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THE ACTORS

Seth Green learns new tricks in 'Old Dogs'

He gets to riff with his idol Robin Williams in the Disney comedy.

November 01, 2009|Michael Ordona

Disney's family comedy "Old Dogs" stars Robin Williams and John Travolta as aging bachelors, lifelong friends and business partners who have to take care of a pair of kids, perhaps at the peril of the biggest deal they've ever made. Is this light family comedy a surprising place to find the likes of . . . Seth Green?

"I don't know, I don't know what people think of me! If you look at my filmography, I'm all over the place," says the Seth Green of "Can't Hardly Wait" and "Rat Race." The Seth Green of "Entourage," "Austin Powers" and the extremely impolite -- and hilarious -- "Robot Chicken" might not be so comfortable in the tailored suits of Ralph, Williams and Travolta's hard-driving protege in "Old Dogs," which opens Nov. 25.

"The [filmmakers] said this is going to get filled with people who make stuff out of little stuff. They wanted to bring in actors who were good at improv to fill in all the supporting parts," says Green, listing Justin Long, Matt Dillon, Dax Shepard and Luis Guzman among his fellow recruits.

"Plus, I'm a huge fan of John and Robin and all my scenes would be with them. That's kind of an unbeatable possibility, getting to improv with one of the greatest improvisers ever," he says of working with Williams. "Here was a huge opportunity to not just be in a movie with one of my heroes, but literally do what I'd dreamed of doing with him all my life. So why would I not do that?"

The youthful-looking 35-year-old is still jazzed about getting to know his idol.

"I've had a lot of surreal experiences in my life, a lot of things I have to recognize later actually happened in my real life, and this is one of them. I'd met Robin before but never worked with him, which is a totally different thing. I wasn't nervous, per se, but I wanted to get it right, make a good first impression," he says, demonstrating his game face. "So I see him on set. I was like, 'Hey, Robin.' He's like, 'I . . . love "Robot Chicken!" ' "

Green starts gasping: " 'That . . . totally throws my game off. What did you say?' It's one thing to work with somebody and interact with them; it's another thing for them, at a distance, to see something you've done and take note of it. That was really cool. Blew my mind."

Green had appeared in movies with Travolta before ("I was 'Youth No. 2 at Hot Dog Stand' in 'White Man's Burden.' And he was in 'Goldmember' "), but the two had never actually acted together.

"He's just so fun to be around, such an amazing presence. The second you are in the same space with him it's so understandable why he's a movie star. He radiates a likable charisma. I don't know anyone who dislikes him."

As to the main event, Green says seeing Williams and Travolta together at last did not disappoint:

"It was fun because they've known each other for 30 years and they'd never made a movie together. So they had a very natural, playful relationship on set. It's so visible on camera. So I got to be part of that; by association, I got caught up in that good time."

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