Kenan Thompson Talks ‘Going In Style’

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Kenan Thompson Talks ‘Going In Style’
Posted by Wilson Morales

April 10, 2017

Currently out in theaters is the comedy “Going In Style,” starring Oscar winners Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules,” “Hannah and Her Sisters”) and Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”)

Directed by Zach Braff (“Garden State”) from a screenplay by Theodore Melfi (“Hidden Figures,” “St. Vincent”), Freeman, Caine, and Arkin star as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, in director Zach Braff’s comedy.

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

The film also stars two-time Oscar nominee Ann-Margret, Joey King, John Ortiz, Peter Serafinowicz, Matt Dillon, Kenan Thompson and Christopher Lloyd.

For Thompson, who plays a store manager in the film, the opportunity to work alongside three legends was hard to pass up. His day job on NBC’s Saturday Night Live doesn’t always give him the flexibility to grab other work elsewhere. Having spent 14 years on the job, Thompson is one of the longest-tenured cast member in the show’s history and continues to make folks laugh.

Blackfilm.com had to the opportunity to speak with Thompson regarding his role in Going in Style and working with these legends.

What was the attraction to doing the film?

Kenan Thompson: It was a chance to work with three legendary dudes and it’s a random grouping with Morgan and Michael Caine. Well, not the two of them since they worked together on the Batman films, but Alan Arkin. I’ve known him from when he hosted SNL. He’s a good dude. It seemed like a fun project.

Can you talk about the character you are playing and the scene you’re in?

KT: I’m playing a grocery story manager who’s showing those guys how bad they are at robbing the grocery store because they are so obvious. I’m like, “What are you doing? You guys just can’t go out robbing stuff in your old age.” It was a quick back and forth.

Did you get a chance to talk to them off?

KT: I didn’t get a chance to talk to them off set because they are treated very delicately. They are so established and up there in age. You want them to be happy and comfortable as possible. That’s how I was perceiving it in my mind. I didn’t want to just want to go in there and pick their brain. I just watched them work and go with the flow. Michael Caine did say that I was really great. He was like, “Yo man, you have got it.” in his British accent. I said “Thank you very much.” We had some real moments like that. I tried to stay out of their way.

Because of your schedule with SNL, what led you to say yes to this project?

KT: It was schedule friendly for me because it was in New York and in Brooklyn. My part was so small so I was able to get it done quickly so scheduling was a big part in me saying yes. Plus, I got the job the night before. They scrambling to find someone to fill that role and I don’t know what the story was in terms why was the role was vacant at that late date but I know I got the call the night before.

What’s a good reason to see Going in Style?

KT: I love movies that are just movies. I remembered growing up and how many movies were so fantastic on TV. It wasn’t anything specific or with a superstar cast. It was just an awesome story.

How much fun has it been on SNL?

KT: It’s always a blessing to just have a job. It’s a magical place but it fascinates me to see how hard to continues to be. It’s a never a given that this will be a week where it’s easy. We’re starting from scratch every week. You would think we would have a better idea of what to look for but it’s always best when it’s fresh. That’s one of the fascinating things. It also makes the time go quickly. Last week could have been 14 years ago or 14 years ago could have been last week. I don’t really know.


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