On the recent press tour for Seven Psychopaths, Martin McDonough’s latest whip-smart (and criminally underseen) comedy about bros behaving badly, two of the seven titular psychos seemed attached at the hip. Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, who play in-over-their-head dog-nappers in the delirious crime caper, were like old college roommates reunited, doing almost all of their interviews together, including ours, and having a blast. We’ll admit, it was hard not to geek out, as the legend and the legend-in-the-making, who’ve been friends since 2010 when they starred on Broadway in McDonough’s The Behanding in Spokane, went back-and-forth on a variety of topics befitting of two of Hollywood’s most notorious oddballs. Here, a supercut of what happens when you put Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in an a room together to talk about anything but they’re new movie.
On Henri The Existential Black Cat
Christopher Walken: Speaking of French, have you seen “Henri the black cat?” It’s the perfect thing, punch it up!
Sam Rockwell: Oh my god, it’s funny as shit, the existential cat.
CW: It’s an existential French cat. Oh, you need to go—
SR: Oh, you really need to—
CW: He speaks French. He’s bored. He’s lonely.
SR: It’s really, really funny.
CW: And he lives with a white cat who he loathes, whose only interest in life is cheeseburgers. And he says to the other cat, he calls, he says “I am surrounded by morons.”
SR: It really is, this voice perfectly suits the cat.
CW: We gotta punch it up on Youtube. “Henri the Black Cat”.
On Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin
CW: I was ten years old, and I was in a sketch with them.
SR: You were in a sketch with Martin and Lewis?!
CW: There was a thing called The Colgate Comedy Hour and in those days in the ’50s, it was live and they used a lot of kids. TV in the beginning was very family-oriented much more than now and especially holidays, they’d bring in all of these kids. There is a kinescope, I saw it, of me in a skit with Jerry Lewis and they showed it to me and it was fascinating how little I’ve changed.
SR: We should Google that.
CW: No, I was ten years old, and I really haven’t hardly changed.
SR: How old was Lewis?
CW: He was probably in his forties
SR: I would love to see that.
CW: But I looked the same, I sounded the same, I had the same moves, even the same, what would you call it, attitude. It could be that we don’t change as much as we think we do.
On playing weirdos
SR: Yeah, listen, we haven’t just played weirdos but you might not see that movie or—like Snow Angels, nobody saw that.
CW: That’s what you get offered. I’ve made a lot of movies that even I have not seen. They pay you, that’s the important thing.
SR: I’ve played stock brokers.
CW: I’ve made movies that don’t even show up on TV. And it’s interesting because movies, you know whether it’s a good movie or not good, whether people see it or not, that’s all one thing. But to make a movie is, I mean they spend a lot of money, they spend a lot of time. Making a movie is an enormous effort and costs a lot of money. Is almost like a military operation. Everything has to come together. And it’s just as hard to do one that nobody sees as it is to do a popular movie.
CW: But you can’t always get what you want.
SR: I mean yeah, it’s like the joke: if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.
On their dream project
SR: It’s funny with Chris. Sometimes we’re just like two twelve year olds laughing about you know, farts, and then there’s this other side where I look up to Chris as an actor and so, it’s a funny thing when you meet people.
CW: Martin says he’s going to write a father-son thing for us.
SR: Maybe we should be dancers, like sort of an American, what’s it called… And you force me into dance. And I’ve given it up and you’re like “You’re still dancing?”
CW: Ya gotta dance, kid. Ya gotta dance.
SR: You know what I mean? I’ve given it up, Pop. I’m done! I’m done with dancing!
CW: So dance!
SR: You forced it on me!
CW: Dance, kid!
SR: I never wanted to be a dancer!
CW: …Or I’ll kill you.
SR: I never wanted to be a dancer. I wanted to be a doctor!
CW: I’m gonna chop your hand off, you little bastard.
SR: It’s coming together.
CW: I’ll chop your foot off, you little bastard! Yeah, try dancing now, you… Try dancing with one foot!