The Bad Santa reunion continues as Brett Kelly reprises his role as the “all-grown-up” but still adorably naïve Therman Merman, while Tony Cox stars as Marcus, Willie’s criminal side kick in the upcoming Christmas flick, Bad Santa 2.
Screen Rant caught up with Brett Kelly and Tony Cox to discuss the struggles of being underestimated in Hollywood, gaining 50 pounds for a role, and being reunited on set again.
Have you two not seen each other in over ten years?
Kelly: Yeah when we saw each other on set, and when we got to Montreal for the shoot that was the first time we had seen each other.
Cox: Thirteen years.
Wow, and Brett you were in school is that correct? You weren’t even expecting the call, or how did that happen?
Kelly: The way it worked is, I always knew I was going to take four years off to go to school. I kind of wanted to get that under my belt to have something to go back on but it was the last ever final exam I had, I got the call two days after that, so the timing could not have worked out any better.
Right, that’s a good graduation gift, congrats by the way!
Kelly: Thank you very much.
Tony I have a question for you. I saw a really beautiful interview you did a few years ago where you were saying when you first got to Hollywood you were in an acting school and the acting teacher basically crapped on your dreams and said ‘Look all you will be in is costumes,’ and your aunt made you feel better. What does it feel like now, all those years later, after having been a successful actor in feature after feature, what does that feel like? And what advice do you have for aspiring actors?
Cox: I feel good, you know, because being a little person you go through a lot of stuff. And you know, writers just don’t write good roles for little people. And to hear that guy say what he said it really hurt me. But like I said my aunt was there and I call her ‘my angel’ because she lifted me up. As I thought about it I said, “That’s right, that guy don’t know me, he doesn’t know what’s in my heart.” And I was more determined than ever. The thing I would say to people that’s coming up in acting you have to stay with it. That would be the first thing I would say, stay with it, because acting mentally you got to be there. If you’re not there it will just take you out.
Right, it’s a tough business I’m sure. And for Brett, speaking of being tough, did you have to gain 50 pounds for this role? Is that right?
Kelly: Yeah, it was about 40 pounds by the time we started shooting and like another 15 I put on while I was in Montreal. If you’re going to be in a city and completely not have to think about your health or weight, Montreal is the place to be. The food was just uh!
Poutine? Are you a poutine guy?
Kelly: Poutine, smoked meat, any fattening French food I could get my hands on, I want to go back.
How long did that take to put on?
Kelly: I put on 45 pounds in about 3.5-4 months. Pretty much gorging on whatever I could get my hands on, just letting loose. Doing that and the shoot was the easy part, the real kind of work came afterwards.
Yeah, go back and hit the gym.
Kelly: Yeah that was the pain in the ass part.
I’m sure! When you guys were back on set for the reunion was it kind of nice to see everybody again?
Kelly: Oh yeah.
Cox: Oh Yeah.
Kelly: Getting back into it was just completely seamless. It was like we had never been away from each other so having that familiarity makes things so much easier.
Thank you so much!