Johnny Pemberton [Interview]
April 25, 2013 1 Comment
So there was this guy that just seemed to be popping up on television and in films so much that kept me asking myself: who the hell is this guy? And more importantly, why isn’t he big ass star by now? That man would come to be the extremely hilarious comedian Johnny Pemberton who you may recognize from films like The Watch, This Is 40, In the Loop, and on television shows like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and as the host of MTV’s Megadrive. But what made me so interested in Johnny was his minor, yet amazingly done, role in the recent adaptation of 21 Jump Street as hapless dork in the film named Delroy. The only thing I didn’t dig about that film was that we didn’t get to spend enough time getting to know Delroy.
So I thought, what the hell. Let’s get to know the man behind the nerd himself, Johnny Pemberton. We were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to exchange a few words with the man himself and find out what he has been up to. And be sure to tune in to Feral Radio to checkout his hilarious podcast Twisting in the Wind. Enjoy!
You made your third appearance in the Apatow/Jonah/Rogen in the upcoming comedy This is 40, after co-starring spots in The Watch and 21 Jump Street…what do you think it is that keeps you coming back?
Do you mean why do I keep coming back to that same relative location in the film universe OR why do they keep hiring me?
The answer the former: I got hired and was compensated financially for my acting services rendered.
The answer to the latter: No idea. I think I did a good job on the first round and they realized they could trust me with a portion of their illuminati secret agenda.
You played a lovable sex deprived nerd in the blockbuster 21 Jump Street. Is this true to life? Or are you actually a lady killer by nature?
Absolutely true to life. They actually retroactively wrote the character based on my own personal relationship experiences. ‘Delroy’ was supposed to be an unlikely pimp of sorts, but when they met me they decided to pedal back a bit and make ‘Delroy’ more of a fun loving sex deprived nerd with a latent sweet tooth for women of the night.
Can you tell us a bit about “Family Tools”. Should we be seeing a debut soon? And what role will you be playing?
It’s a great show about a crazy family in a town where people live and work. Sometimes the characters have an argument or a disagreement, but generally things work out by the end. Sometimes there is a challenge that one character will face whilst another character is facing a different challenge simultaneously. Oftentimes these 2 events will come together at the end of the show for a hilarious blow out. Right now the show is set to debut in May 2014 on the east coast, then midwest and west coast in the autumn of that same year. I play Mason. He’s the son of Terry, nephew of Tony, cousin of Jack. He suffered a minor head injury early in life which may of may not have affected his personal development.
Can you also tell us a bit about the web series you were involved in called Aim High? How did you become involved with this series?
I was shopping at a Ralphs supermarket in Culver City when I ran into the auteur director Robert Rodriguez who was buying some props for his latest movie. We got to talking and he spilled the beans about this project he heard about that was casting nearby in a few weeks. fast forward a few weeks later… I took the bus from Downtown LA, where I was living at the time, down Adams boulevard to Culver City and auditioned for the part of Marcus. They liked me and asked that I hang out for a few hours while they made a decision. I walked over to J-N-J burger for some BBQ then bought some records at Records LA. Then I went back to Bandito Bros and they said I had the part. also I love Thor Fruedenthal, the director.
As an actor, where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t think there will be human life as we know it on this planet in 10 years time. If I survive the coming singularity when our machines wake up and take on sentient life then I will probably be doing theater in a woodland community somewhere near a clean water source in Northern California.
Have you ever thought about getting behind the camera? If so, do you think you would stick with comedy? Is there another genre you might like to produce or direct?
I haven’t just thought about it, I done it. It’s actually where I initially saw myself entering the industry, or ‘stry as we in the industry call it. But then of course I started acting when I got discovered and had to walk that road, which I’m still walking and totally enjoy. I plan on stepping back behind the camera in due time, but probably with some small things make for an overseas audience. Australia is a great place.
If you could recreate a starring role from any 1970’s film, what would it be? Why?
Jack Nicholson’s role in “Five Easy Pieces” because it’s so intense. The jokes he cracks are so heavy and make the maximum impact that fly off the page. It’s impossible to ignore and/or not laugh. Sorry, that’s a movie not a sitcom. I would probably say anyone from The Bob Newhart Show that would allow me close access to Suzanne Pleshette. She’s a stone fox.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
I saw an older gentleman trying to park his car in Santa Monica and he totally bumped an already parked car. This was in front of a crowded restaurant window at lunch time. Thank goodness for bumpers right!
But actually the last thing that made me smile, literally, was my girlfriend calling out for a puppy as she lay in bed this morning. we don’t have a puppy, but she thinks that if she keeps calling for one it will magically appear and lick her face then fall asleep on her lap as she looks at shit on her ipad I bought her with money I made from being on TV.