The Movie Chris O'Dowd Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Mar 24, 2013
Originally published on March 25, 2013 8:41 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that actor Chris O'Dowd, whose credits include the TV shows The IT Crowd, Girls as well as the films Bridesmaids and The Sapphires — currently in theaters — could watch a million times is the classic romance Dirty Dancing.


Interview Highlights

On when he first saw Dirty Dancing

"I think I saw the movie for the first time when I was around 5. I grew up with three older sisters who, first of all, forced me to watch it, and later I enjoyed watching with them. They brought me over to the dark side of chick-flick-dom."

On trying to re-create his favorite scene from the movie

"I've broken windows to try and seduce a woman, but I did it with her car and she was holding the keys, so essentially I just vandalized a girl's car."

On the movie's romantic appeal

"When you watch Eli Manning throw that end pass in the Super Bowl, what was it, like two or three years ago, you know, following in his brother's footsteps, following in his father's footsteps, that's the most romantic thing in the world. If you can't watch a girl in a beautiful lake jump into a man's outstretched hands and understand romance, then I just don't get you."

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DON GONYEA, HOST:

On this show, we've been asking filmmakers about the movies that they could watch again and again, including this one from one of the stars of "Bridesmaids."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BE MY BABY")

CHRIS O'DOWD: Hi, my name is Chris O'Dowd, actor, writer and a hell of a dancer. And the movie that I have a seen a million times is "Dirty Dancing" starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BE MY BABY")

O'DOWD: I think I saw the movie for the first time when I was around five. I grew up with three older sisters who, first of all, forced me to watch it. And later, I enjoyed watching with them. They brought me over to the dark side of chick-flick-dom.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: When you're young, as well as that coming of age stuff, it felt like a million miles from the West of Ireland, the Catskills, and yeah, it felt very exciting.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: "Dirty Dancing" is a story of a girl on the verge of womanhood who goes to, like, a summer camp with her parents. She comes from quite a conservative family. Her father is a doctor.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: And it looks like it's going to be the most boring summer of her life, but then she meets Johnny...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: ...this dangerous dance instructor who looks like he's knocked up his dancing partner. But it turns out that wasn't him. That was the other guy who was supposed to be the clean-cut, nice guy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: So it's a movie where your perceptions of the way that people are are challenged and defeated because she ends up in a relationship with Johnny, and she likes his room.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: She carries him watermelons, she changes her perception in the eyes of her own father, and she becomes a woman sexually.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: It's raining outside, and your heart is pumping because you're chasing Johnny out, and he can't find his car keys. So rather than kind of going back inside like a normal man would, because Johnny is such a rogue, he just picks up some kind of weird implement from the ground, smashes his own car window with it just to protect your silly, little head from the rain.

That's the scene that I think of when I think of the movie is him kicking that thing. And then she says the classic line: You're wild.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: What?

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DIRTY DANCING")

O'DOWD: You're wild.

(LAUGHTER)

O'DOWD: I've broken windows to try and seduce a woman, but I did it with her car, and she was holding the keys. So essentially, I just vandalized a girl's car.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'VE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE")

O'DOWD: I didn't know what romance was until I saw "Dirty Dancing." And nothing has come close since. When you watch Eli Manning throw that end pass in the Super Bowl, like, what was it, like two, three years ago, you know, following in his brother's footsteps, following in his father's footsteps, that's the most romantic thing in the world.

If you can't watch a girl in a beautiful lake jump into a man's outstretched hands and understand romance, then I just don't get you.

GONYEA: That's actor Chris O'Dowd, talking about the movie that he could watch a million times, "Dirty Dancing." O'Dowd's new film, "The Sapphires," is currently in theaters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'VE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.