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Garry Shandling's Unused Ad Libs

Published May 12, 2006 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Dreamworks
Over the Hedge- Garry Shandling Over the Hedge- Garry Shandling
Animated movies are constantly in flux during production. The filmmakers will change scenes that aren’t working, actors will bring new ideas to the table and everything will work back and forth until the final product comes together. Over the Hedge was no exception, but some of star Garry Shandling’s favorite ad libs were denied.

Garry Shandling Talks Over the Hedge


Shandling plays Verne, a turtle whose world is turned upside down when his forest is turned into a suburb. The many adventures to forage food include turning his skunk friend into a cat to distract a housecat guarding a rich stash.

“The way my brain works is in the first cut after the makeover, [I asked] can’t I say to RJ, ‘You should do more make-overs.’ They said, ‘No, no. Verne wouldn’t know about make-overs.’ I go, ‘Okay, what do you mean he doesn’t know about make-overs? What do the animals know? What don’t they know? What can I ad-lib? What can’t I ad-lib?’”

There remained space after the makeover scene so Shandling thought of another ad lib. “I said, ‘When he’s looking at her in that moment can’t he just go “hot?” Can’t you put that in? There’s a moment in there.’ I looked at the footage in January and we were just going through and trying to punch up until the last minute but I thought two weeks ago, I said to Karey [Kirkpatrick], ‘Can’t we go back and let Verne go “hot?”’ He said ‘I don’t know. We’re already printing the copies.’ I said ‘well, how many could have that in there’. Even if one had it.”



Such were some of the frustrations the actors felt on the film. For example, the only time Shandling was allowed to record with Willis in the same section, none of that material ended up in the final film.

“We went in to do that scene and that one scene, it was the sitting on the log scene where he says, ‘Hey, I made a mistake and you should take over.’ [We] were looking at each other like, ‘What are we doing here?’ Because it was our first shot in the scene. It revealed that that scene didn’t work right and it was slightly adjusted. They kept adjusting it. He balked at every place where it didn’t feel right. Then I would have balked, and I think when I balked, he understood why I was balking or something felt right. Now in hindsight which we’ve never discussed is of all the scenes to try to do together, that was the most impossible because that’s the one serious scene where all that turn has to happen. So we were also trying to figure out how to be funny within that, or I was as well. There are so many levels of it.”

Over the Hedge comes to theatres on May 19th, 2005.

For the trailers, movie stills, posters, more movie info and full synopsis, go to the Over the Hedge Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Dreamworks
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