Exclusive Interview: Rob Corddry on Hell Baby and Childrens Hospital
Things you’ll see in Hell Baby: Rob Corddry’s butt. Rob Corddry vomiting. Rob Corddry carrying Leslie Bibb over the threshold. Rob Corddry confronting paranormal activity by exclaiming “What the fuck?!” And really, Rob Corddry as the star of the movie, a husband dealing with the supernatural evil caused by his wife (Bibb)’s pregnancy in the film written and directed by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. I got to sit down with Corddry in Los Angeles in between the film’s VOD release (where I saw it) and its theatrical release this week. We also got the scoop on “Childrens Hospital” and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 while we riffed with Corddry on his career in comedy.
CraveOnline: Do you see all the paranormal movies where they stack boxes and all sorts of weird things, and think no one just says “What the fuck?”
Rob Corddry: Yes, I do. Actually, all the fucking time I say that, which is why it was kind of fun to play this role. I know that there’s people like me in the audience. Everybody in the audience might be like me and sometimes I get so distracted I can’t enjoy a movie because I’m just like, “I don’t believe you’d stay. That is fucked up what just happened.” This being an absurd comedy as well, I had more tools to be able to wink at the audience in a way and say, “Look, I know that this is crazy as well as you do. I’m on your side. You’re right to feel uncomfortable.”
Can you lift Leslie Bibb without any help?
Oh my God, Leslie Bibb? Listen, I can lift anybody, all right? Let me lift you. Leslie Bibb is of course beautiful but she’s tall so her mass is in her height. Nobody loves physical exertion, right? You’re on my side, but we didn’t have to do it that many times. She’s fine.
It wasn’t movie magic?
It was not movie magic. She was being lifted by me.
Was it fun to be the one freaking out in Hell Baby?
Yeah, I love playing the straight man. I do. I love it. I love it. I love throwing people balls for them to alley oop. Especially in this kind of movie for the reasons I said before. It’s fun to be a plot device who also gets a chance to be funny.
But you’re not the straight man in the vomit scene.
No, right? Isn’t that weird? I thought that while doing it. Should I throw up or should I just be looking around at [everyone else]? They’re like no, this is disgusting, you’re a human being, you’d throw up. I’m like okay, sir. Right on board.
Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer are the straight men in that scene, just looking at it all.
Sure, exactly. It always shifts but I’m mostly the movie’s straight man. I’ve got to get us to the third act basically.
And this being an independent production, did that mean you could be cast in a lead, where it seems studio movies like you as the sidekick?
That’s exactly right, yes. The only shot I have at being a lead is in an independent movie, although Hot Tub Time Machine is MGM. That’s a studio, right?
It is, but there’s four of you so they’d call it an “ensemble.”
Oh, that’s true. Oh no, it’s never going to be… who wants to see a movie with just me?
No, no, I’d say that’s not quite the case. I was number two on the call sheet. Leslie Bibb had to give birth to that thing. She’s number one, but it’s so funny. I don’t really ever… I’m trying to think of a moment where I was bummed out by that. Then again, I’m a bald gentleman. I knew my lot in life at around 18 or 19. I’m not going to be Bradley Cooper, you know what I mean? I’m lucky that I have not only played bad guys. That I’ve been married to somebody like Leslie Bibb in a movie is insane.
“Childrens Hospital” is your baby. Could you tell Hell Baby was Robert and Thom’s baby?
Oh, absolutely. We all, “The State” and the “UCB” worlds, the family that we’ve all sort of created, this being a shining example of the tone that we usually write, it’s what we all love to do. Yeah, this specifically, “The State” has been doing it for so long, they love to indulge the time for the dumbest bits that have nothing to do with plot, which I love. That’s sort of what is recognizable as definitely a Thom and Ben, let alone just a “State” thing in general.