I spoke with Kathy Searle about My Man Is a Loser. Kathy plays Lianne, the gorgeous and energetic wife of Marty (Michael Rapaport) in this hilarious film. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to speak with her about the film, working with the brilliant cast, interesting places to order meat, and so much more. We are both fans of Justified and may have gushed over Michael Rapaport just a little bit. Kathy and Michael are brilliant together in this film. The film also stars Heidi Armbruster, Michael Rapaport, John Stamos, and Tika Sumpter. I highly recommend that you don’t miss My Man Is a Loser, which will be available Friday in theaters and on demand.
Lena: I really enjoyed My Man Is a Loser and the ending was awesome.
Kathy Searle: Oh, thank you so much for watching it.
Lena: Did you get to see it?
Kathy Searle: I did. I watched it a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting alone in my apartment and it’s really difficult to watch yourself. It’s hard. It doesn’t get old where you are sort of overwhelmed and have to get past judging yourself—the way you look and you have to focus in on if you are believable, if it’s funny, and what you’re doing.
Lena: How do you describe the film when someone asks you about it?
Kathy Searle: I say it’s not your average romantic comedy because I really believe that this movie isn’t just a rom-com, it’s really about relationships as friends. I think that the storyline between Michael Rapaport, John Stamos, and Bryan Callen their chemistry as friends together is so amazing—and myself and Heidi Armbruster. It’s a relationship between men and men, men and women, and women and women. It’s this great relationship movie. I like that it’s not your stereotypical rom-com. Everybody is kind of messing up in the movie, the men and the women. We are holding ourselves accountable for it, which I love.
Lena: It does focus on the boys but you and Heidi were sensational when you were given a chance to shine. It looked like you had a blast working with Heidi and the rest of the cast.
Kathy Searle: Thank you so much for saying that. Everybody was amazing and I have to say, because people are asking, that these were celebrity actors that I was lucky enough to work opposite and there were no egos. Everyone was genuine, everyone was there to have a good time, shoot a good movie, and really just have fun. I was really lucky and to work opposite Michael Rapaport. It was one of my big dreams. Heidi and I had never met before. We had heard of each other because we have mutual friends in common. You know, you go into a movie and you have to be best friends and I remember sitting in the makeup chair and we became instant friends and we still are. All of us are still in touch after two years of making this movie and that’s a testament to the director and producers for putting together the group that they did.
Lena: I was telling Heidi how it looked like you guys were best friends already.
Kathy Searle: It was amazing how we clicked just sitting and I think it was because there was something, a vibe on the set, kind of like no bullshit in this amazing way. Everybody was real and you are working with John Stamos, Michael Rapaport, and Bryan Callen—these amazing actors that are constantly working and they were just themselves. They just wanted to play and create something great. I think that kind of vibe is so great to go to everyday. No bullshit, no egos, just being real.
Lena: It must be awful to be on a set with people with egos.
Kathy Searle: It is. It’s just hard because it’s a weird vibe. It makes me a little bit nervous. I’ve seen people kind of throw a fit and then you suddenly see a little bit of the diva side come out or the ego gets in the way. It’s like we are here to work and to create something and it’s hard. You work long hours and people get frustrated and they say things. It happens. There was none of that on this set, which was awesome.
Lena: That is great to hear. You are all there doing the same thing and no one is better than anyone else. I just don’t understand that.
Kathy Searle: Yeah, it was really cool that they made us feel that way too. When you are working with celebrities you never know how they are going to be. There was never that feeling of like you’re an unknown—it was always like you’re my peer and we are here to play, so let’s get down to work.
Lena: Can you share any funny stories from the set?
Kathy Searle: There were many funny stories. I personally loved when we were shooting the birthday party scene. The house that we were shooting at had a trampoline, so at the end of the shoot day I of course asked the lovely family that owned the home if I could please jump on the trampoline and I fully reverted back to a six-year-old child. It was great to work with kids. I don’t know if Mike Young, the director, remembers this or if Heidi does but the kids that were working with us for a few hours were kind of tired and the camera was on us and we were saying to the little kids that we were going to go inside, or whatever the line was, and one of the little boys who was in the background when I said a line said, “I don’t believe you. I don’t believe what you just said.” I stared to laugh. I couldn’t believe what he just said. I started to laugh and think oh, my gosh this little boy is in my brain. He didn’t buy what I said, so it wasn’t real. He’s like my little acting coach on set. It was just so funny and I thought this is why I love working with kids. Kids will say exactly what they think and feel, which I love. Actually, Lianne is kind of similar to that—there is no wall, no filter. They just say what they want to say at the moment and it’s just so great. I know a lot of people struggle working with kids but I love working with them because they are really honest mini people.
Lena: Yes, they say that you never want to work with kids and animals.
Kathy Searle: They will look better sometimes because they are cuter but I don’t care. If they make me a better actor and make me look good too, I don’t mind that at all. I did a movie where it was nothing but children and they kids were brilliant. I felt like they made me be a better actor too because kids are fearless. You can really learn from watching them sometimes more so than adults, which is funny but it’s true.
Lena: What has been some of the best and worst relationship advice that you have ever received?
Kathy Searle: This is a good question as a dating lady right now. I think the worst advice that I got was recently from a guy friend of mine. He was like “Look, you are a lot. You have a big personality, so you need to just rein it in.” What does that even mean? He said, “Just tone it down. It’s a lot to handle, so you might want to rein it in.” He basically wants me to pretend to be someone that I’m not. He said, “Just a little bit.” I’m sorry that I have a larger than life personality. The best advice that I got was to be true to who you are. I think that really goes for everything, not just dating. Just remember who you are as a person and that there is no one else out there like you and that’s what separates you from everyone else—that’s what makes you special, the little quirks that are what makes you who you are. I’m a goofball a lot of the time so I feel like I don’t want to lose that aspect of my personality. I think spontaneity is really sexy and fun and I think using sense of humor is really great. I come from the school of thought of when the shit hits the fan you had better be laughing because that is the only way to deal with the drama.
Lena: You and Michael were my favorite couple in the film.
Kathy Searle: Thank you. I hope that you didn’t say that to Heidi? [Laughing.]
Lena: No. [Heidi and Bryan were fantastic together but Michael’s character just killed me. He was so wacky.]
Kathy Searle: Heidi and Bryan were amazing. Michael and I just—we worked. It’s so weird that the two of us are just like goofballs together. It made perfect sense. I bow down to Pat McCorkle for bringing me into the casting office and for giving me the opportunity for the audition and then the director and producer for seeing that we make sense together. When I had heard that he was in that roll I said, “Oh my gosh, this could work.” I hope that they will be brave enough to take on an “unknown” actress and they were. [Kathy is far from unknown.]
Lena: You guys were great. I loved the knock-knock jokes and all the comedy between the two of you—you really clicked.
Kathy Searle: I have to say that that was one of my favorite scenes. It was very hard not laugh and pee my pants on set in front of everybody. The writer/director was a stand-up comic so the amount of comedy that was happening on the set was amazing. Bryan Callen, who is just one of the funniest people ever—just everyone was laughing, so you went to work and you got to laugh a lot. That was pretty awesome.
Lena: We definitely need a sequel that incorporates more of Michael’s dance moves because that club scene was hilarious.
Kathy Searle: Oh my god wasn’t it? I’m seriously hoping and praying—I kept joking with Mike about having a sequel and having my character pregnant throughout the whole movie so I could just wear really big dresses and not have to worry about wearing workout clothes. [Laughing.] I would love that and yeah, more dancing. We didn’t even get to dance, so I feel like there were little shoulder shrugs from me at the end of the movie but I would like a dance scene with Michael. I think a dance class would actually be fantastic.
Lena: The most disturbing part of the film is when Marty orders a steak in a strip club.
Kathy Searle: That’s apparently very true, that strip clubs have great steaks. [Laughing.] I have no idea but I’ve heard that from people about the fact that there are really great chefs that work at strip clubs because there are high rollers that go there to see the ladies dance, so they kind of expect the food to be high-end cuisine. I don’t know. It sounds kind of ridiculous but apparently art imitates life and life imitates art.
Lena: That place would be on my top list of places never to order meat. I don’t know, I can’t see a strip club meat experience ever ending well.
Kathy Searle: It’s like going to a Chinese restaurant and ordering a slice of pizza. It just doesn’t make sense.
Lena: If there were to be a sequel, where do you see everyone in five years?
Kathy Searle: I definitely see Marty and Lianne having another kid. I think the business for Michael Rapaport and Bryan Callen’s characters will be in a really great place. I see us as having more kids. I’d like to see my character maybe open up her own exercise studio or maybe work with sexually frustrated women to help them get through their issues. Maybe I’m paired up with Sean Young.
Lena: Oh, she was great.
Kathy Searle: So great. She’s such an icon too so it was great to have her in the movie. I see our relationship in a much stronger place. Now of course every relationship takes work so if there were more kids involved too that changes the dynamic of the couple. I think that would be kind of interesting and maybe if John Stamos and Tika Sumpter got together and had some little babies that would be lovely.
Lena: What were some of the highlights for you?
Kathy Searle: Going to work everyday. The fact that I got to go and work with Michael Rapaport and be his wife, that was such a huge thing for me. That first day that I shot was one of the last scenes of the movie where John Stamos is playing in the bar. That was one of the most exciting moments for me as an actress, just sitting there while they were setting up the lights in wardrobe and makeup and John Stamos was playing the guitar and I’m thinking oh my gosh, as Michael Rapaport and I were holding hands as a couple and I looked at Bryan Callen and Heidi and thought this is amazing. I’m a part of this movie. It was just this kind of surreal moment but also the icing on the cake. As actors we spend our days auditioning and when you actually book the role and go to set and get to play—that’s the magic. There was never a sense of that not happening every day. You go into the mindset of the character but there is still you’re making a movie and it’s magical. Working with Michael Rapaport was so awesome and so fun. It was like working with a teacher too. I really learned from him because this is a man who does every facet of this business—film and TV. It’s great to watch him. He’s so detailed in everything that he does.
Lena: Did you watch him in Justified this season?
Kathy Searle: I did. Oh my god, he was so good. I’m so excited that he’s got a new series that is going to be shooting here in New York. I’m really excited for that. I love that he’s such a chameleon—he really changes and he can be such a devil of a man and then be so funny. You can look at him with theses beautiful girls where he’s such a vulnerable, sweet guy and he can be this crazy killer. I just think he’s so great. His range is amazing. I hope that I get to have range like that someday too.
Lena: There is definitely something magical about him.
Kathy Searle: Yeah, there really is. He’s just one of those actors that you look at and you say, “Wow! You have a huge career. You have a resume to die for.” He stayed himself too. I think it’s really cool that he’s stayed himself over the years.
Lena: Do you have any other projects coming up?
Kathy Searle: I shot a pilot called FreakMe that they will be shopping around. It’s all independently produced via Kickstarter and that’s the next thing that hopefully will come. Mindy Cohn from The Facts of Life also stars in it. Hopefully, with this movie coming out that someone is going to want to cast me as the quirky redhead. Maybe I can play Leslie Mann’s sister. She’s one of my heroes. [Laughing.]
Lena: That would actually work really well.
Kathy Searle: I would love that. She’s one of my faves. It would be awesome to go and play with her.
My Man Is a Loser, available Friday in theaters and on demand.