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Pauly Shore Talks His New Movie Guest House - Exclusive Interview

Guest House sees a young couple purchase their first house, an absolute dream property. There's just one problem: there's a drug-addled, sex-crazed loser bumming in the guest house... and he's not leaving without a fight. This guest house squatter is played by Gen X comedy icon Pauly Shore, who is indeed still out there plugging away in Hollywood. There's also a pretty solid cast — including names as disparate as Billy Zane, Aimee Teegarden, and Steve-O. The creative team includes Troy Duffy, who wrote the Boondock Saints movies, and is directed by first time director Sam Macaroni, who has experience in comedy but also coordinated the VR fight scenes in John Wick 3.

Shore spoke with Looper via Zoom about Guest House and, to an extent, his overall career. He told us about Zane doing comedy, the actual goings-on in the guest house, and what he likes about simple premises. This interview was lightly edited due to a few charming Weasel-esque digressions. He celebrated the results of the 2020 presidential election, and also recommended House of Nanking, which he calls the best Chinese restaurant in San Francisco: "It's one of those places that you go to and you just have them order for you. They have great sautéed scallops."

Working on Guest House

What attracted you to Guest House in the first place?

I think the simplicity of it, just me in a guest house. I think with my stuff, especially if I'm starring in something, it's better to make it very simple, Pauly in the Army, Pauly on the farm, Pauly in the Bio-Dome, Pauly in the guest house.

So your character, did you see him as an agent of chaos or just someone who would bring people to the lowest points? Or something else?

Well, the motivation... I mean, I don't want to ruin the ending, but the motive... As an actor, there's always a reason why people act a certain way. So for me, acting crazy in this particular film was... there was a motivation because we find out at the end what happens, so a lot of it is an act and a lot of it's not an act. A lot of people like my stuff from back in the day, so they like me being, I don't know, a little out there and a little crazy. So this is me several years later, my character.

The general idea of a Pauly Shore role to most people is pretty outlandish. Would you say that's accurate?

Yeah. Well, I was raised by comedians, so what do you expect?

What's it like working with director Sam Macaroni? Because he has a very interesting track record.

It was cool. I definitely took a chance, he took a chance, that's what this is. Everyone hurdles together and we all worked as a team. And Sam came from YouTube videos and he had never directed a feature film. But he was passionate about it, so I took a chance. It was interesting because also when I did Encino Man, the director of Encino Man years ago, Les Mayfield, he'd never directed a movie either. So sometimes you'd give people chances and it works.

Troy Duffy of Boondock Saints fame was one of the writers of Guest House. Did you get to meet with him at all?

Yeah, I met with Troy when we first started working on the movie and he was cool. And also Sean, the other writer, they were good guys. They had a very simple premise and that's where it always starts off with. It always starts off with a simple idea and then from there, you just have to execute it with the cast and the producers and the writers. And so everyone, we all worked as a team. That's the main thing when you work on stuff, it's a team effort, so we all helped out each other.

Working with Billy Zane and possum puppets

You didn't spend many scenes with him, but what's it like working with Billy Zane? He's definitely the biggest name in this movie besides you.

Billy's great. It's almost like when Robert De Niro did Analyze This. He did a film where he was known for just drama and then you put De Niro in a comedy, it was just great. So with Billy it's the same kind of feel. Billy is such a good actor and he's been acting for so long, but I've never seen him do comedy. So it was really pleasant to see him, I don't know, play it serious but knowing it was funny. A lot of the best comedy comes from just being real, so he was just great.

One of the things that stood out in this film was the drugged possum puppet. Can you tell me any more about that?

It was a character that Sam and the writers came up with, and Troy. And it just played well and it was the storyline of this crazy... It was a flakka possum and I didn't even know what flakka was before I did the movie. I didn't know it was some crazy drug, I'd never heard about it before. Then when we researched it, I'm like, "Oh man, that's real." It was a callback, we had it earlier in the film. We had videos of the flakka possum and then it finally came to my place. And then... I don't want to tell the whole story, but all hell breaks loose.

What was the puppet actually like? Were you on set with the puppet?

Yeah, I saw the puppet. It was cool and they did a great job with it. It didn't look cheesy. Sam was really particular about it looking real and again, the best comedy comes from real. If you start getting too wacky, then I think it just becomes silly. I'm glad that you liked the possum.

You got beat up a lot in this film. How do you choreograph those fights?

I'm used to getting beat up. Look at me. Right?

The Bill Hicks story, the evolution of comedy, and Andy Dick

There's a story about you that's been floating around the internet that I want confirmation on. Is it true that Bill Hicks drove you to school?

No, that's not true.

It's not true?

No, he drove me to my drug dealer's house.

[Pause] Okay, so —

I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. No, no. Bill Hicks I'd known for a long time back in the day, but no. It was mostly other comedians that were there, Mike Binder, Sam Kinison, I don't know. There was a lot of other comedians that were around, but Bill Hicks wasn't really around the Comedy Store a lot.

So he didn't drive you to school?

No, sir.

Oh, well that answers a mystery right there. So you grew up in the outlaw comic era. I know Sam Kinison was very important in your life. Can you draw a line between outlaw comics and where you are right now, or that scene?

I don't think it's really comedy, I think it's the world. I think when we go out in public nowadays, everyone's really more self-aware about, you go out and have some beers with a bunch of friends. There's somewhat of an angst in the air a little bit because everyone's got these phones and no one trusts everyone. And "Oh my God, what are these people doing?" But back in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, people weren't doing things that were anything different than they are now. People are still having fun, but I think there was more of an innocence when you go out, you're high-fiving people, you're having a good time. People are more, I don't know, they had the guards less up. Does that make sense?

Yeah, I get what you're saying.

Because everyone's so nervous about "Oh, if I do something or say something that's not right..." Back in the day, it wasn't like that so it wasn't just comedy, it was the world.

You've been obviously around a lot of comedians and you've been on set with a lot of amazing people. Who is the funniest person you've either been on set with or spent time with?

Andy Dick was pretty funny. When we did the In the Army Now movie, he was great. Andy, to me, especially back then when he first started out, was this raw, untouched talent and this was before he went super wild in his personal life. This was when he was, I'd have to say innocent. He just pretty innocent and free and he was just fun. And I love Andy Dick, very funny guy.

Favorite moments on set, current projects, and Bio-Dome 2

So any memorable moments from the Guest House set?

Well, Bobby Lee's in it. We were doing a scene where he's in the sex swing and that's above my bed, the Tommy Lee sex swing. And I was improving and messing with him, kind of dry humping him in a way because he's in the sex swing. And his little legs, his little Asian legs, his little Korean legs, they got stuck in the sex swing and I thought he was just acting when he was screaming. But in real life, he tore his taint a little. Does that make sense?


It got locked, you know what I mean? And we had to put ice cubes on it.

So it sounds like the actual goings on at the Guest House weren't all that different from how they were portrayed in the movie?

Pretty much, yeah. And then... What else? There's a scene of me, my character, having sex with this girl in the sex swing and that was weird. But I love that the director and everyone, we went hard R. It's a hard rated R and I thought that was cool especially for these times. Everything is so sensitive so I thought it was... I was pretty happy that everyone went that way with it.

And this reminded me a lot of the movies that used to be around in the '80s and '90s. Especially, obviously the ones you used to make, the raunchy comedies that existed mostly to amuse people through raunchiness. Would you say that's accurate?

Yeah, I agree with you. Yep.

Are there any projects you'd really like to work on in the future, or you want to just keep things simple?

I'm keeping things simple because of COVID, I've shifted into my online stuff. So I'm really excited about my YouTube channel and my podcast. And all the different shows that I'm working on. My podcast is called Random Rants and I have different shows that I'm developing. I have classic scenes from classic movies, I have my workout show, I have a band. So I'm just doing everything online right now, so that's where I'm at.

Is there anything you'd like to bring up that I haven't asked about yet?

(in the voice of Bud "Squirrel" Macintosh) Viva los Bio-Dome, dudes!

Is there going to be a Bio-Dome 2?

I hope so. If the fans want it, the fans could go online and tweet at MGM, they own the rights.

Guest House is now available on VOD, Blu-ray, and DVD.