Interview with Chris Diamantopoulos – Three Stooges

Today the remake of The Three Stooges hits theaters everywhere!  The slapstick comedy is sure to keep people of all ages laughing hard in their seats.  The rated PG movie is a good clean comedy that’s perfect for families to see together.  I know my son is going to love it!

“3” + “Stooges” = the spring’s funniest family movie event: THE THREE STOOGES. Left on a nun’s doorstep, Larry, Curly and Moe grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure.  Out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could stumble their way onto fame, fortune – and starring roles in a phenomenally successful TV reality show.

Rated PG

I was given the chance to take part in an interview with Chris Diamantopoulos – Moe, from The Three Stooges.

What type of preparations did you make for this role?

Preparing for the role was fun. First you work on the voice, you work on the mannerisms and you find the little idiosyncratic behavior that makes Moe… well, Moe. To me, that’s what takes it from an impression to sort of more of a living breathing thing.

In this instance with the Stooges, it was kind of a life long endeavor because I’d been such a fan since I was a child.  I really researched and studied them as a kid.  It’s funny, the things that kids get interested in and become hobbies for kids, whether it’s a video game or Dungeons and Dragons, or for me, the Stooges, you never really think that all that time spent will ever amount to anything, certainly not in your adult life.  And sure enough, I’m glad that I recorded those Stooges episodes and watched them back to back.

You’re a good looking guy, and Moe, not so much – a little bit of a goofball.  I just wondered how that look and persona maybe changed the way that you portrayed yourself or thought about yourself.

Well, first of all, thank you.  That’s very nice.  My wife will appreciate it.

No disrespect to Mo, but he was an odd looking guy.  I mean, he was short and squat, and his hips were about as wide as his shoulders, and he had that haircut, and eyebrows were quite bushy, and he had the perpetual sort of eye bag thing going on.  So, when I first heard about the role, I recognized that there are such differences in the way that we’re put together.  I’m kind of slender and my face doesn’t resemble his at all.  It really became a study in standing in front of the mirror and changing my posture and my face and figuring out how can make this work.  It wasn’t until I actually bought a wig and put together a padded suit to change my frame that I realized, oh, I think I can make this happen.

I toyed with prosthesis, as well.  When I went to one of the auditions, I used a prosthetic makeup artist, a fellow named Christien Tinsley, who’s quite gifted.  He worked on the Passion of the Christ.  He put under eye bags on me and ear lobes and the whole nine yards, and it looked quite wonderful.  The problem was we were shooting in Atlanta in 110 degree heat.  So, there was no way those prosthesis would stay on.

Finally, Pete Farrelly looked at me at one point and said, you’re gonna have to pull the face and hold it for 16 weeks, and I thought, okay, let’s do it.
Ha, the way I look at it, there’s really nowhere to go but up.  I feel like the next film role I have, I can only ever be considered attractive, which is not a bad thing.

Can you talk a bit about prepping for the role in terms of all the jokes and the actual stunts that you guys played.  Was there a lot of training, or did you guys just kind of go in and improv?

The Stooges originally worked together on Vaudeville, and they had months and years of practice and repetition to get their routines to be as fluid as they are.
Sean Hayes who plays Larry, Will Sasso who plays Curly, and myself met 13 days before filming started.  So, we really didn’t have a lot of prep time.  We kind of just created a Stooges Boot Camp for ourselves that began and ended with us watching the shorts, and then tirelessly for hours and hours and hours till all hours of the night going over and replicating the moves.  And what we would often do on a given day when we were shooting a scene that required a particular amount of physicality is we would get together in a makeup trailer and just start pulling from this lexicon that the Stooges had left of different hits and pokes and slaps and all that stuff, and we’d put together routines.

So we’d show up on set, show them to the Farrelly Brothers, and they’d either, say yep, let’s shoot it, or they’d suggest adding a head bonk here or a nose honk there.  It turned into this collaborative effort which was quite fun.

Did anyone get hurt at all?  Some of the scenes looked dangerous.

We did in fact get hurt.  You know, you can’t make a movie like the Three Stooges and expect that you’re not gonna get hurt.  We went into it knowing that we wanted to be as authentic as possible, and we knew that the boys back in the day actually did hit each other, especially if it meant, for some reason, the bit wasn’t working based on where the camera was and they just had to actually hit each other.

We slapped each other and punched each other, and I dislocated my shoulder and I broke a finger.  I know Sean scraped up his leg.  We fell off a rig.  The truth of the matter is we were shooting, for all intents and purposes, an action film that had comedy in it.  There was so much action.  It was great fun, though, I have to say.

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

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