Yes, that Ken Marino. You’ve seen him in something. He’s one of the hardest working character actors in Hollywood, popping up in shows like Veronica Mars, Party Down, Wet Hot American Summer, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine — to only name a few. But he’s not just a funny face. Marino’s latest movie, How To Be A Latin Lover, is also his feature-length directorial debut. That means he was responsible for coaxing great performances out of his cast. So he shared with us his favourite acting lesson, which he learned from the great thespian Steve Gutenberg.
“Growing up, there was a movie called Diner that really inspired me, with Steve Gutenberg and Mickey Rourke and Paul Reiser. And in that movie there’s a great acting moment that I’ve never forgotten. It was such a small, nuanced thing, but I always think about it when I’m acting or when I direct somebody, because I love these little moments that make things specific and real. In that movie, Steve Gutenberg gets woken up by Tim Daly, and he immediately goes into the bathroom and brushes his teeth — but he doesn’t put any toothpaste on his toothbrush. He’s sort of a slob, so he doesn’t use any toothpaste. He just brushes his teeth real quick and keeps getting dressed. I always found that to be such a specific character choice. I know it’s such a small thing compared to everything that happens in the movie, but I liked it. When I worked on Party Down, we did an episode with Steve Gutenberg where he played a version of himself. I met him and I remember talking to him about it. He was really flattered.”