You look at some people and there’s no question that they should be actors. Imagine running into Brad Pitt as the guy who’s changing the oil in your car or Olivia Wilde taking your order at Olive Garden. Your first thought would be “they should be in pictures.”
Then there are people like John C. Reilly. Don’t get me wrong. Reilly, who’s one of the voice talents in the recently released “Wreck-It Ralph,” is an incredibly talented actor. It’s just that he doesn’t have classic leading man looks. But, that’s what makes him such a memorable actor and the target of adult fans whenever he’s getting his car serviced or dining out.
Reilly tells me that it doesn’t surprise him when adults recognize him from “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” or “Step Brothers.” What shocks him is how kids recognized his voice even before “Wreck-It Ralph” was released. All they had seen were the commercials for the new animated film.
“They hear me talk and they say ‘You’re Wreck-It Ralph!’ They’re quoting lines to me from the trailer and the movies not even out yet,” Reilly says. “I really like that. It can be kind of tiring to deal with adults with all of their different perceptions of who you are.
“One hundred percent of the time, when a kid comes up to me, it’s always a really cool interaction. I love kids.”
Reilly thinks the young fans — and the older ones — will relate to his new movie because it’s about a life-long journey to discover who you are, accepting the kind of person you are and then getting past that to enjoy life. For Reilly that was realizing he wasn’t a classic leading man, being OK with that and then becoming a big acting star.
One question I keep getting asked is how do I manage to talk to so many celebrities without getting starstruck. I’ll let you in on a little secret. There have been some actors over the years who have made me a little nervous before the interview started. But, the moment it’s time to go to work, any nerves have to be pushed aside or there would be no way to get the job done.
Here’s another secret. Celebrities get starstruck. Jane Lynch talked about her own reaction to other celebrities during an interview for her new animated film “Wreck-It Ralph.” Lynch is the voice of character in a military video game who takes no prisoners. You’ll be able to spot her easily once the movie opens on Friday because the character looks just like her.
One of the fun parts for Lynch of having some celebrity clout is getting to go to fancy events where she gets to be with celebrities she wouldn’t normally see on a daily basis.
“There’s kind of a mutual admiration society but I’m caught off guard every time someone like Glenn Close asks me to come over and talk to her,” Lynch says. “I get a little starstruck but I believe I can hold my own because one of the things I’ve learned, being a celebrity now, when people come up to you and they are so taken by you they can barely talk, I try not to roll my eyes because they just want to have a human conversation with you.”
Lynch has been a working actor on TV and in films for more almost 25 years but her star status made a major leap when she signed on to play the unforgettable Sue Sylvester on “Glee.” Before the series, there was a point where Lynch felt like she was just doing the same characters. Then Christopher Guest came along to cast her in movies like “Best In Show” and “A Mighty Wind.” Guest’s style of allowing actors to improvise a lot of their material was an acting blessing for Lynch. And now, “Glee” has become the exclamation point on making her a true celebrity.
Talking about her rise on the star meter, Lynch jokes, “At first, I loved it. Now, it’s ‘What am I going to wear?’”