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Steve Zahn

Steve Zahn

Birthday: 13 November 1967, Marshall, Minnesota, USA
Birth Name: Steven James Zahn
Height: 171 cm

Steve Zahn was born in Marshall, Minnesota, to Zelda, who worked at a YMCA, and Carleton Edward Zahn, a Lutheran pastor. His father is of German and Swedish descent and his mother is of German ancestr ...Show More

Steve Zahn
[on making Bandidas (2006)] Well, that one just didn't work. This is a classic example for me of a f Show more [on making Bandidas (2006)] Well, that one just didn't work. This is a classic example for me of a formula that didn't work. You got all the great ingredients together, but you still gotta stir the pot and cook it. When that came out, it was like "What?" You gotta cook it, and only then, the cake tastes good. What's hard in movies is to have a consistent tone throughout a movie. Whatever that is. And that one, you have Luc Besson, who is this French producer who had these Norwegian directors, who were great, really funny guys, and smart. And there were a variety of cast members coming in and leaving and going in and out. It was shot in Mexico with a French producer and a Mexican crew. It was insane. How can you have a tone? That was one where I knew while shooting. I was like, "I don't know about this. I don't even understand if it's a Western or an epic or a comedy. What are we doing?" Hide
I have no problem playing the funny sidekick. I'm a grunt; I'm a sergeant, an officer. I'm on point Show more I have no problem playing the funny sidekick. I'm a grunt; I'm a sergeant, an officer. I'm on point with everyone else. Hide
You still really fight for good parts. It never stops. It's never a breeze. The people at the top of Show more You still really fight for good parts. It never stops. It's never a breeze. The people at the top of their game work as hard as the people at the bottom. Hide
[on if he feels he is typecast as a comic relief sidekick, and if it bothers him] No, I am. It's a p Show more [on if he feels he is typecast as a comic relief sidekick, and if it bothers him] No, I am. It's a pleasure and a privilege. I really look at it as a career, and not what movies I'm doing this year. I remember not getting offered Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) and going, "Wow, I've graduated from college." So it changes as you grow older just for obvious reasons. And to be typecast and make money and make people happy and people dig what you do, what a great thing, man. I don't want to compete with Jude Law, nor should I. Could I act them? Sure. But do people want me to act them? Probably not, you know. As much as I would want to do it, you know what I mean? I think people fuck up there and they do what they want to do. And that's fine, but remember, it's all about telling a story, it's all about entertaining people in one way or another. And some people are successful at it. I mean, Tom Hanks is great. There are examples of people who have gone both ways. If that opportunity comes, then it comes. Tom Hanks did wacky old Turner & Hooch (1989) comedies forever and then, eventually, when the time was right, he did it. And it wasn't like he was doing it intentionally, it just kind of happened, because he became an older man and it worked. So maybe I'll play the crazy sidekick throughout my whole life and that will be fine. Or maybe I'll do sidekick parts and in five years it will be a different thing. I don't know, maybe. I don't have a plan, I just want to do the next good thing for me." Hide
[2007 quote] I've had more people come up to me about Saving Silverman (2001) than anything else. Th Show more [2007 quote] I've had more people come up to me about Saving Silverman (2001) than anything else. That and That Thing You Do! (1996) but "Saving Silverman" is the one I get most often. And I love that. It's just funny that it didn't do that well in theaters. It did all right, but none of us were big stars at the time. Jason Biggs was probably bigger than any of us. That's another one that kind of baffles me. So many people have seen it. I got this big Western coming out. I have another crazy comedy that I really like, Strange Wilderness (2008). It's just fucking dumb, and I can't wait to see how people react, because I just know that I'll have people approach me and say "Strange Wilderness, man. That's my favorite movie". I'll love that. Hide
[on landing Sahara (2005)] Matthew [Matthew McConaughey] was an executive on it, and he sent me the Show more [on landing Sahara (2005)] Matthew [Matthew McConaughey] was an executive on it, and he sent me the script and this crazy letter, which was great. I'd never been kind of approached in that way. I was really impressed with the letter, and I read the script immediately and I really was very excited to be offered something in this genre. I mean, I'd never done it before. I thought the characters were good, and I like Matthew. And also it was months of work and I just don't get offered that. I'm not a leading guy. I usually hook up to a film and then, in a month and a half, I'm gone. Hide
[on filming Rescue Dawn (2006) in Thailand] We'd be walking barefoot through jungle no one has ever Show more [on filming Rescue Dawn (2006) in Thailand] We'd be walking barefoot through jungle no one has ever walked through, with thorns and snakes and whatever. Sometimes Christian [Christian Bale] and I would just sit on a rice paddy and laugh, like, "Can you believe this?" It was intense. I'd need a 12-pack in the backyard and a full five hours to tell all the stories. Hide
I love Shattered Glass (2003). It's one of my favorite movies. I think it's just brilliant. That's a Show more I love Shattered Glass (2003). It's one of my favorite movies. I think it's just brilliant. That's another one that I read and I thought, "I got to be in this. I gotta be in it. I don't care who I play, or whatever, if I'm just the throwback". It's just a great story. It's very intriguing. And then when I saw it, it was even better than I knew it was going to be when we were shooting it. Peter Sarsgaard is just amazing. I was really happy with that. Hide
[on his role as the bi-polar Chris Edwards in 'Mind Games'] I spent a decade playing stoners. And th Show more [on his role as the bi-polar Chris Edwards in 'Mind Games'] I spent a decade playing stoners. And then, one day, all of a sudden, I'm a genius. Hide
I love general history. That's all I read really. I don't read novels, I read history. I love it. I Show more I love general history. That's all I read really. I don't read novels, I read history. I love it. I live in an area that's really rich in Civil War history. I live in Kentucky on a farm. A lot of revolution, a lot of military history I love. I like micro-histories. I like reading about little tiny events, not huge. I read a lot. I live in horse country and I just read a book about Confederate guerrillas who came to the thoroughbred farm, my neighbors, and stole thoroughbreds for their mounts and they were worth thousands and thousands of dollars. That's really interesting to me. Hide
Sahara (2005) was a blast. I absolutely loved "Sahara". I've never done anything like that. And it w Show more Sahara (2005) was a blast. I absolutely loved "Sahara". I've never done anything like that. And it was just so much fun. I mean every day, going to work, it was never a boring day. Everyone was cool, it was a great group, everyone showed up, there was no bullcrap. That's the way it should be done. And I really wish there wasn't all this other stuff, I'd love to make another one. Hide
I still really love acting. I find it really challenging. And I really love film; it's a lot of fun. Show more I still really love acting. I find it really challenging. And I really love film; it's a lot of fun. Theater is a big commitment. Most of the time, you sign a five-month contract. You do eight shows a week and have one day off. There's no time to go home. Hide
(on how he prepares for a role] I have a very traditional background. I'm theater-trained. I don't k Show more (on how he prepares for a role] I have a very traditional background. I'm theater-trained. I don't know. I do my homework. Literally, I read the script a lot and I learn it, no matter what the part is - how big or small the part is. I put a lot of thought into it and I think about it constantly. Part of that is the kid in me, too. When I show up on a film set, I don't want to worry in my trailer about what I'm doing. I want to play PlayStation because I don't get to play that at home. Hide
The definition of Sahara is '"to have no memory", and it's true. When you go out in the desert, no m Show more The definition of Sahara is '"to have no memory", and it's true. When you go out in the desert, no matter what's going on in your world, you see the dunes and nothing else, and you think of nothing else. Hide
I love Safe Men (1998). Now it's getting all this culty kind of-it just came out on DVD. That was aw Show more I love Safe Men (1998). Now it's getting all this culty kind of-it just came out on DVD. That was awesome. I read that script, I never laughed so hard in my life. It was then that I decided I had to be in it. I told [writer-director] John Hamburg, "I gotta be in it. You gotta hire me, you gotta hire me. It's the funniest thing I've ever read". It was just fun to do. Sam [Sam Rockwell] and I have been friends ever since. We are always up for the same parts, it's kind of constant. We go back and forth from movies that he's done, I've done, and we've both done. We had so much fun. Hide
[on Out of Sight (1998)] Yeah, that's a great movie. It's just one of those movies that I'm baffled Show more [on Out of Sight (1998)] Yeah, that's a great movie. It's just one of those movies that I'm baffled why it didn't do as good as it should have. I'm convinced it had to be because people didn't see it, and the reason for that is the marketing. I mean, just look at the poster. There's a gun and J-Lo and there's George [George Clooney]. It just looks like a murder-mystery love-triangle thing, when it was really this cool, very unique movie. Hide
[on making Rescue Dawn (2006)] I am the first person to make fun of the whole, "This film was so har Show more [on making Rescue Dawn (2006)] I am the first person to make fun of the whole, "This film was so hard to make. It was so hot". You know, being a coal miner is tough too. That said, I've never done anything that was as unconventional. Werner (Werner Herzog) is great, because there's no distractions on the set. There's no chairs, there's no trailers. There's no M&Ms, which creates a certain atmosphere. Because you don't have those comfortable places to hang out and chill, you don't have this passive high-school grab-ass happening. And then you have directors going, "Remember, you're starving, you don't have shoes". And you're like, "Right. I was just playing golf in my trailer". You know what I mean? It wasn't that. So you had friction, you had people that were like, "I'm not used to this". Which is good. He loves that. Hide
[on if he goes after the parts he really wants.] Yeah, you've got to campaign. I don't care if you'v Show more [on if he goes after the parts he really wants.] Yeah, you've got to campaign. I don't care if you've just won an Oscar, you still have to campaign for parts. You just have to be on top of it. Hopefully you're on their list and hopefully you can meet the director. It never ends, that never ends; it's never like you're sitting in the backyard on your lawn chair with your beer just kicked back waiting for the call. I think if you're really in it, and if you're really an actor, you're always trying to get the good movie, to tell the good story. I do a lot of independent films, which is great, but then you go bust your ass and most of the time people don't see it. But I still love doing them because they are usually really good. If you get too caught up in where you sit in this scheme of things, you're on the wrong track. It's got to be about the story. That's what I think my job is. I'm there to service the story. How do I make that scene better? I go do a scene, of course I'm thinking about how I'm coming off, but I think I will come off great if the scene is great, if you laugh at what we are doing. Not if I'm cool or not if I'm really funny the way I do it. It has to work as a scene, and that comes from theater. I know, I just went off on a tangent. So, whatever. It's kind of out of your hands. Hide
Steve Zahn's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (66)
Steve Zahn Steve Zahn'S roles
William Barnes
William Barnes

Fuller Thomas
Fuller Thomas

Hank Rafferty
Hank Rafferty

Peter
Peter

Duane
Duane

Al Giordino
Al Giordino

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Gomovies