The stars of Columbia Pictures’ new comedy “Walk Hard” have tough acts to follow when they went on board to parody “Walk the Line’s” Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. But while John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer were challenged to perform the comic roles in an unusual way, they certainly had fun knocking off the originals.
Reilly plays the larger-than-life musician and songwriter Dewey Cox, a comedic fusion of recent biopic subjects Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Fischer portrays Darlene, Cox’s beautiful back-up singer who eventually becomes his second wife, much like Witherspoon’s June Carter.
To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4 and Greenbelt 3) starting March 26, “Walk Hard” charts the up-and-down-and-up-again story of music legend Dewey Cox whose songs would change America. On his rock ‘n’ roll spiral, Cox sleeps with 411 women, marries three times, has 22 kids and 14 stepkids, stars in his own ‘70s TV variety show, collects friends ranging from Elvis to the Beatles to a chimp, and gets addicted to – and then kicks – every drug known to man. But despite it all, Cox grows into a national icon and eventually earns the love of a good woman.
Jenna Fischer, the Emmy-nominated star of TV’s “The Office,” takes on the role of Dewey’s long-suffering second wife and backup singer, Darlene. At first, though, the actress had her eye on a different role – Dewey’s first wife, Edith. “I really prepared to play Edith and memorized everything about her,” Fischer says. “But they didn’t really say anything much after I auditioned for Edith, and then [director] Jake Kasdan asked me to take a look at Darlene. Something happened when I read with John C. Reilly and it all came together.”
“She’s wonderful and hilarious,” says Reilly. “She has the ability to make something very funny, but also the skills as an actor to make the relationship between Dewey and Darlene very real. She just came in to read and we said, ‘That’s the character.’”
“Walk Hard” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
I’m looking for Walk Hard.