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“Yeah, just because the results are so readable. Drama is a subjective thing, people can enjoy it or not enjoy it for different reasons. But in comedy if people don’t laugh you haven’t done well, there’s kind of no way around it,” he says.
“It’s either funny or not funny, and generally you know yourself. I’ve very rarely done a part that I was thought was funny where people came out and said ‘Do you know what? I didn’t find that funny.’
“You kind of know yourself. It’s hard in that respect, because there are a thousand wrong ways and only one right way.”
O’Dowd has also been open about his interest in starring in a musical -- either onstage or onscreen -- and he makes no secret of his admiration for Glen Hansard’s Irish Oscar winning film Once.
“I do like the idea of modern musicals (in film). I’ve been developing a story about a character that decides that to get rid of his terrible speech impediment he’s going to sing his way through life. It’s the only thing that works for him. There is something about that idea I really do like.”
Meanwhile, though, is he getting used to the accolades for Bridesmaids? Will all the praise ever go to his head?
“I don’t think about it in those terms, because that’s too much to take in. It’s good to know it’s going well,” O’Dowd says of his career.
“Luckily I never get too caught up in that stuff whether it’s bad or good. I always try and remember that it’s never as good as people say or as bad as people say. Hopefully things will go well from here on in, but until they do everything is normal.”
Is it because he’s Irish and the Irish don’t have much patience with showoffs?
“I think that’s true. It’s because actors over here can be treated like heroes. There’s almost a beautification of people with successful film careers,” he feels.
“People in Ireland find all that a little bit silly. So Irish actors who are doing well never take themselves too seriously because they know it is just a little bit silly. I have a constant look like I’m about to be thrown from the donkey’s back.”
O’Dowd’s next big film is Friends With Kids which he filmed in New York City in February with a bunch of the same people from Bridesmaids (including Wiig and John Hamm). It’s a film about thirtysomethings navigating life and love in New York and it’ll probably be out by the end of the year, so he’s keeping busy. But busy these days still includes regular trips to Ireland.
“I get over a good bit, and I find more and more that I’m going over for religious festivals,” he says.
“I’ll be going over for my godson’s Confirmation at the end of the month. My sisters have all been engaging in a baby making competition over the last four or five years. It’s a cacophony of christenings I’ve been treated to over the last half decade. I’ll have my work cut out.”