Captain Stacy – Dr. Denis Leary

Denis was our first interview of the day, and when he walked in he shook our hands, sat down at the table, and as we all positioned our smartphones around the table, he did the same.  Immediately he had this air of confidence and cockiness without being an asshole.

Yes, the Dr. was a complete class act, and if you follow what he has done around this country setting up different organizations and championing fundraisers for fallen heroes and their families, that should really be no surprise.  While he may play an asshole on TV, he was anything but as we grilled him about being Captain Stacy.

What was it like to be in this big Marvel film?

I spoke to Marc before I read the script, and he explained all this character and acting stuff, and I had seen his first movie, 500 Days of Summer, and it was kind of interesting this little indie filmmaker guy is talking about this big action film as if it were a character piece.  Then I read the script and I went, oh, ok.  It was really like we were making a character piece that had a bunch of action in it . . . it was great.”

Did you ever want to be in a Spider-Man film?

“I’m a Batman guy, when I go to Batman movies I always think, yea, I’d love to be a bad guy in a Batman movie.  I was so busy with Rescue Me when the darker Batman films were shooting, but I never thought, yea, I’d like to be a good guy in a Spider-Man movie.  I’m generally more interested in the bad guys, so it was kinda weird when Marc called me about it.  I truly didn’t like Superman, I really liked Batman.  In this I think it is really interesting seeing how Garfield plays this guy as like a real working-class guy with some darker elements to it.  He’s not a rich guy, he’s like a normal guy.”

Do you feel like you identify more with the macho, tough-guy characters?

“I always was more attracted to the darker personalities.  The thing with Rescue Me, I guess with Marc it made him think I could play an authority figure.  I know he is a fireman, but we thought we were writing a show about an alcoholic adrenaline junky.  I know he’s supposed to be a hero in his job, but he’s a really fucked up guy.  So, that’s just more fun to me, ya know.  I don’t really have a lot of fun playing the straight-good guys, that’s more Tom Hanks territory.”

Did you grab any inspiration from the Batman universe to play your Captain?

“No, you know, Webb knew the ins and outs of these characters, so I got a lot of stuff from him.  I don’t know the story that well, I have a good friend of mine who is a huge Spider-Man freak and he says I look like Captain Stacy.  And he was saying, ‘Hey Man, Captain Stacy is like this‘ and I was like, Hey Man don’t tell me how to play my character.  But I spoke to Marc and he was like, your friend is right, so I felt like I had all the information I needed when I started out, plus Marc is really good at reminding you of where you need to go.”

[It was at this point that I started chuckling to myself, wait a minute, Marc Webb, the director of a Spider-Man film, come on, that’s funny shit!  But I remained professional as the interview continued]

You had to be a gentle guy in the cramp scene?

“That is the powerlessness of being a father, a lot of that scene was improvised.  She is really good, and they are both [Garfield] gonna be around for a long time.  Emma was coming out of that room improvising, coming out saying whatever she wanted to, and staying in character.  I was trying to stay in character, but I was like, fuck, what a great thing to say, no dad is gonna keep having that conversation.  It was the perfect thing to say, you know?”

What was your favorite scene to shoot?  [BIG SPOILER ALERT if you listen to the audio here]

“I really enjoyed shooting the end, because I got to shoot that shotgun.  My favorite part was really just in the beginning and getting to know Andrew and Emma, Rhys and Marc.  And Rhys is like that kid in the back of the room who always says the funny thing. Takes me right back to talking behind the nuns back, in grade school. So that was really a lot of fun.  Most of the time we were in the back saying ‘I can’t believe how fucking talented these two kids are, how great they are going to be, you know.”

How did your kids feel about you being in this movie?

It’s the first time I have been cool, probably since they have been eight and six.  They are not impressed by anything.  This is the first time they have asked to come to the premiere and I was like, I don’t know, let me think about it.”

I finished off the interview with, “Well we think you are pretty cool.”  Dr. Denis Leary then said, “I hope you print that, I am going to tell them, see this reporter thinks I am pretty cool!”  Dude, I mean, Dr. Dude, I mean Dr. Denis Freakin’ Leary – you sir are the precise definition of cool, and if I had a printing press I would print that shit tonight!





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