Fame & Fortune: Bobcat Goldthwait

Bankrate: Robin had some great moments of tension in this film, especially a scene on a talk show where he has to publicly display love for his son while suppressing his contempt. How did you get him where he needed to be for that?

Bobcat Goldthwait: Robin may have actually had a breakdown making this movie. By the time we got to the talk-show scene, we both were really exhausted. We'd been working for four weeks around the clock, and he would be dealing with tragedy and getting beaten up all day. So we shot this scene, and it wasn't working, and both of us knew it. And I said, "Just play this. Play how absurd all this is." And we did another take, and that's what came out and that's what's in the movie. And he goes, "I think I had a breakdown." I go, "Are you OK?" He goes, "Yeah." I go, "Can you do it again?"

Bankrate: The recession has made it tougher to get projects done in Hollywood, but it's also reduced the fees that stars -- possibly like Robin -- are being paid. What effect did the recession have on your ability to get "World's Greatest Dad" made?

Bobcat Goldthwait: When we went to Sundance with "Sleeping Dogs Lie," there were a lot of people buying movies. This time, three of the companies that bought movies then don't even exist anymore. I was at this breakfast thing that Robert Redford throws, and I'm paraphrasing here, but he was talking about the recession, and he asked, "Why are you making these movies?" And I'm not making these movies to hit the lottery. Finishing these movies and having an audience, even if it's a small audience, that's the destination. Sundance is the destination. The idea that I get to watch my movie with 4,000 people in one week exceeds my expectations. So this one's weird, because now more people might be able to see it, and that's exciting and nerve-wracking.

Bankrate: You were a successful stand-up comic, and now you're directing Oscar-winning actors. Is being a director finally earning you a better living than being a successful stand-up?

Bobcat Goldthwait: No, not at all. I do stand-up so I can keep making indie movies. Stand-up comedy supports my movie habit.

Bankrate: How often do you do stand-up now?

Bobcat Goldthwait: I just came back from eight cities in 10 days. Because of the recession, I do more dates to make the same amount of money. But as my girlfriend would say, "That's like saying my diamond shoes are too tight." It's like, "Boo hoo." A lot of people don't have jobs. You're lucky you have to do three nights at the Funny Bone instead of one, and you can still make your nut.

Bankrate: And do you still get checks from the "Police Academy" films?

Bobcat Goldthwait: No. Those disappeared. When Ronald Reagan was in charge of SAG, he struck a deal where the money you get back gets cut in half every time. So eventually it just disappears.

Bankrate: Do you anticipate a time when you'll just be a full-time director, making a great living that way?

Bobcat Goldthwait: Nah, I don't see myself making a living as a director. I don't count on it as an income. But I don't see myself stopping making movies.

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