Comedian Jim Gaffigan seems like a lovable, trustworthy guy, which is why he’s so well cast in “Being Frank,” an independent film about a kid (Logan Miller) discovering his Dad has a secret family.
Set in an unnamed vacation destination, the movie, which debuted at last year’s SXSW festival and hits theaters Friday, shows how lies can sometimes reveal larger truths. Also starring Anna Gunn, we recently spoke with Gaffigan (“ah, yes, I’ve gotten the ink of amNewYork on my hands many times!”) about "Being Frank" and some of his other projects.
“Being Frank” looks like it was a lovely film to shoot.
We were in a 90-mile radius of New York, so I slept at home every night. I don’t remember the name of the lake. Derek Jeter had a house there that looked like a castle. Not Long Island. Maybe Westchester? I’m not that smart! [Editor’s note: It’s Greenwood Lake, Orange County]
The movie has a lot of laughs, but this "second family" thing is a real phenomenon.
One of the houses we rented, the neighbor had a dad who had two families. Charles Kuralt, who worked at ‘CBS Sunday Morning,’ where I do commentary, he had a second family. Wait, now I feel bad, maybe I’m spreading a rumor? But the movie is set during the 1990s; present day you can more easily Google your dad.
You are the bad guy here, but still likable. It’s hard to thread that needle.
It was a big discussion. He’s made mistakes, like all of us have; some of those mistakes you can fix, and other mistakes are “oh, he has two families.”
You’ve got a lot of stuff coming out soon, including a dramatic role.
“American Dreamer,” I’m excited for people to see that one. It’s about a ride-share driver down on his luck. There are twists that will catch people off guard.
Tell me about “Playmobil: The Movie.”
There’s LEGO, which is Danish, then Playmobil, which is German. In Europe, Playmobil is bigger than LEGO. It’s animated, but hopefully adults will like it. The director [Lino DiSalvo] worked on “Frozen,” but I can never tell what will end up getting promotion or what will disappear.
You’ve also got a new comedy special coming, the first original produced by Amazon.
Coming in August. It’ll be on Prime. If you are like most New Yorkers, you get at least two boxes delivered a day from Amazon, so you are probably on Prime already.
Much of your comedy centers on your renowned palate. Any local recommendations?
I’ve been a Shake Shack guy for a long time. Also the shawarma at Mamoun’s is the best thing on Earth. My 13-year-old son is still mad because I had him try a dab of the hot sauce there. And Katz’s Deli. Wait in line, get a handwritten ticket, pay on the way out. It’s not just that the food is good, it’s the authentic old world New York experience. And it being New York, you are also going to spend 50 bucks before you get out of there.