Vulture’s Emma Rosenblum talks to Joel McHale of both Community and The Soup fame about transitioning from host to actor, filming the paintball episode, and obtaining his physique:
On landing an acting part on a sitcom:
Yeah, how did that happen? No, seriously, I’d always been looking for a sitcom — that was the whole reason I went on The Soup, for it to do the same thing for me as it did for Greg Kinnear, or at least if I could have 5 or 10 percent of his career, I’d be happy. And rarely do scripts make me laugh out loud, but there were a number of jokes in the Community pilot script that did that. Actually, I was on a plane, reading the script, and there was a guy watching that movie, What Happens in Vegas, that Ashton Kutcher movie, and he was getting mad at me because I was getting loud — laughing and interrupting his romantic comedy. So I thought that was a good sign.
On making the paintball episode:
I think it took about eight days to shoot 23 minutes of footage. You’d walk into the cafeteria, and they’d turned it upside down; there was a fire in it. And it was the most physical episode I’ve done, with the jumping and the stunts; it was like a boyhood fantasy of being in an action movie. They hired a paintball company and brought them in to shoot up the place. They just kept handing us loaded paintball gun after loaded paintball gun.
On buffing up:
I just starved myself and started doing push-ups every night. I didn’t have time to go to the gym, and I just chased my kids around. It was like when Rocky chased the chicken, in Rocky I, that’s basically what I was doing with the kids. And I just started doing push-ups as much as I could, ’cause knowing I was going to be naked, I didn’t want to be embarrassed. I think I ended up losing ten or fifteen pounds. I starved myself and ate hard-boiled eggs and salad. They also spray-tanned me because my skin is nearly translucent white.
Read more at http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/05/joel_mchale_on_community.html