Exclusive Interview with director Ken Scott and Patrick Huard on ‘Starbuck’ and US Remake ‘The Delivery Man’
The French-Canadian comedy “Starbuck” has been finally released in some theaters in select cities in America. It will expand with a wider release to more cities this upcoming weekend.
The plot is about a 42-year-old man who decides to finally take control of his life. However, his past as a habitual sperm donor finally catches up to him as he discovers he is the father of 533 children and with 142 of them suing for the real identity of “Starbuck.”
The movie stars Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton and Antoine Bertrand.
“Starbuck” was so successful in the Canadian box office that DreamWorks will be releasing the American remake “The Delivery Man” starring Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders and Bobby Moynihan on October 4th. Ken Scott directed both movies.
Latino-Review had the opportunity to sit down with “Starbuck” director Scott and actor Huard to discuss about the movie and its upcoming remake. And I had the opportunity to say a few French words to these French-Canadian natives.
Read the transcript below.
Latino-Review: Welcome to America. Bonjour, comment-allez vous?
Ken Scott: Oh, tres bien. Parlez-vous francais?
Latino-Review: Mais, no. Je ne parle pas en francias. Parlez en englais, s’il vous plait.
Ken Scott: [Laughter] I always get in trouble like that with my Spanish. My Spanish is not so good, but I have a great Spanish accent. Like I could great somebody is my first thing, but no—that was it.
Latino-Review: [Laughter] Let’s go ahead and get started. What inspired you to make a movie like this?
Ken Scott: It’s the desire to actually explore fatherhood. The premise came from my co-writer, Martin Petit. There was an idea about this sperm donor that got stuck with many, many kids. What was a great premise, we felt it gave us the opportunity to explore on what fatherhood is all about.
Latino-Review: Was it derived from a story that you may have heard of? Did you actually meet somebody who had 500 kids? Or you read it on the news?
Ken Scott: What happened was we settled on a number of kids, because we wanted it to be a comedy. We started to write the movie and we thought it could be at 150 kids. Each day when we come in to write this story, we struggled with the fact that 150 is a lot and will people find it believable. The fact that it’s such a high number, it gave us the opportunity to do some good comedy.
It was a struggle. So several weeks into the process, it actually came out in the news that there was a sperm donor had 250 kids. And then we started to do some research and realized that there are several stories out there about donors ending up with 150 or 250 kids. There’s even a guy in the U.K. with 500 kids.
Latino-Review: So you started to research?
Ken Scott: We didn’t do any research.
Latino-Review: You mean that you didn’t interview them.
Ken Scott: No, we didn’t interview them, because the movie is just an exploration on what fatherhood is all about.
Patrick Huard: It’s under the situation with 533 kids, basically like watching it with a magnifying glass.
Latino-Review: I thought it was hilarious.
Patrick Huard: When you magnify something—you start to think about all the little details that we have every day and don’t see anymore. Now you see everything again. You see how bad you need to adapt to be a good dad.
It’s all about adaptation. You can have one kid, but another one will have a totally different fatherhood. Your kids grow up and you’ll have to adapt to these kids who grew up with different fathers as they’re teenagers. That’s the great thing about the whole premise of having 533 kids.
Latino-Review: Only a few kids are featured in the movie. How did you decide on which kid to feature? Obviously, one was a soccer player. Another was working at a restaurant and an actor. How did you choose which one was the most appropriate? Did you have like a 100 different characters to choose from?
Ken Scott: Not a hundred, but we had quite a few. We wanted to explore very, very different archetypes for the [main] character, David, to explore his different feelings. So we tried to be very different in the samples of kids that we went to. That is how we choose the kids for the movie through the experiences of the main character, played by Patrick Huard. He would go through the different emotions with each kid.
Latino-Review: So each of the kids then represent the different emotions, right? So which one is your favorite kid?
Patrick Huard: Umm, you cannot ask that question. [Laughter]
Ken Scott: You love them all the same.
Patrick Huard: And, that’s the truth. I mean I was that guy and I loved them all. Every time those young actors walking on the set—I was so happy to see them. What I loved the most is when we had scenes with all of them. To look at all of them interacting together was very touching. We all became very good friends.
Latino-Review: You’re talking about the camp scene in the film?
Patrick Huard: Yeah, that’s one. And there’s the hospital scene where everybody came. There is so much great energy. As an actor, it’s not often to have the privilege to play so many different actors throughout one movie. It’s really rare and it’s a lot of fun.
Latino-Review: Let me be honest, I was laughing and crying at the same time. That was the simple reaction.
Patrick Huard: That is the reaction I had when I first read the script. It was in the morning and I was in my office at home. Nobody else was home and I poured myself some coffee. I started to read that story and I was laughing out loud by myself. And crying by myself. All this happened at 8:30 in the morning reading a script. So that’s the thing that this story does. I think it’s just crazy…..in a good way.
Latino-Review: The premise of the story can be unbelievable though. Can a person really donate enough sperm for 500 children? The movie even referred Starbuck as “El Masturbator” in a public ridicule. What would you do in that situation in real life? What would you do if you found out you had 500 children?
Ken Scott: Yeah, I guess I would have a great Father’s Day. [Laughter]
Patrick Huard: Yeah, I would be set up with golf balls forever. But, I probably would want to hide.
Latino-Review: You wouldn’t want to try to meet them?
Patrick Huard: No, I will. I would be too curious. I don’t think I could stand thinking about human beings with my own blood and not potentially seeing them.
Ken Scott: I think it’s something that evolves. I’ve never donated, but it depends on the opportunity we have in life. There was the opportunity when I was younger and would be curious. Maybe I would’ve donated when I was 19 and to think, “Yeah, sure. Why not?” But, now that I’m 42—it’s impossible to think about donating sperm and not [attempting to see them.]
Patrick Huard: When I was 19 and knew I could get paid for that…..I would’ve had something to eat. [Laughter] That’s why it was so easy to play that character. When you start thinking about it—it’s so logical. The whole process that the character goes through all of this—I’m sure that is how I would’ve reacted in real life. I don’t know if I would’ve been as good as he is since the character is so lovable and so nice to people. I think I would’ve done the same thing.
Latino-Review: One last question, this movie is going to be remade under your direction and starring Vince Vaughn in “Delivery Man.” How are you going to approach this towards the American audiences since this movie is so good? And, Patrick, will you be guest starring in this upcoming movie?
Patrick Huard: No, I will not be in the movie. I was too expensive. [Laughter]
Ken Scott: Yeah, he’s out of price.
Latino-Review: [Laughter] I guess he’s a bigger name than Vince Vaughn. Seriously, how are you going to approach this differently for the American version?
Ken Scott: It’s trying to tell the story in the right fashion. It’s not about trying to be the same or trying to be different. The motivation is trying to tell the story in the right way. And we’ll be integrating the American culture right into the story.
Latino-Review: Thank you, very much.
Ken Scott and Patrick Huard: Thank you. Au revior.