‘Valley of the Boom’ – How Steve Zahn dove into his character

Steve Zahn enjoyed the ‘Boom’

Steve Zahn of ‘Valley of the Boom’ Sunday on National Geographic

Q: There is very little information on Michael Fenne on the internet, which had to make creating the character all the more challenging, no?

A: I remember having a meeting with (series creator Matthew Carnahan) before we started while I was doing all these things, trying on fat suits and everything, and I was petrified. I was like, “Dude, what am I going to do? Seriously, what do you want?” And he’s like, “Just dive in, man. You’re just going to have to dive in.” (Laughs) I was just like, “Yeah, no s… .”

And it turned out that I did dive in and it became one of my favorite jobs. I couldn’t wait to go to work. … And I couldn’t wait to work with the other guys. I kind of was in my own little world, which was strange. So you don’t have a sense of tone because you can’t watch the others work or work with them to kind of getting ideas of whatever everybody else was doing. I was constantly asking Matt, “Does this work with what Bradley’s doing?”

Q: Which makes you especially reliant on the director, correct?

A: Oh, solely. I mean, actors for the most part I think are dependent upon a director no matter what the situation or the venue. We need a director and in this case it was so important to have somebody who knew exactly what they wanted and at the same time didn’t know exactly what they wanted and I think the latter being the most important because it really frees you up to kind of like create and set the tone, and Matt was so great about that. I’d ask him, ‘Does this work?’ He goes, ‘I don’t know.’ (Laughs) And I thought that was great. You know, he was like exploring and discovering as well as he knew it and he wrote it, but yet he was still open for anything.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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