HIT AND RUN INTERVIEW
with DAX SHEPARD and KRISTEN BELL
Whatchamacallit Reviews: The movie is about a man in witness protection, if you had to choose witness protection names, what would they be?
KB: Hooty McBoobity
Dax Shepard: C’mon, for real?
WR: That would really keep you protected.
DS: I think I would go by Dad Shepard.
KB: You don’t think that would be too…similar?
DS: Said Hooty McBoobity.
KB: First of all, don’t talk to me about Hooty McBoobity. It’s because it’s from my favorite episode of the Simpsons where they take Marge down to the DMV and have her name legally changed to Hooty McBoobity.
DS: I don’t know if it actually works this way, but we were told that is works this way, that SAG—the Screen Actor’s Guild—only permits one person to have a name at a given time. That’s why John C. Reilly has the “C”, but once someone dies, that name is back on the books. So I told Kristen that I was going to legally change my name to Marlon Brando, so it would say like “Parenthood, starring Marlon Brando”.
KB: He has been threatening this for a while.
DS: So maybe I would, for witness protection, go by Rock Hudson.
KB: And I would go by Barbara Stanwick.
WR: Very classy. Speaking of names, on twitter, you’re DaxShepard1because there was already a DaxShepard?
DS: There are tons. Fake ones, yes. They have stolen the name.
KB: The person who took “KristenBell”, because IMKristenBell came forward and said “Hey, you know if you want this, I’m just a fan” and was being cute like no big deal, but the prick who took DaxShepard has not come forward and I feel okay saying prick because I highly doubt his name is not actually Dax Shepard.
WR: You do a lot of getaway driving, which is more of a rush, chasing or being chased?
DS: Being chased, for sure. Stakes are much higher.
KB: Being chased, for sure.
DS: You can even see it on these televised police chases, the guy running’s heart rate is up in the 170s to 200s doing a lot of midbrain reptilian thinking. The cops are very cool and calm and following their playbooks.
KB: I’ve been followed in my car before and my hands were sweating, my hands were shaking, it was a really bad feeling.
DS: The chasing, who cares? It’s fun.
KB: Yeah, I’ll chase anyone.
DS: Sure. Drop of a hat.
KB: And I’ll chase them while I’m asleep--practically asleep behind the wheel.
DS: Of course you would.
WR: So if you were part of a heist, what part would you be?
KB: Ooooh. I would definitely be the person in the cat suit that repels into the building. I don’t know what my responsibilities would be beyond that point, but I would repel and it would be some sort of neoprene or shiny, black leather.
WR: I’m not sure they have much other responsibility afterwards.
KB: I’d let everyone it. I’d shimmy through the milk shoot if it was a low level job. My sisters used to shove me through the milk shoot if we forgot our key. They’d be like, “make a plank!” and then they would shove me through the little milk shoot. So in fact, I’ve already had this job. (to Dax) What would you do?
DS: I would be the getaway driver.
KB: You wouldn’t be the muscle? (clicks tongue)
DS: I’m handy with a pistol, but I think I would definitely be the getaway driver. God knows I couldn’t be a passenger running out of the bank, letting someone else drive getaway.
KB: Nobody else is allowed to drive if Dax is in the car. Not possible.
DS: No it’s not.
WR: Where did you get your driving training?
DS: I worked for GM as a kid and was on racetracks very young. I worked at a place that raced cars when I was 14.
KB: He did dirt biking when he was three years old.
DS: My stepdad raced GP motorcycles. I got into motorcycles. I drag raced in high school. Then I off-road race now.
KB: He won’t tell you this, but I will. When we were doing the movie, we got some really, really killer stunt drivers and they said to Dax at the end of the film, because they were driving for Bradley and other people— but Dax did all his own driving, and they were actually on the road with him, they said to Dax, “You know, if you were to become a stunt man you would be one of the best stuntman in the country, if not the world right now.”
WR: Wow! That’s a big compliment!
DS: Well, I was paying their checks, so you gotta take that with a grain of salt.
WR: Switching gears, what is your favorite part about Austin?
KB: Oof, I mean, the lake, the weather, the attitude, the food trucks, there’s not any specific…
DS: The liberalness.
KB: Yes! The “liberal hillbillies” as Dax describes them. It’s honestly the perfect city. It really is. I love the humidity.
DS: Me too.
KB:--for my skin.
DS: I love Barton Springs and barbecue.
WR: Barton Springs is so cold though.
DS: It’s like what, 68 degrees?
WR: Yeah! It’s freezing!
KB: Boys don’t have an internal thermometer like us, though…it doesn’t matter to them.
DS: It’s so hot though that you can hang. That’s kind of cool that if it’s cold or hot, it’s 68 degrees or whatever the hell it is.
KB: I like the mental state of the city, the mental and the emotional state is so appealing to me. Everyone is really nice and no one is that weird. I mean everyone is weird, but not too weird and everyone is nice, but not too nice.
DS: The right kind of weird.
KB: The right kind of weird.
WR: It’s like they say, “Keep Austin Weird”. To wrap up, what was the best story that happened while filming?
DS: Our stunt coordinator pulled a terrible prank.
DS: He really got us. It wasted way too much of our shooting day and I was ultimately very mad, but it was tremendous.
KB: Okay, so when we got to Cal State, Northridge, where we drive the car up on the steps of the library. It was sort of unheard of, doing that. We got the university to agree to it.
DS: We had to petition the board and explain to them why it wouldn’t damage the stairs.
KB: It was monumental to the end of the film, because you never see a huge racecar driving up the steps of a library like that. So the morning we get there, they had laid down the paper, they had run the stunt, etcetera, etcetera and while Dax is prepping to do it, this police officer says “What are you doing over there? You’re driving this car up to there? No absolutely you’re not.” And everyone from the film is like “No, no, we have permission from the board, these are our permits to shoot here” Police officer says, “I don’t care what you have, it’s not happening on my watch or someone is getting arrested.” So we had a police officer telling us we couldn’t do a stunt we knew we could do. This went on for two hours. Dax’s head was steaming out the ears, his whole face face was red, he was getting punk’d. The police officer was a buddy of somebody’s.
DS: He was a phenomenal actor, that police officer.
KB: Oh my god, so good.
DS: Once I got that thing was clicking, that we weren’t going to get this, now I’m going to tell this motherfucker how I feel.
KB: Then the police officer was like, “Just kidding”, or something, I can’t remember how it was revealed but it was really tense for a while and then it turned out to be an amazing prank.
DS: Stupid Castro.
KB: Yeah, our stunt coordinator Steven Castro did it.
DS: That jerk.
KB: It was an amazing prank though.
Hit and Run hits theaters August 22nd in a theater near you.