There seems to be a fascination with uncovering who someone is, even if it is a total stranger. We’ve all hard that moment of seeing someone in public and wondering to ourselves “Who is that person? And what is their story?”
The new movie The Right One, which is out on VOD now, manages to tap into that state of mind. The film follows a writer who is chasing a mysterious man around town who utilizes different alter-egos throughout his day. One day you’ll find him as the best salesperson at his office, sporting a Mohawk. The next, he’s a female country singer. And after that? He’s a DJ wearing a bright oversized mascot bear head. The writer is so taken with him that she begins secretly using this man as inspiration for her next book. And all the while, the question still remains: Just who is this guy?
Nick Thune seems to be the perfect choice to play someone who is so multi-faceted. His own dry, matter-of-fact style seems to blend perfectly with a character who has you questioning his motivation and what is really him and his own thought process throughout the film. And as Thune himself tells us, it’s the scenes where his character Godfrey is interacting with children that the light can be shined on the man behind all the personas. At that point, everything seems to add up on who this guy is. And Thune seems to deliver upon that to a T.
We recently spoke over the phone with Thune about the character of Godfrey, what were his favorite personalities to play, working with children, the most spontaneous thing he has ever done, and what he ultimately wants his legacy to be.
The character that you play in the film has many different layers and components to him. What initially attracted you to this film?
Whenever I see something that I’m not sure I can do, but I know that if I commit to it maybe I’ll be able to, I tend to jump in. And I saw this as something that I wanted to be able to do, and knowing that if I had the right attitude and “one day at a time” mentality of taking these characters on one by one that it would be possible. I loved the thought of just stretching myself. Really just letting go of my pride and failing. And a lot of times, letting go of your pride and failing is the right thing. And that’s when they say “We got it.”
And there are a bit of more dramatic scenes in the film as well. As a comedian, what’s your thought process going into some of those?
You know, it’s the same thing for me with comedy. With my comedy, I try to hide it with insincerity a lot of the times and hoping that everybody is kind of on the page with me. And taking away the hiding and just being sincere is something that I’ve learned to do with my comedy. And once I realized that, like “Oh, you’re doing your jokes but you’re not actually telling a joke,” and the way that I present things to the audience in a conversational manner or something, that made it a lot easier for me to be able to do that. And I mean I hope I did it right. I don’t know. You never really know.
Well I definitely really enjoyed the sincerity you brought to it. So what would you say were some of your favorite aspects of playing this character?
Well I loved the aspect of working with the kids and him going to the school. Because before I moved to LA and started pursuing stand-up at a full time rate, I was working at the Boys and Girls Club as a teen director for like 6 years in Seattle. So it’s like if a baseball player became an actor and they’re like “Hey. This next scene you get to play baseball.” And it’s like “What? I can do the thing that I know how to do? Oh great.”
So that was really fun to try to connect with those kids and do those scenes. Because those were the scenes that grounded me the most in who Godfrey was, you know? Until that last scene, he’s really dodging everything. A lot of it is moody walking around when you see him. But those were the scenes where I got to bring out this guy that actually has joy and is a person who can contribute to society.
And what I love about that is how there’s some childlike elements to Godfrey. So it’s never that he’s talking down to the kids, but always on the same level.
Yeah. I really like that. And it was fun to hang out with kids for a day, too. Because I’m a father. I’m in Vancouver right now shooting something else. And you’re away from your family. It was fun to watch these kids work really hard and try and be really good and their parents are there and they’re proud of them. It was a nice break from the norm.
And of all the different personas that you take on throughout the film, which was your favorite to play?
Mateo was really fun, we don’t really know where he’s from but the European guy. And it was fun because I just didn’t think I could do accents. So doing that, I honestly felt… “Not that this isn’t a real accent that goes anywhere. But I am able to let myself go and fall into this.” And I really enjoyed that. And I liked how physical he was with the dancing and stuff. And I loved being the woman as well.
I love that there was no effort to hide your beard whatsoever when you were the woman.
I know. That was what was so fun. Absolutely being committed to something, despite the fact that people around me are looking at me like “What’s this? What’s going on here?”
And as the character is so spontaneous and unpredictable, I’ve gotta ask, what is the most spontaneous and unpredictable thing that you’ve ever done?
This New Year’s, I wanted to be at the beach for the sunset in LA. I just wanted to be there for like the last sunset for 2020, this really tough year for a lot of people. And as I got there, I was gonna miss the sunset. I had to park, so I was like running towards the beach through the streets in a neighborhood. And I just started taking my clothes off as I was getting closer. And there was like hundreds of people spread on this big beach in Marina Del Rey. And nobody’s in the water. And everybody’s just watching. I was holding all of my clothes and I had like boxer shorts on. And I just ran into the water and dove into the water on December 31st. It was freezing. Everyone’s in jackets. And everybody cheered. (Laughs). It was like a beach of people cheering. “Yes! Do it!” And it felt right. And it felt like that. And then for the next four hours, I was worried that that I had COVID. Turns out it’s just the reaction your body has to submerging itself into freezing water.
Wow. I love that. And I can’t help but wonder if anyone watching were thinking “Is that Nick Thune?”
Well I didn’t read about it anywhere. So I don’t think so.
I guess no one Tweeted it at you. And the last thing I want to ask is something I like to usually ask. Which is, after all is said and done, what would you want your legacy to be?
Being stupid. (Laughs). One time somebody said this in the front row. I told a joke with all sincerity. It’s one of my better jokes at the time. And I heard somebody say to the person next to them, as the whole audience is laughing, “That was stupid”. And I just thought “That’s what I want. Yes! It is stupid. I’m not trying for it to be anything other than stupid.” And I hope that I can keep kind of bringing that element to my career because if that’s the response that I get, I would love that.
The Right One is available on VOD now.