthood given you?

Being a father has fulfilled me in parts of my life that sustain me. It gives me a comfort and patience. All actors have this whole inside that they’re trying to fill by performing. I’m anxious to keep creating but I’m not so desperate any more because I have the love and support of my kids and wife.

 Step Brothers opens on August 29th.

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