While the major conceit of Pixels has to do with aliens invading Earth disguised as 8-bit arcade game characters and the has-been arcade game players (Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage) who must defeat them, there are also a couple b-plots involving Kevin James as the president of the United States (and Sandler’s childhood friend) and Michelle Monaghan as Sandler’s romantic interest.
We recently sat down with Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan to talk about their roles in the movie, as well as whether or not Monaghan would ever be interested in reteaming with Shane Black, Robert Downey Jr., and Val Kilmer for a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang sequel. (Spoiler alert: she would.)
Screen Rant: In Pixels, Kevin, you play the president of the United States, and he’s sort of a bumbling president. He receives a lot of mockery from the press, I think it’s fair to say.
Kevin James: Little bit. Yes.
SR: Did you base that on any particular president? Maybe one who was in office…eight years ago?
KJ: [Laughter] No, I didn’t. I wasn’t going for that. In fact, I think that’s how I would be in there. I just kind of – didn’t look at any other president, I didn’t look at any other actor playing a president. I just kind of wanted to take it a different way and go as myself. You know, just show the human side of being a president.
Michelle Monaghan: Yeah.
KJ: That was really the way I went about it.
MM: Your reveal is so good, though, when you’re sitting and talking to Adam [Sandler] at the bar, having a beer, and then all of a sudden you realize he’s [the president].
KJ: Well, that’s the side you never really see of our president.
SR: Michelle – I watched the movie last night, and I couldn’t help but think…as many times as Adam Sandler’s character would save the world, he was still probably not in your character’s league. That was my thought, I don’t know what your thoughts were on that.
KJ: Wow, I think you’re hitting on her. That’s what I would think, Screen Rant.
MM: [Laughter] Well, I think the fact that he – you know, I certainly don’t have any faith in him, right? But then, that’s attractive, actually. He is saving the world. And so – that’s really what a kind of woman in her position is – that’s her kind of job –
KJ: Is that question based on the eye comment? [Note: reference to a comment before the camera was rolling.]
SR: No, that was already there!
KJ: All right, good man. [Laughter]
SR: Kevin, this is like your thirtieth movie with Adam Sandler. I assume you guys like working together. What’s it like to basically hang out with your friend and be paid a lot of money to do it?
KJ: I don’t know about the lot of money part. [Laughter] No. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun. It’s comforting to know that you get to do that. It’s nice when you get to go to work with someone who you really enjoy working with, you know what I mean? We’ve all been in situations where we probably worked with people we didn’t like which obviously is not as nice. For me, it’s a comfort situation, where you can try different things and not worry about the outcome so much.
SR: Last question’s for Michelle – I’m a huge fan of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I think you’re fantastic in it.
MM: Oh, thank you.
SR: I usually don’t think a movie needs a sequel, but that’s one where I’d love to see what those character’s are doing –
MM: I love them.
SR: Has there ever been any talk about a sequel? Would you be interested in it?
MM: No, and yes. Absolutely. I’d love to reteam with those guys. That was just one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. You know, we all remain friends to this day, and I would love to see that happen. I mean, that’s the other character I was talking about – Harmony Faith Lane. Violet Van Patton actually competed with Harmony Faith Lane. Two great names.
SR: You should try to convince them to do it.
MM: I’ll work on it. I’ll work on it.
MM: I need to get back in that Santa costume.
KJ: [Laughter] Awesome.
Pixels hits theaters July 24th, 2015.