Steve Guttenberg returns to the big screen in I Heart Shakey, in select theaters June 29th
Steve Guttenberg is the Chuck Norris of comedy. He's made of part myth, part legend, and a whole lot of Police Academy awesomeness. Yet, he's been absent from the big screen for far too long, only occasionally popping up in the odd, soon-forgotten Direct-to-DVD release here or there throughout the past decade. The last twenty years of his resume is chock full of films you've most likely never heard of, alongside a short stint on Dancing with the Stars. Chances are, if you're a young movie lover, you probably don't even know who Steve Guttenberg is.
Well, that all changes on June 29th, when "The Gutte" returns to select theaters across the country in the heartwarming 3D family adventure I Heart Shakey. Starring as Stubbs, Steve Guttenberg plays a war veteran who takes in a family pet, training common mutt Shakey to be a part of his Doberman Pincher regime after a young girl is forced to give Shakey away. It's overly complicated, quite comical, and also stars Broken Lizard's very own Steve Lemme.
We were lucky enough to get 6 golden minutes with Steve Guttenberg, proving that he actually still exists and is not just a figment of a bygone era. Here is our conversation. Enjoy!
Is this the first 3D movie you've been involved with since the whole craze reignited a few years ago?
Steve Guttenberg: No! No it's not! I actually did a movie that was called The Man Who Wasn't There about twenty years ago. It was a 3D production from Paramount. It was a lot of fun. Just go on IMDB and you'll see it. It was a great production. This production here, I Heart Shakey, had much more sophisticated cameras. It was really interesting to do...
This is one of the first non-CGI, live-action family comedies to use 3D. How has that been utilized in making this a little different than some of the projects we've seen come before it in the same genre?
Steve Guttenberg: You know what? There are a lot of 3D live action movies. Clash of the Titans was in 3D. Yogi Bear, that might have been in 3D. And the movie industry knows that families want to go to the movies. They want something new and exciting. What the 3D does is create an added bonus for people's viewing interests and pleasure. So, it's really a win, win for everybody.
You get to play the bad guy this time out. That's a little different than some of the characters we've seen you play in the past...
Steve Guttenberg: It was a lot of fun. The character was a funny villain. So that is a joy in life, and it's a lot easier to go for laughs. I like comedy. When you are doing a villain, you have to remember that you always have to be funny. In this particular type of movie, anyway. Some comedies you don't. You have to be straight. That would be in your action comedies. When you have a comedy-comedy, you want the villain to be really funny.
G.W. Bailey always served as such a perfect foil for you in the Police Academy movies, and he is the consummate funny villain. Did you pull anything from him in bringing your character Stubbs to the screen?
Steve Guttenberg: That's a good idea. I didn't do that. But I think it's a good idea.
What is your relationship like with Steve Lemme in the film? Were you a big Broken Lizard fan before signing on?
Steve Guttenberg: I've always loved Broken Lizard. They did Super Troopers, and I thought they did such a wonderful job on that. Steve Lemme is one of the most talented guys around, and a good-hearted fellow. It was easy to work with him. He is good company.
Shakey, the dog, rests as the heart of the film. How was your experience working with him?
Steve Guttenberg: I think they had a few dogs. But there was one main dog, which was the trick dog. He was the hero dog. I think he was a stray that they found, then trained, and retrained. I think he may have been a foster dog. A shelter dog. Yeah...
Did you have to do any special training playing opposite Shakey? Or did your scenes together just come naturally?
Steve Guttenberg: They made it really easy. I didn't have to train. You just have to be there with the animal, and go along with the trainer's desires.
Can you give me a little bit of a background on Stubbs? Where is he coming from, and what is his point of view?
Steve Guttenberg: This is a character that has his own Doberman Pinchers. He is a veteran. He is a military animal that hasn't really been out in the wild, except for living with his mother. It's not as much that he "is" a military animal, but that he thinks of it. He dreams of it. There is something a little bit off about him. He is a little bit of a shape shifter in literary terms. He is someone who keeps being funny on different sides of the mood. He shifts between the dark and the light side.
Is there a redemptive side to Stubbs?
Steve Guttenberg: He does redeem himself throughout the movie. When are you going to see the film?
I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to see it.
Steve Guttenberg: You should ask them for a DVD. It will help you out a lot in figuring this out. Find out all the particulars. Then, take care!
I Heart Shakey was released June 29th, 2012 and stars Beverly D'Angelo, Steve Guttenberg, Steve Lemme, Alfonso Arau, Philippe Brenninkmeyer, Michael Yurchak, Rylie Behr, Dante Brown. The film is directed by Kevin Cooper.