Linda Cardellini finds herself stuck in the middle of a father and step-father in new comedy Daddy's Home, which sees her team up with Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell. The movie has been a big box office hit and is out on DVD & Blu-ray today.
We caught up with the actress to chat about the film, working with director Sean Anders, and other projects that she has on the horizon as we go through 2016.
- Daddy's Home is about to be released here on DVD in the UK. Can you tell me a bit about the film for anyone who hasn't seen it yet?
It's about a biological father who comes back into the picture after his wife is remarried and I play the wife and have two small children. It's about these two fathers vying for the wife and the children's attention and having a dad-off if you will. It's about who becomes the best dad in everybody's eyes.
- The movie sees you take on the role of Sarah, what was it about this character and the screenplay that was the major draw for you?
Well, I had worked with Will as a producer on this movie that I had done beforehand called 'Welcome To Me' with Kristen Wiig. I had such a great experience with this group of people and then they were talking about this film that they had coming up which was about two dads vying for the attention of the family and that it was going to be Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell.
Hearing the pitch and hearing about how Mark Wahlberg, instead of being the total deadbeat dad, was this absentee but awesome charismatic bad boy who comes back into the picture and makes the really nice doting Will Ferrell stepfather feel completely insecure and what that does - I thought that was a funny premise. Then to see the woman in the middle of that who is also sort of the sane one keeping it centred and grounded between the two of them seemed like a lot of fun to me.
- Can you talk a bit about the character Sarah and how we're going to see her develop throughout the film?
Well one thing that I like about her is that when you meet her and the two men you realise that she has had this past that some of us have as women where we have this wild inner crazy taste in men and then when you sort of settle down you realise that that's not the best idea for your family dynamic.
Here it shows that she has this wilder side, that she was in love with Mark Wahlberg's character Dusty and that didn't work out, but she is still trying to make it work as many families have to nowadays you know with her new husband and the life that she has her family settled into and the balancing between the two families.
- And working alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, who've obviously worked together before, how did you find working with them and what was it like watching their on-screen chemistry?
It was great, I mean they're both really talented and really exceptional at what they do and so to be part of that was great. I was really lucky in my career as I've gotten to work with incredibly talented people but they are also incredibly kind to everybody there on set, on camera and off camera.
I mean it was a really great environment to be working in and you know coming from the producers, as Will was one of the producers, all the way down to everybody working on the film it was just like a really really nice vibe and I feel like this movie has a warmth that was also on the set itself.
- How much improvisation was there on set? How much is improvisation something you enjoy as an actor?
I love it! I love it! Whether it's in comedy or drama you always have a chance to do what's written for you and to also have a chance to feel it out and see what comes naturally out of your mouth in a given situation for me as an actor I think it's really really fun.
Then to be there on set watching somebody who is a real genius at it as Will is also such fun. And you know it's great, we played a lot, there was a lot of playing and some of it made it into the movie and some of it doesn't but it always makes for a fun feel on set.
- The movie marks the return of Sean Anders to the director's chair, how did you find him as a filmmaker and how collaborative was it between the actors and the director?
He's incredibly collaborative you know, even though they write, him and John, and they directed it, they're never very precious about it. They were happy to welcome ideas and keep it open for everybody to feel involved in the creative process. They're very very nice, and Sean is a really sweet person and watching him interact with the children, he was really great with them and the kids are so good in the movie.
- Daddy's Home is a big box office hit over here, how have you been finding the response to the film?
You know it's funny because everybody I know who has gone to see it was part of a giant family so they go and see it in different places and people applaud at the end of the movie, which I find so exciting because I don't know whether that necessarily happens that much anymore.
- Away from Daddy's Home, we are also going to be seeing you star in The Founder, so can you tell me a bit about that project?
The story of McDonalds and the founder, well Ray Croft who claimed to be the founder of McDonalds and it tells of his relationship with getting that franchise, what we know of McDonalds now, up and running and what that meant for the McDonald's brothers.
So it was a little-known story about something we all see every day, I mean we see the golden arches all the time everywhere. The planet doesn't necessarily know the story and I think that's what's really exciting about it.
- We are also going to be seeing you reprise the role of Meg Rayburn in Bloodline, so what lies in store for your character this time around?
A lot of turmoil! Which is really great because I spend most of my year on bloodline and then go a play a comedy or a period piece like 'The Founder' so it's fun for me. Yes, it's very very dramatic, very tense as everything sort of spins out of control and gets even darker sort of than the actions of last season.
- Throughout your career, we have seen you move between television and film, so how do the two mediums compare/differ? How much do you enjoy moving between the two?
I love moving between the two, I think being able to do both is what keeps me really satisfied in terms of acting because they are different muscles. Being on a series is open-ended, your character is open ended and doing a film is the story from beginning to middle and end that you know when you enter into it. Acting is still acting but what you know going in, what your givens are different in the two.
- Finally, what's next for you?
I've just finished shooting Bloodline which comes out at the end of May, wrapping that up and getting out there and talking about the new season.
Daddy's Home is out now on Digital HD, and available on Blu-ray and DVD now.