Director Mike Clattenburg certainly keeps audiences guessing. He's best-known for giving the world the deliciously ridiculous Trailer Park Boys, but he's also the man behind Afghan Luke, a far more serious film about a journalist investigating the possibility that Canadian soldiers are mutilating corpses in Afghanistan.
His latest flick, Moving Day, falls somewhere in between -- though undoubtedly landing closer to Trailer Park Boys on that broad spectrum. The thoughtful comedy, set in Dartmouth, NS, stars Will Sasso (The Three Stooges) as a kind yet dim-witted furniture mover named Clyde who's stuck in a dead-end job. His coworkers, including the wise ex-con played by Charlie Murphy (Chappelle's Show), encourage him to set his sights higher and work towards landing a coveted job working at construction sites for the city. Indeed, the bar is set high.
Victor Garber (Alias, Titanic) co-stars as Clyde's eccentric, hard-ass boss Wilf. Wilf is obsessed with hiding an ominous secret about his furniture store, and keeping delicious elastic bands away from his constant companion, an adorable dog named Little Buddy.
We recently caught up with Garber to chat about everything from Clattenburg's unique directorial style to working with pets to his upcoming project with Ben Affleck.
What was it like working with Mike Clattenburg?
It was everything you'd think and more. I wasn't familiar with Trailer Park Boys. I honestly stepped into it not knowing what it would be. He's an incredibly smart guy, incredibly collaborative. He loves actors. He loves to exploit the things that you do best, and that was the experience on set.
Wilf seems like a complicated guy -- he's not just the evil boss. How would you describe him?
Like all people who seem like they're evil, there's a reason that they are the way they are, and usually it has to do with some sort of pain or fear that's buried inside them or sometimes not so buried. Like any role I play, whether it's a murderer or a loving father, you have to find why people do what they do. I think if I wasn't an actor I'd be a therapist because I find that the most fascinating thing to explore.
Do you have any anecdotes about what it was like improvising on set?
Everybody on that set, at one point or another, did something that made me laugh when I shouldn't have been laughing or shocked me because it was so outrageous or completely unexpected. It was exciting to be a part of that.
What was it like working with guys like Will Sasso and Charlie Murphy?
They were fantastic. Everybody on the set was at the top of their game. The nature of the set, the furniture store, really lent itself well. It eventually got a little claustrophobic in there, which was great because we were all in each other's way.
The set looks very authentic. Is that a real furniture store?
That was an actual store that looked exactly like that. And the guys who own the store, these two brothers, were there, and they looked like they should have been in the movie. They were fantastic.
You get to wear some pretty interesting outfits in this. Did you wind up borrowing any of Wilf's style?
I always leave everything behind, I'm not interested in wearing anything I've worn in films. [Laughs] Unless it's a beautiful Armani tuxedo, I'll take that!
But not the fur coat from the fantasy sequence?
[Laughs] No, I felt like that was something I would not wear very often.
But it seems like a perfect red carpet coat!
Doesn't it? A red carpet into the asylum!
You've played so many diverse characters over the years. How do you choose your roles?
I'm picky about what I do because I'm really only interested in something that resonates with me on the page. If it doesn't, I can't. Unless they're paying me a lot of money. Then I'll do anything! [Laughs] I'm sort of kidding, but not really.
What can we expect to see you in next?
I just finished a movie in Toronto with Richie Mehta called I'll Follow You Down, playing the father of Gillian Anderson and the grandfather of Haley Joel Osment. Rufus Sewell plays the father. It's a wonderful story about a family that gets involved in some weird stuff. And then I'm in Argo, which Ben Affleck directed, about the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. I play Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador who was involved in helping these six people escape during this very difficult time politically. I think it's going to be a pretty great movie.
What was it like working with Ben Affleck as a director?
Well, I've worked with him before and he's a good friend. So it was fantastic. He's brilliant.
Oh right, in The Town.
Yes, I did a small thing in The Town, but also he's married to Jennifer Garner, who's a very close friend. So I was connected to them, like a family member. Then when this movie came up it turned out that he thought I was the right choice for this character. I'm so honoured to be a part of it. I think it's going to be spectacular.
Moving Day opens in theatres on Friday, July 20.