The man who brought J Jonah Jameson alive on screens talks to SciFiNow about his new role in Jennifer’s Body and working with some industry greats…
Mr Wroblewski in Jennifer’s Body isn’t your normal science teacher. How did you come to be playing a teacher with a robotic arm?
It sort of landed in my lap. I worked with [Jennifer’s Body producer] Jason Reitman and [writer] Diablo Cody on Juno and we sort of felt like a team, so they asked me to play Mr Wroblewski. And when I read the script that was the part I gravitated towards. For no particular reason, Diablo wrote that he has a gnarly, robotic arm and walked with a limp. And I ended up coming up with the whole back story that informed why Mr Wroblewski is the way he is, why he’s such a dork.
And the more I got into thinking about the part, the further I wanted to go with changing my look. So we not only did the limp, and the prosthetic arm, but we went with an outrageous Seventies hairpiece, and strange burn scars on my face and neck. I had a fun time doing it [laughs].
In a film that’s quite dark and violent, you’re one of the few nice characters in it.
Yeah. From what I’ve done on the Spider-Man movies, and other things from time to time, I think being the comic relief is a very fun spot to fill. And since I play some scary bad guys and cops and authority figures in other jobs, it was a nice departure to play an oddball science teacher.
Was part of the attraction of the role the opportunity to get back to Diablo Cody’s dialogue?
Yeah, absolutely. The combination of her script, and Jason being on board as producer, were really the two things that got my interest. And then I met with Karyn Kusama, our director, and we had a nice meeting and hit it off. And as tends to be the case with me and film roles, it was one of those parts I could knock out pretty quickly. I worked a few days one week, and then a few days another week. And then I pretty much had it licked, which is honestly sort of a priority for me these days. I try to be away from home as little as possible. I like my kids to recognise me.
There’s quite a strong group of women behind the film – Karyn Kusama and Diablo Cody behind the camera and Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in the lead roles – which you don’t see too often on a horror film. Did that make for an interesting dynamic on set?
Yeah, well when I was there, [producer] Dan Dubiecki and Jason and I would sort of huddle around video village and try to inject a little testosterone into it [laughs]. But it was great being a part of a female-centric film like that. Diablo obviously has such a strong voice and despite the fact that we had a male director, Juno was a female-centred film too. It’s a great perspective to have just in life in general, and as a father of a daughter too!