Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti (“The Cinderella Man,” “Sideways”) plays the adorable Nicholas Claus aka Santa, in Warner Bros.’ uproariously funny holiday comedy “Fred Claus.”
Giamatti was director David Dobkin’s original vision for the role of Nick “Santa” Claus. The director notes, “I wanted our Santa Claus to be very real; he is everyman with real pain and real troubles.” Acknowledging that Giamatti is perhaps better known for his dramatic roles, Dobkin says, “Paul is not someone you would immediately imagine as the big and jolly character that is Santa Claus. But Paul brought his wit, intelligence and warmth to the character, as well as an incredible sense of vulnerability that I really wanted Santa to have.”
Vaughn’s comedic sensibility and Giamatti’s dramatic style mirrored the disparity between their characters. “Vince’s character is a city slicker kind of guy, so I thought it’d be funny if I played my character as more downbeat—maybe not the brightest bulb on the tree, but a very nice guy,” says Giamatti. “Santa would always be fumbling along trying to keep up with Fred, which I think is a nice, playful contrast.”
Vaughn offers, “I’ve always been a fan of Paul’s work, so it was a real treat to work with him. He’s a great dramatic actor, but he’s also very funny in a dry, deadpan kind of way.”
Working opposite Vaughn, Giamatti admired his rapid-fire improvisational style. “Comedy guys like Vince really amaze me,” he says. “They have such confidence and conviction in what they’re doing. It is truly impressive to watch and so much fun to work with.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Fred Claus” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.
I’m looking for Fred Claus.