ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan native
Jeff Daniels is getting ready to perform two shows – one
of them already sold out – at The Ark in Ann Arbor. The
actor/producer/comedian just finished filming the final season
of “The Newsroom” and his return to “Dumb and
Dumber To” 20 years after the first film was a box office
hit. In addition, Daniels said the Purple Rose Theatre, which
he owns and operates in Chelsea, Mich., is going strong.
they don’t have a great night, we failed,” Daniels
said in an exclusive interview. “We start with making sure
that from the moment we walk out it’s entertaining and that
they can relate to it. They’re going to get humor, but they’re
also going to get music. A lot of the stuff we’re going
to do on the tour are songs that need a band. That’s why
getting the Ben Daniels Band is just thrilling for me. Usually
I’m out there with an acoustic guitar with Brad Phillips
who don’t already know, Ben is Jeff’s son.
to be on stage with your kid, who’s in their 20’s,
playing music together as a father-son thing, is huge. It won’t
be a killer during the show. We’re going to speak to that.
The thrill has been blowing some of these songs up. When you take
a play into a screenplay, they call it ‘You’ve got
to blow it up.’ Now you can write going to various locations
and expand it. I think that’s what’s going to happen
with the band. It’s already happening. At the same time,
keeping an eye on the audience giving them what they need song
in and song out.”
be opening up for will everybody be taking the stage at the same
didn’t want to do that, that was the initial thing,”
the Michigan native added. “Oh, they’ll open and then
I’ll come on. We’re going to mix. There will be some
time where I’m just there alone. No, we’re all going
to walk on together from the first song on, we’re playing
together. It will be tight, rehearsed up. At the end of the night,
every one of those guys will be featured. It will be a complete
evening that includes them from beginning to end.”
It sounds like it will be a lot of fun!
it is. You know, I’m too old not to have a good time, Jason.
I make sure that when I walk out with a guitar, I’m there
to have a good time.”
wraps up shooting final season of “The Newsroom”
Daniels received the Emmy nomination for the Lead Actor in a Drama
Series category. He said filming for third and final season of
“The Newsroom” completed on July 20. The HBO drama
is set to air sometime this Fall.
certainly wrap it up," he explained. "We all went into
this, Aaron Sorkin in particular and said, ‘Let’s
make the third season the best season.’ There was no let
up. There was no kind of cruising based on what you’ve done
before. Everybody showed up. Aaron certainly wrote the strongest
season that he has as strong as the other two, if not stronger.
That’s how the actors approached it as well. I like our
chances for it being a real good final season. It certainly felt
curious and probably folks at home as well, why only three seasons?
Not four, five or six?
it’s a hard show to do. It’s a hard show to act with
all of that dialogue. It’s even harder to write all of that
dialogue. Even harder than that, you’ve got to drop great
scripts on the desk every two weeks. To maintain the highest level,
Aaron felt he needed more time. We all felt we needed more time
and just didn’t have it. That’s the television schedule.
Every two weeks, you’re doing the next episode. There’s
an argument to be made for 3-0. You could go up to four or five
or six, now you have people comparing seasons--which season they
like better. Now you have actors no longer with the show because
they moved on or the show had run out of stories and you kind
of kept going two more seasons. We don’t have that.”
said most of the drama series was filmed in Los Angeles, however
some scenes were shot in New York City.
years later, Daniels reunites with Jim Carrey for “Dumb
and Dumber To”
native reprises his role as Harry Dunne in “Dumb and Dumber
To” alongside Jim Carrey, who returns as Lloyd Christmas.
This is actually the second film in the franchise. Another film
by the name of “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”
was released in 2003 as a prequel, but it featured a completely
really enjoyed going back to work with Jim Carrey," Daniels
said. "He’s a comedic genius. Only Jim Carrey does
what Jim does. That’s unique, that’s original and
it’s a thrill to be around. We showed up 20 years later,
we’re these guys again. They’re middle-aged, still
that stupid. From the first day of shooting on, we were back into
it. Jim’s a good friend as we enjoy being with each other
off-camera and I think that shows up on-camera as well. I know
we threw everything we had at it. If that counts for anything,
I like our chances.”
trailer already has 23 million views after it debuted on “The
Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.” That’s a lot
more than most trailers get.
a lot more than most anything. We did not leave it in the locker
room as athletes say. I hope that those 23 million people are
satisfied. We certainly gave it everything we had.”
discuss the plot for me?
similar to the first one," the Michigan native added. "The
only thing you really need to know is these guys have not gained
one ounce of intelligence in 20 years. It’s like they haven’t
aged a day, at least mentally. The story takes place all over.
I think most of it was shot in Atlanta as well as El Paso, Texas.”
the Mutt Cutts van is going on a coast-to-coast tour. Can we expect
a stop in A2?
don’t know if it will stop in Ann Arbor, but I have heard
of that same tour. I heard that is going to drive across country
and I’ve been in that van. I’ve heard the engine running
and I can’t imagine how it would make it down the block,
let alone across the country.”
"Dumb and Dumber To" to hit theaters nationwide on Friday,
Purple Rose Theatre is still going strong
who don’t already know, Daniels owns and operates a Broadway-style
theatre in the small community of Chelsea, Mich. where he grew
Purple Rose is doing well with I believe our 22nd year,”
he explained. “Maybe more than that I have to do the math.
We’re still going strong, people are still supporting it
and we’re still supporting a lot of professional theatre
artists—whether they’d be actors, writers, directors,
designers. The vision that I had over 20 years ago is still there
at 8 o’clock every night.”
Jeff will make an unexpected appearance at his theatre
yes, sometimes. Yeah, I tend not to tell people when I’m
going to walk in the door. To be honest, the place may have my
name on it and I may have founded it, but it’s not for me.
It’s for them. It’s for the people they see on stage,
it’s for Guy Sanville, it’s for all of those Michigan
professional theater artists. It’s not for me to go there
to be recognized. I’m real proud of the work that they’ve
says the Purple Rose was created for younger stars to get started
in their career and serve as a launching pad to bigger and better
for the 21-year-old kid to learn what it takes to make it in the
business," the Michigan native said. "To learn what
they need to know before they go. I didn’t have that. I
left Michigan for New York and crossed my fingers. Now, that kid,
he or she has a place where they can go. We will teach you the
level of acting you need to have before you get in the car and
next for Jeff Daniels?
I’m going to promote Dumb and Dumber [To]. In the short
term, this tour. We’re in rehearsal now. The first show
is in Bay City on the 13th of August. We wrap around and end up
at The Ark. The second show is on sale. We have that on Monday
the 18th. We keep going through Wisconsin and end up at the Marquette
Blues Festival on Labor Day weekend. There’s some things
going on. The phone’s ringing. It’s nice when it rings.
When the phone rings, it’s a lot less lonely.”
asked if he had anything to add, Daniels replied: “No, we
here to purchase tickets to Jeff Daniel's show at
The Ark. For more information about HBO's "The Newsroom,"
For more information about Universal's "Dumb and Dumber To,"
Daniels encourages U-M graduates to be persistent in finding career
say Michigan film incentives are working, Gov. Snyder; WATCH:
Jeff Daniels, Mitch Albom and others address the Michigan Film
Town Hall in Livonia; WATCH:
Exclusive Interview with Jeff Daniels at the U-M Winter Commencement
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
are still available for the second night at The Ark.
just wrapped up shooting of the third and final season of HBO's
Carrey and Jeff Daniels having fun on the set of "Dumb
and Dumber To."
credit: Universal Pictures
for "Dumb and Dumber To" to hit theaters nationwide
on Friday, Nov. 14.
credit: Universal Pictures
the meantime, the Mutt Cutts Van will be going on a nationwide
tour this fall.