NAGAYT has been very busy recently and for that we apologize. However, we are back with a vengeance today as we have landed an interview with Kevin James, star of the new movie Zookeeper. Zookeeper is opening nationwide July 8th.
NAGAYT: Mr.James, you got your first big break with King of Queens a show that drew just enough ratings to hang on for 9 seasons. Did you think the show would get cancelled sooner?
James: Yes actually, we were out of ideas in Season 4 or so and were constantly coming up with new versions of the same story line. The show was supported by a funny Jerry Stiller and hot Leah Remini. I was playing the fat guy role for a long time and it got old quickly, but CBS kept writing the checks so I kept showing up. New characters were being rotated on the show to try to keep things fresh, but after 9 seasons the gig was up.
NAGAYT: Well I certainly enjoyed King of Queens and occasionally watch in syndication but it hard to see how the show hung on for as long as it did. It never had great ratings but kept making the cut. The success of King of Queens led to movie roles for you. Have you enjoyed working in film versus television?
James: Well television was great but it ran its course. I enjoy working in movies now, there is always something new.
NAGAYT: Your movies have been universally panned by critics, but the majority of them have achieved box office success. Does it bother you that critics have given you negative reviews?
James: I made Paul Blart Mall Cop. I have no defense. Did you see that movie?
NAGAYT: Unfornuately yes, but I couldn’t watch it in one sitting because it was so bad.
James: That movie made $219 Million and the budget was under $30 million I think.
NAGAYT: Well I do not know how that happened but it certainly makes you a bankable star to a degree. Is it all about the money though?
James: I’m a fat white guy in Hollywood and I’m making some solid money in the business now. I’m just as surprised as you are about it but befriending Adam Sandler has really helped my career. As far as being all about the money though, I wouldn’t say that. I think its about making family friendly films with goofy premises and seeing if the American public can still be suckered in.
NAGAYT: Your new movie is Zookeeper and it looks a lot like Dr. Doolittle. How is it different at all?
James: I’m a zookeeper as opposed to a doctor. I’m also a white and make less money than Eddie Murphy.
NAGAYT: That is it?
James: In a nutshell. Hollywood is not trying anymore.
NAGAYT: In the trailer a gorilla wearing a polo shirt goes to the bar and helps you pick up girls. How does the audience avoid from gauging their eyes out during this scence?
James: Well if you go see the movie you should know what you’re getting yourself into.
NAGAYT: Fair point. So have you started working on your next project yet?
James: Yes. It’s called Here Comes the Boom. Saliva is doing the whole soundtrack for us. I star as a high school biology teacher who moonlights as a mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to save the school's music program.
NAGAYT: Wow that sounds like an Academy Award right there.