It’s been a busy year for James Marsden, who had dramatically different roles in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ film The Butler (as JFK), and comedy sequel Anchorman 2 (as Will Ferrell’s rival newsman). And things won’t be slowing down for the multi-faceted actor in 2014, as he already has a number of projects in the pipeline.
Wetpaint Entertainment was able to catch up with James exclusively last week in NYC at Sharps Barber and Shop in Le Parker Meridien Hotel, where he was helping to launch Old Spice’s new hair care and styling product lineup and “Hair That Gets Results” ad campaign.
During our chat, we got him to dish on what it was like reuniting with his Anchorman 2 castmates for a “dark and weird” new project, which Oscar-nominated films he’s excited about, and whether he’ll ever return to TV.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What made you decide to team up with Old Spice for their new men’s hair care line?
James Marsden: It’s more that I’m celebrating with them for their release of the new hair products. I’ve been a fan of the brand for a while, and I love what they’ve been doing in their marketing lately. It cracks me up and it cracks my oldest son up. So it was a fun company to support. It’s a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has fun with it.
We thought The Butler was robbed in this year’s Oscar nominations — and you were great in it! Is there any movie you’re hoping will get a win on Oscar night?
There’s still so many movies I haven’t seen this awards season. I want to see Her. 12 Years a Slave is one I also still haven’t seen.
What projects are you working on right now?
I just finished the whole Anchorman 2 tour, which was fun. Now I’m getting ready to start filming this movie with Jack Black called Lawless — they’re changing the title, though. It’s going to be fun to work with him on a comedy. I’m also doing a Kristen Wiig movie called Welcome to Me that [Anchorman 2 director] Adam McKay and Will Ferrell produced, which is coming out this year.
Was it fun to reunite with Will and Kristen after working with them on Anchorman 2?
Yeah, we’re like a little family. At least that’s the way I feel — hopefully they feel the same way! We picked up right where we left off.
Is it similar to things Will and Adam have produced in the past (Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Talledega Nights)?
It’s not your typical Adam McKay movie. It’s not directed by Adam either. It’s a really interesting, bizarre script that’s perfect for Kristen. The comedy element that needs to be there for the role is perfect for her. It’s a little darker and weirder than they usually go. But I was also part of the movie Bachelorette that they produced before Anchorman 2.
Bachelorette was great! That was dark and weird, also. Do you think that’s the direction you’re headed in these days?
More comedy than dark and weird. Sort of dark and weird comedy… smart, intelligent comedy. Nothing too hokey or over-the-top.
Speaking of comedy, we loved you on 30 Rock. Are you open to returning to TV any time soon?
I am open to it. It’s all about the material — and a lot of the great material is on TV these days. Material and showrunner, I’d say are the most important things. You get to that point where you want to spend some more time with your kids, and be in town and stop traveling so much. Getting on a really cool TV show that shoots in town would definitely be something that I’d want to do.
Do you want James Marsden back on your TV screens? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.