Breckin Meyer ('Blue State')
'A Current State of Mind'
Although Breckin Meyer got his big break as endearing stoner Travis Birkenstock in Amy Heckerling's 1995 comedy 'Clueless,' he had been acting since he was 11 years old. Born in Minneapolis, MN, Meyer was raised in Los Angeles, where he had early encounters with fame in the form of elementary school with Drew Barrymore and high school with a host of young actors, including future 'Clueless' co-star Alicia Silverstone.
Meyer got his start in commercials and television, appearing on various shows, including The Wonder Years. He had his rather inauspicious film debut in 1991, as one of the disposable teens in 'Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare,' and had bit parts in various forgettable films and an appearance on Fox's Party of Five before being cast in 'Clueless.'
Following the huge success of 'Clueless,' Meyer went on to appear in another teen movie, 'The Craft' (1996). After secondary roles in 'Touch' and 'Prefontaine' (both 1997), the actor had a fairly substantial part in '54,' in which he got to play Salma Hayek's husband and wear a very small pair of shorts!
After a spate of films that were released without much fanfare, Meyer had success the following year as part of an ensemble cast in 'Go.' A fine supporting player to this point in his fledgling career, Breckin would finally come into his own as the hapless college student racing cross country to intercept a decidedly questionable videotape in director Todd Phillips's breakout comedy 'Road Trip.'
Though a subsequent stab at the small screen as the lead in the sports comedy series Inside Schwartz ultimately did little to advance Meyer's career, later roles in the theatrical comedies 'Rat Race' and 'Kate and Leopold' served well to keep the amiable comic talent in the public eye.
After providing the voice for the eponymous wooden puppet in Roberto Benigni's 2002 misfire 'Pinocchio,' Breckin helped to bring everyone's favorite comic-strip cat to the big screen with his role as the lasagna-loving feline's hapless master Jon Arbuckle in the 2004 family comedy 'Garfield.' Vocal work in such animated efforts as King of the Hill and Robot Chicken found the actor earning his keep even when not stepping in front of the cameras, and in 2006 Meyer would return to the silver screen to the delight of children everywhere in the kid-friendly sequel 'Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.'
Chatting recently with Breckin about his latest movie 'Blue State' (the story of fervent liberal John Logue who vows to move to Canada if John Kerry lost the 2004 election), I first wondered if a full four years after the fact if people really still cared to watch the old news about what happened back during that political climate? "I'm not sure. I know especially right now with what's going on in the States it's very relevant. And public opinion has kinda shifted from when we made the movie. When we made the movie there was a lot of people changing their minds about their opinions of war and now it seems like it's almost changed a full 180. Which is interesting as it's kinda what John feels in the movie. So hopefully it's still relevant. Especially with the election right now. But if not hopefully they'll just enjoy the romantic comedy part of it," he laughs.
Which, all politics aside at its heart this movie really is a romantic-comedy! "Yeah, that's what I liked about it. It wasn't a movie that constantly just hit you over the head with John's political views. And the best thing is Johns' flawed. A lot of his views are just him spouting out sound bites that he's just heard. He's not a perfect guy. And the one thing that's great about Anna's character is that she calls him on his bullsh*t," he laughs. "So yeah, the politics hopefully become the background for it."
Well, with regard the politics and the standpoint that John holds, what homework did you have to do for the role? 'A lot of this story is based on the director Marshall [Lewy] and a lot of his real experiences. And the first thing he did when he sat me down was he gave me a list of books that he read around that time. But what I enjoyed was that it was from both sides. He gave me John Carey's book, but he also gave me Anne Coulter's book, Sean Hannity's book, and then Al Franken's book. He wanted me to get all sides of it. He didn't want me to only be spouting on Carey. And the interesting thing is when you read both sides how similar they are. You switch the word God vs. Country and you have the other side."
"So, I was already politically aware, but after doing the movie and after being in John's skin for a while I was definitely more attune to it all."
So, in real life just how politically-minded are you? "My parents were very politically-minded. My dad was arrested many times in Washington, D.C. for pouring pigs blood on the Capital steps for some protest! So, it was always in my family. It was always the forefront of our morning breakfast."
You seem to have yet another masturbation scene in one of your films!! It's becoming a habit now to see the 'two' of you together! "Yeah," he laughs. "Strangely enough I've done three or four movies now where I've done masturbation scenes! It's kinda my thing, I guess. The thing that I'm really known for in this business is my masturbation scene," he laughs again. "It's on my resume under Special Skills: Rollerblading and Masturbating!"
And it's yet another road story for you! 'Yeah, I'm a road junkie! I think it was 'Road Trip,' 'Rat Race,' 'Go!' and this one. So, if you need someone in a car they usually hire me."
Are you a good person to take a road trip with in real life? "This is really sad, but I've never taken a road trip over four hours. So, I'm guessing no. I'd be better than John. I wouldn't be as persnickety as John."
Tell us more about your next slew of movies due out "I think that I've got three movies due out this year. There's 'Ted's MBA,' 'Lonely Maiden' and then there's a movie called 'Stag Night' - although I don't know if that title's gonna stay the same. That's a thriller starring Vinessa Shaw. And I'm off to go start a new movie with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner called 'The Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past'."
Why is it with these big movies under your belt you're not splashed across our TV screens on TMZ and Entertainment Tonight, etc? "I think probably because I don't really go out and do stuff that would get me in that kind of trouble. And I ain't that pretty, so ...", he cracks himself up. "Nobody wants to see me get out of a limo with my crotch wide open, trust me! Or maybe they do, who knows! No, I'm the kind of guy who hangs out at home with my family. You're not gonna find me high and drunk with my thong around my head! Maybe that would be fun but for now I'm pretty much a homebody hermit."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
'Blue State' DVD Purchase Link
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