You might know Fisher Stevens from his stints as the creator of Johnny Five (Short Circuit), a skateboarding villain (Hackers), or that guy from Lost who got a nosebleed, and then things only got worse. But most recently, he directed Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, and Alan Arkin in the movie Stand Up Guys, which just arrived on DVD.
We snagged a few minutes with Stevens to talk about his experience directing the movie, plus whether or not Johnny Five was ACTUALLY alive. So if you want to know what really happened on that Lost finale, you better check this out.
You got to work with three legendary actors on Stand Up Guys: Walken, Arkin, and Pacino. Be honest: who was the coolest?
They’re all cool in different ways. Arkin is cool because he has great style and he’s very quick. He just makes you laugh. Walken makes you laugh in a whole ‘nother way. He’s an eccentric with an incredible grace. He’s an oddball in the most wonderful way. Al is just cool, he just epitomizes cool. He’s kinda just a ball of energy. Full of energy and life and fire. They are three of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met and they really enjoyed working together. I remember I was waiting for them on set one day and Walken and Pacino had tears in their eyes because Arkin was making them laugh so hard. Of course they wouldn’t tell me the joke
Do people dare do Walken impressions in front of Walken?
[In Walken voice.] You keep it to yourself. [Breaking.] No, he knows. But you can’t help it, he’s infectious. And everybody does it. Except for Pacino and Arkin. They never did it once
If your best friend was going to shoot you the next morning at 10 a.m. (like in Stand Up Guys), how would you spend your night?
I am about to have my first kid so I can’t really talk about that. [Laughs.] I would kinda do what they’re doing; that’s what I love about the movie, is how it ends. How it ends is probably how I would do it. In a blaze of glory with my best friend. And that wasn’t in the script. They were supposed to just walk up, cut to the building, and then it ends. But I added that whole blaze of glory shootout because if you have Pacino and Walken, you gotta have them shoot guns. And they both have their own style. If you really pay attention, they shoot very differently. But they both hate guns, even though they look like they sleep with guns
You played an Indian scientist in Short Circuit, even though you’re from Chicago. Do people still expect that you’re going to speak in the Ben Jahrvi voice?
Oh yeah. First of all, every day someone talks to me about Short Circuit. Some of the more obnoxious people ask for lines. It’s funny, I just went to India again -- the first time, I went to learn to be Ben, because I was very method -- but I went back 25 years later and my accent’s really shitty now. Can you print that
Was Johnny Five actually alive? Or just confused?
It was the same guy who was the Wizard of Oz, still behind the curtain. No, I have no idea. I wonder if they do it again if the robot should have a deeper voice. He was kinda prepubescent in the original. Maybe he can come back as a man this time. Or as a woman! Who knows
In addition to Short Circuit, you're also known for Hackers. Are you a big tech guy or just good at acting like one?
I am a disaster actually. I was given one of those early grade PowerBooks on Hackers and 18 years later, I still don’t know Command-C. I don’t know what that does. It’s sad and one of my regrets that I didn’t learn from those hackers. And buy Apple stock
Do crazy Lost fans still come up to you and grill you about your character or the show in general?
Yeah, you know it’s funny. I travel all over and that’s the one where people, whether I’m in Germany or Japan or wherever, are like, “Oh, you’re that guy from Lost!” I can’t imagine what it’s like for Matthew Fox...That [show] was a great experience. I didn’t know what I was talking about half the time, but I loved it.
You also guested on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as the newspaper critic the gang kidnaps. What was it like working with that cast for a few days?
They were wonderful. I’d never seen them before and I never saw them again. But they were great. They’re kind of inspiring, how they started that all on their own
Does Charlie Day only speak in yells in real life?
I didn’t really work with him enough to know. But probably
*The afterlife is really just a big church with evil fugitives, washed-up rockers, and some dude who's damned for eternity to only say "brotha". You're welcome.