Chris O’Dowd, whom fans came to know as the good-hearted galoot in Bridesmaids, has had a busy year indeed. Between memorable roles in Friends With Kids and Girls, the Irishman has been prepping for a newly picked-up HBO pilot created by Christopher Guest and just last month recently married British TV presenter Dawn Porter.
If you believe the preternaturally wry O’Dowd, Porter is likely grateful that he changed things up to play a less redeemable character in his latest film 3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom (available OnDemand today). “I’ve been playing so many nice guys that I was about to boil over inside,” he says drily. Frankie is named after the younger brother (Charlie Hunnam) that O’Dowd ‘s recovering addict Bruce bullies. “I definitely wanted to channel the more douche side of myself, as I think we all should sometimes,” says O’Dowd. “It manifests itself in your own life, so I have to [occasionally] let the air vent open a little bit to become a good person again.”
O’Dowd describes Bruce as “a passive-aggressive bully, who makes people feel sorry for him.” Though he is ostensibly successful in his recovery effort, “He kind of gives up one addiction momentarily and takes up another. His main addiction of his life is attention-seeking.” That hankering reaches its… ummm… climax when Bruce films Frankie having sex and posts the amateur porno on the Internet. Cue the wild goose chase!
O’Dowd likens the film to “an old French farce,” saying, “The crazier something can happen, Jordan [Roberts, the director] would suggest, ‘Okay, this is a pretty crazy scene, I think we’re going to also need a pig in a swimming pool’ — and that actually happened.”
As for his on-set relationship with Hunnam, who plays badass biker Jax Teller in FX’s Sons of Anarchy, O’Dowd jokes that it “probably wasn’t far from our natural dynamic, where I would generally just kind of poke and annoy Charlie, and he would look at me sympathetically but bullied.” Hunnam’s SoA costar Ron Perlman also plays a supporting a part in Frankie, though the 6’3″ O’Dowd deadpans about the SAMCRO boys, “They don’t threaten me.”
With his inner d-bag expelled, it looks like O’Dowd may turn over a new leaf in season 2 of Girls. “I will be returning,” he confirms. When we last saw his character Thomas-John, he’d erupted after trying to initiate a threesome with self-proclaimed “adventurous girl” Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and her friend Marnie (Allison Williams). In spite of that, he and Jessa struck up an unlikely (and unseen-on-screen) courtship that culminated in a sudden wedding in the finale. O’Dowd admits, “It was a bit of a surprise that they got married to everyone — including me.”
He teases that January’s new batch of episodes returns the newlyweds to Brooklyn. “We will be coming home from honeymoon,” he says, adding, “and I can’t imagine that that relationship isn’t going to go very well.” Art doesn’t imitate life, though, as he has developed not only a good rapport with Kirke but also her unborn child. “I was teaching her fetus curse words,” he laughs. “I told her some Irish slang.” Such as? “Just the common things. They’re not broadcastable.”
3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom will hit theaters Oct. 12.