Woody Allen's new movie, "Whatever Works" may seem to follow a familiar formula (old New York grouch reluctantly finds himself taken by spritely ingenue, proceeds to sever his lifeline to happiness)--and it is based on a script Allen wrote in the 1970s and recently resurrected.
But this time Allen wanted someone younger and more graceful than himself to play the misanthropic old crank. Naturally, he chose the marginally younger and less neurotic Larry David.
David recently shared his anxiety-addled thoughts about playing Allen's leading man, living in New York and dealing with the relentless voice inside his head.
On his own "whatever works" coping mechanisms:
I embrace the panic. Even if I turned on a ballgame, it wouldn't make a difference to me. I would still hear that sick, psycho voice going crazy in my head and there's nothing I could do.
On his early years in New York:
I grew up in Brooklyn, then I lived in Hell's Kitchen, from the time I got out of college until I moved to LA in my early 40s. So I remember very distinctly the smell of urine as I left my front door. I remember having to take my shoe off before I came in my apartment to kill the thousands of roaches that were in my bathtub.
On his first reaction to being offered the part:
This is not a good thing. This is not going to be a very good idea. I was intimidated and I don't really like challenges. I don't like to be out of my comfort zone, which is about half an inch wide. I called Woody and said, 'I don't know about this.'
On playing a retired physicist:
I tried to convince (Woody Allen) at some point before we started shooting that he should change the character's occupation to a former grandmaster. I didn't want to be a physicist because I thought I wouldn't be able to improvise because the character's so much smarter than I am.
On his cell phone ringing in the middle of the press conference:
I'm so sorry. I can't believe that happened. No one ever calls me!
"Whatever Works" opens June 19.