Steve Coogan: If You Make A Joke, It Breaks The Ice - KMSP-TV

Steve Coogan: If You Make A Joke, It Breaks The Ice

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Steve Coogan stars with Judi Dench in "Philomena" and he also wrote the screenplay. It's based on the true story of a retired Irish nurse who wants to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years ago. Coogan plays the B-B-C correspondent who accompanies her. The movie is a drama and the opposite of what the comedian's fans are used to. In the UK, Coogan is famous for playing Alan Partridge...a character he created more than 15 years ago that is more popular today than ever. Partridge is an arrogant talk show/radio host whose ego constantly lands him in awkward and hilarious situations.  

"Because I'm so well known as one character there, it means you can be typecast. One of the advantages of being 'unknown' relatively in the US is that when you do come up with something different, people just take it at face value."

He says "Philomena" does have humor but it's there for a reason.

"There aren't a lot of laughs in the film but it's used as sort of an ingredient to temper the heaviness." Coogan jokes with Steve and Maria that watching a serious movie shouldn't be a chore and he did his best to make the kind of movie he would enjoy.

"I didn't want it to be one of those films where you think 'well, I know I ought to watch that film and it's very important...but I'm not in the mood for it. I'd rather watch something else first.' I wanted to do a film that was entertaining."

With strong reviews and a slew of award nominations already, Coogan may be about to breakout in the States. Steve asked him if he's ready for that and if his quick mind ever stops.

"It's not because I'm like highly motivated, at heart I'm a lazy person. It's just that in my business sometimes you have to create your own work or no one will give it to you so that's how I wound up doing writing and stuff."

"Philomena" is in theaters now.

Fun facts about Steve Coogan (Source: Wikipedia)

1.) Steve is an English actor, stand-up comedian, impressionist, writer and producer. He began his career in the 1980s, working as a voice artist on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image. In the early 1990s, he began creating original comic characters; this led him to win the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 1999, he co-founded the production company Baby Cow Productions.

2.) While working with Armando Iannucci on The Day Today and On the Hour, Coogan created his most developed and popular character, Alan Partridge, a socially awkward and politically incorrect regional media personality. He featured in several television series, which earned Coogan three BAFTA nominations and two wins for Best Comedy Performance. A feature-length film, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, was released in 2013, and opened at number one at the British box office.

3.) Coogan grew in prominence within the film industry in 2002, after starring in The Parole Officer and 24 Hour Party People. He portrayed Phileas Fogg in the 2004 remake Around the World in 80 Days, and has co-starred in The Other Guys, Tropic Thunder, In the Loop, Hamlet 2, Our Idiot Brother, Ruby Sparks and Night at the Museum, as well as collaborating with Rob Brydon in The Trip and Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. He was also a principal voice actor in the computer animated comedy film Despicable Me 2.

4.) Coogan has also branched out into more dramatic roles, with What Maisie Knew, and portrayed Paul Raymond in the biopic The Look of Love. He co-wrote, produced and starred in the film adaptation Philomena, alongside Judi Dench, and has been cast in the lead role for the ABC television pilot Doubt, created by David Shore.

5.) On 22 November 2011, Coogan, along with Hugh Grant, gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on phone hacking, favouring regulation of the press.

‘Philomena' is in theaters now.


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