John C. Reilly feels guilty for role in "Walk Hard"

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:49pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rock music spoof "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" marks two departures for dramatic actor John C. Reilly. The movie is a comedy, and it is his first leading role in a major Hollywood film.

Is Reilly feeling pressured? No, but he is feeling guilty.

"Like any good Catholic boy, I feel guilty somebody spent so much money on me," Reilly said in an interview. "I hope people enjoy it, and the studio makes its money back."

But at a cost of less than $35 million, Columbia Pictures has relatively little at risk in the movie, which debuts on Friday and lampoons real rock-star biopics like the Johnny Cash movie "Walk the Line" or director Oliver Stone's "The Doors."

"Walk Hard" tells the tale of Dewey Cox, a poor farm boy who breaks into the world of rock 'n' roll to find a life of big money, wild women, hard liquor and dangerous drugs. But every time he falls, Dewey picks himself up, reinvents his music for the time period and, of course, walks on.

In advance screenings around the United States, moviegoers are laughing out loud at "Walk Hard," so Reilly shouldn't worry. The film is winning early raves from critics, scoring a 94 percent "fresh" rating on the review aggregator Web site

"Walk Hard" was directed by Jake Kasdan ("Orange County") and produced by Judd Apatow, one of Hollywood's hottest filmmakers at the moment with a string of comedy hits under his belt including "Knocked Up" and "Superbad."

"He's not afraid of completely letting go and letting anarchy take over, and that's where you get the freshest and funniest stuff," Reilly said of Apatow.   Continued...

<p>Actor John C. Reilly is interviewed as he arrives for the premiere of his film "Walk Hard :The Dewey Cox Story" in Hollywood, California, Dec. 12, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>