Even though Aziz Ansari plays the terrified straight man (relatively speaking) to Jesse Eisenberg’s incidental miscreant in 30 Minutes Or Less—the new comedy from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer—few straight answers were forthcoming from the Parks and Recreation jokester during the course of our runaway gab session. And with a barrage of what seemed more like punchlines than answers, it was best to just go with the flow, as the high-energy, always-on Ansari led the way, in circles, around our zany conversation.
Did you ever have a really awful job, like Jesse’s Eisenberg’s pizza delivery guy in the movie? Right now I manage a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.! I didn’t film anything during my hiatus from Parks and Recreation, so just to keep funds flowing in, I took that job.
There’s an awful lot of bromance going on in the movie. So when does it stop being bromance and become full-on gay? Can everybody stop saying bromance? For some reason it bothers me! There is an alternate ending shot, where we all f**k each other! But when we watched it we were like, “This is turning into a gay thing!”
So were you flipping out while Jesse was driving that car at dangerous speeds during the chase scenes? It’s Jesse in the driver’s seat, but on the passenger side it’s actually not me. It’s actually Jamie Foxx, and they CGI’ed my face. Because I was too scared!
How much of all the joking around was made up on the spot? We all improvised so much. And I think it’s a credit to [director] Ruben [Fleischer], and the editors and producers. They did a great job of just filtering all the stuff we did, to [find] the best stuff. And when I watched the movie, I was like “What? That made it in? And that made it in too?”
Is there a sequel coming up? Well, we shot this scene where, after [the movie ends], it’s like a couple of days later. And Jesse’s character comes back and knocks on my door. He’s got another bomb, and is like, “Here we go again!” And that’s how the second film will start! No, in the sequel, instead of that guy in the gorilla mask, it’s that talking gorilla from Zookeeper! It could be an interesting direction to take things. Just sayin’!
Getting back to all the bromance, what did you think when you got to watch the movie? We didn’t really have a lot of scenes together, so to see what everybody else did with all their scenes was amazing. I think every person in the film really made their character their own. And that’s a credit to Ruben, to encourage us to do that kind of thing. The movie just, like, moves really fast. And again, it’s Ruben. Like the first time I saw Zombieland, I was like “Wow, there’s not a moment to be bored. It just like keeps moving.” And I felt the same way about this.
Wait a minute, which movie are you talking about? Zookeeper!