‘This Is The Worst Car Ride I’ve Ever Been In!’ Dave Bautista And Kumail Nanjiani Discuss Uber Rides From Hell

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, Film, News
Published 12.07.19
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Unsurprisingly, Stuber is a film about Uber – a decidedly clever portmanteau if ever there was one.

That’s right, the ever-reliable ridesharing app serves as the premise for this summer’s five-star action-comedy, Stuber, which stars Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley) as Stu – or ‘Stuber’ as he’s pejoratively known by his peers – a mild-mannered Uber driver who gets sucked into a criminal underworld by belligerent L.A. cop Vic Manning (Dave Bautista – Avengers:Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy) after a revenge mission leaves him in desperate need of a willing chauffeur and a keen pair of eyes.

What ensues is a hilarious, buddy-cop comedy where the mismatched duo barrel around the city trying to establish some remnants of law enforcement while taking down the bad guys.

In a Prius.

Ahead of the film’s UK release on 12th July, we sat down with the two stars of the film, Dave Bautista And Kumail Nanjiani, to talk all things Uber… and Stuber.

The Hook: There’s been a ton of great buddy-cop films over the years, have you always been a fan of the genre and what was it about Stuber that attracted you to the film?

Kumail Nanjiani: Personally, I’ve been a fan of these movies for a while – I think we both have. There hasn’t been too many of them recently, though, and what I liked about Stuber was that it was really, really funny, it was with Dave and it felt like an opportunity to do something different with a classic genre.

TH: Your bromance certainly grows as the film develops – what was it like working together and why do you think the dynamic works so well?

Dave Bautista: Well it was great working together, I don’t want to speak for Kumail but I think he had a good time!

KN: Yeah I had a great time!

DB: I think the dynamic works because we clicked right off the bat and there was definitely a friendship there, which I think translates really well on screen. It was an organic thing that happened from the very first time we met and we just developed that chemistry and friendship as time went on.

KN: Yeah, I think chemistry is a mysterious thing and I always say that even if you’re playing an antagonist an off-screen relationship really helps. So even though on-camera we’re fighting for most of the movie, off-camera we just became like brothers and I think that translates.

TH: Dave, your character Vic is very physically intimidating but he’s a lot more dishevelled than the characters you’re used to playing – what was that like to get to grips with?

DB: It was great, I loved it and saw it as a challenging role. It was something that was a little out of my comfort zone though because Vic is nothing like me as a person!

But because we wanted to play around with Vic’s physicality, it was more of a challenge than people would imagine.

KN: Yeah and you know Dave grew his hair out for the role and he was wearing a fake belly for it. If you had that belly in real life how would you feel?

DB: I would feel awful!

KN: We just needed someone that felt like their best days were behind them!

TH: Kumail, this is your first proper action film, and there are loads of high octane car chases and action sequences throughout. Did the experience live up to your expectations?

KN: I actually learned a lot! It’s a little strange, though, especially with the car chases. When you’re acting normally and just talking to people you want it to feel real and natural like you’re there, whereas when you’re doing the car chases you’re screaming and doing all this crazy stuff when really it’s pretty silent, so it can feel a little artificial.

But it’s really an acting challenge. I remember there was an action scene in a Sriracha factory and we would do the take and I thought everything was going great but Mike [director Michael Dowse] was like ‘higher energy, higher energy‘ so I watched what we’d done and he was right, it just felt really low energy!

There was also a scene when I’m in a car and I go to grab Dave and Mike was like ‘scream louder, scream louder’ and I thought it was going to be so goofy and then you watch it back and it feels really real.

So you just kind of have to artificially pump yourself up to do those things and that was new for me.

DB: And at the same time you have to put your trust in the director. If it feels false or artificial you really have to put yourself out on a limb and trust him. I remember the same experience in the same scene. It felt so false, and that’s where I’m still learning to be honest. And I did, and I credit Dowse for that because I would have done it a completely different way.

TH: And when your characters do eventually come to blows in the film, you actually manage to hold your own, Kumail. How do you think you’d fare against Dave in real life?

KN: Oh, not well! Not well at all! At best I could run away. If he doesn’t get me in the first ten seconds I could just run although I’m sure he’s very fast too. I don’t have a shot though! And I can’t even run that fast either so I have literally nothing going for me!

TH: Now, we can’t talk about Stuber without mentioning Uber. I’m curious – what kind of Uber passengers are you both? 

KN: Oh, definitely quiet! I’m definitely someone who likes to mind their own business!

DB: Yeah I’m exactly the same.

KN: I mean, are there actually people who are like ‘oh I’m a chatty Uber passenger I want to get in and talk?’

DB: Very lonely people I think!

TH: Although Dave your character is pretty hopeless with the Uber app and technology in general – is this in any way similar to you in real life?

DB: To a point yes! I was definitely late to social media and there are times now when I wish I’d taken advantage of it when I was wrestling. That was really early on before the social media explosion, though. I mean I’m not completely off it, but I am somewhat technically ignorant!

KN: You’re on Twitter and Instagram aren’t you?

DB: Yeah I do the main ones. I try to be engaged but only to a point where it’s not driving me insane. I don’t want to get wrapped up in negativity but I do try to use it as a good platform to try to engage with people because it’s just fun. Social media should be fun.

TH: At one point in the film you’re both forced to get an Uber pool with a group of young girls – what would be your Uber ride from hell?

KN: For me it would people who just want to constantly talk and get serious, asking me where I’m from and all that stuff. I’m pretty quiet to be honest.

DB: I’m totally the same, I mind my own business in general. But I also don’t want to meet someone straight off the bat and start having a political discussion or anything too personal. Or if someone has really passionate opinions I don’t really want to get into that while I’m just trying to get somewhere.

KN: I was actually in London a couple of weeks ago and the driver started speaking to me about political stuff and I wasn’t saying anything and then he started talking about the illuminati running the world and Zionists and I was like, ‘this is the worst car ride I’ve ever been in!’

TH: If you’re in London you should get the Tube – nobody speaks to each other on there so you’d love it

DB: I get lost every time I get it – I somehow always end up on the wrong train!

TH: It’s very confusing – I get it to work every day and it’s pretty soul-destroying…

TH: Speaking of work, as well as an Uber driver, Stu also works in a sporting goods store where his boss makes a career out of belittling him. Do either of you have any experience of jobs you hated?

DB: I’m one of those people who’s never actually had a real job. I started bouncing in high school and then I worked at gyms here and there before going into professional wrestling. Although there was one time I worked with a friend and we had to punch a clock every day for three weeks. We were like 21/22 years old and we had to wear a shirt and tie in the middle of summer and we both quit on the same day because we got too hot! Oh, and I started lifeguarding too for a few years.

KN: You were a lifeguard for years? I learn something new about you every day!

KN: Well I worked in an office for 6 years doing the 9-5 and even though everyone was really nice I was just so miserable because it was so different from what I wanted to do. Looking back I’m glad I did it and had that experience of having an office job at a desk in a cubicle, but it really was like ‘oh my god it’s Friday!’ and then on Sunday I’d be really sad for the week ahead. It was a good experience but it was not pleasant at all!

TH: Stu also spends a lot of the film trying to get himself out of the friend zone with the girl he likes. Have either of you ever been ‘friend-zoned’ and what would be your advice to anyone who finds themselves stuck there?

KN: It always feels like the word ‘friend-zone’  is something that the woman is doing to the guy when really I feel like most of the situation it’s the guy’s fault.

In this movie, Stu is to blame for not telling this woman how he feels and she even says that in the movie. She says ‘it’s unfair, you never told me and you’re making it seem like it’s my fault’ so we really wanted to talk about the ‘friend-zone’ thing and alter the perception of it.

It’s on the guy, not the woman, because really ‘friend-zone’ just means that she sees you as a friend and you want more. So really the onus should be on the guy to be more honest in the situation. Have I ever been in the friend zone? I’ve certainly been on what I thought were dates that turned out not to be dates!

DB: I’m only ever in the friend zone now – I’m 50 and single and I seem to be attracted to women who are already with someone. Fortunately though I’m not in the friend zone with someone I’m in love with so that is something!

TH: And Dave, we can’t chat to you without mentioning the huge success of Avengers: Endgame. Congratulations on that! With Guardians 3 on the horizon, can you give us any updates about when filming is set to start?

DB: Well I do know, but unfortunately that’s the only update I can give right now!

KN: I think he’s sworn to secrecy about all that stuff!

TH: And for you Kumail, Silicon Valley season 6 – the last ever season of the show – is coming up. What can we expect from it?

KN: Well we start shooting in a week and I’ve read the first couple of scripts. I think it’s great that they decided to end the show now because they found a good ending point for it. So I think we’re going to have a very satisfying ending to it.

It’s a great show – 6 seasons is a long time for a comedy and things can start getting repetitive after a while so I’m glad that they’ve decided to end it before we get to that point.

But I think there’s going to be big, big changes for the Pied Piper Crew so it’s very exciting.

Exciting indeed – make sure you check out Stuber in cinemas today!

Images via 20th Century Fox

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