Back in August, Doug Stanhope appeared on an episode of fellow comedian Louis C.K.'s show Louie, and got rave reviews for his performance as Eddie, a suicidal, burned-out former friend of C.K.'s. Now, in the third installment of a four-part interview with the AV Club, discussing the entire season, we get C.K.'s view of that episode, including why he cast Stanhope and how the whole thing came together.
Says C.K., "I wrote this thing and I started to hear him in my head as I wrote it. I love Doug, and he is that guy, but more successful. But Doug has no acting background, none at all...And I had other fucking people. I’ve had some pretty major actors ask me to put them in this show, and I had some great candidates. But I called Doug and I said, 'Listen, I wrote this thing, and I don’t know if you’re right for it, but it occurred to me that maybe you could play this part.' And he said, 'I can’t do that. I’m telling you right now, I will ruin it.' I said, 'Well, let me frame the question a different way: Would you like to try it? If I let you have it, would you want it?' He said, 'Yes, I would.' And that, to me, is a huge difference. He didn’t think he could do it, but he wanted to try."
"So he came to shoot the episode," C.K. continues, "and I was in a really bad place, because I was exhausted, it was close to the end of the season, I had nothing left. Nobody wanted to shoot that episode. My producer, everybody was like, 'It’s too depressing.' Everybody thought it was just a horrible script, way too sad. I had no support. I didn’t know any of my fucking lines, and he brought this energy to that character that I did not see coming. He made him fun, and weirdly full of life at the end of his life—just a good guy. I started in the first few minutes of shooting to beat that out of him and make this more depressing, but then I thought, 'No, no. Let this happen. This is better than what I wrote.'"
There's much more; go read the whole thing.
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