Singing Badly in "Cyrus" Was the Biggest Hurt for John C. Reilly - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Singing Badly in "Cyrus" Was the Biggest Hurt for John C. Reilly



    In a movie of uncomfortable moments, one of the most memorable in "Cyrus" is John C. Reilly's drunken party scene where he dances badly and sings worse.

    Reilly says the uncomfortable nature of the scene was very real. It was "excruciating" to wreck Human League's 80s classic "Don't You Want Me?" while urging strangers to join him.

    "It was humiliating," Reilly said at the press day for the movie. "I remember this flop sweat going down my body underneath my clothes. It was excruciating to do. But very effective for the movie."

    To make matters worse, the scene was shot at 4 a.m. and Reilly was napping just before the action. "I was jolted awake and disoriented," he said.

    That was perfect for his awkward and drunken character. So it was roll camera time. Further, he really didn't know the extras who played the fellow party-attendees. Their unwillingness to join him in the song was very real. "It took a while," he said "I had to literally pull people off the couch."

    "It was all these extras that I had just met."

    Finally there was the pride. Reilly is an award winning song-and-dance man. "Having been someone who has tried to perfect the art of singing, it was humiliating.  And it's a tough song to sing. It's really high."

    "All of these extras were like, 'Wait a minute, he was nominated for an Oscar in 'Chicago' for his singing, what is this crap?'"

    Strangely, Reilly found this scene even more difficult to do than the movie's opening scene, which features his friend (Catherine Keener) walking in on him in a compromising solo moment.

    Reilly seemed fine with that, even insisting that he didn't need a "butt double."

    "It's a great story. And it needs to be humiliating at the beginning of the movie," he said. "And it was."