Actor Chris O'Dowd scored his first big role playing Roy in the British sitcom "The IT Crowd." Audiences in the U.S. know him best from the hit movie "Bridesmaids," "This Is 40" and "Molly's Game."
O'Dowd is currently starring in the new season of the popular series, "Get Shorty," inspired by the best-selling Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. He plays a hitman trying to launch a movie career and reconnect with his daughter. And while his character, Miles, is very good at being a hitman, he struggles in the movie producing and being-a-dad departments.
"Yes, fatherhood is more of a struggle, me included," he said on "CBS This Morning."
In the second season, Miles's daughter (nicknamed Shorty) is entering teenagehood, "and going through all the absurdities that that brings," O'Dowd said. "I'm breaking up with my wife in the start of Season 2. It kind of turns into something like a 'Kramer vs. Kramer' situation, where 'Get Shorty' is something of a custody battle."
And then, there is the battle of trying to make a movie that he likes. "There's a lot of work versus commerce talking points," he said.
Co-host Alex Wagner said, "We know you as a charming, affable good guy love interest, and here, pardon my phrasing, you're kind of a violent jerk in this series, in the beginning of this season especially."
"This is more true to life!" O'Dowd replied. "I have been faking the charm for all of these years! It's kind of nice to key into all those different parts of yourself. [Miles] is a little violent, but he's somewhat put-upon. He is coming out of a very difficult situation of this crime family led by this very powerful, glamorous but psychopathic matriarch, and trying to find a way of love for his family to go on to keep them safe. He thinks that going to L.A. and making a movie will lead to that."
By the end of Season One of "Get Shorty," Miles had ended up with a film that was not very good. "It's actually more annoying than being bad, it's decidedly mediocre," he said. "He has to try and transform that through editing into something that's palatable for the public. He ends up in the editing room taking a lot of Adderall, ends up going off the road, drinking too much, crashing his car, ending up at a motel, and having a relationship with a woman who's into crystal therapy. An average weekend in Montauk!"
To watch a trailer for the new season of "Get Shorty" click on the video player below.
O'Dowd also plays a fanatic in the new film "Juliet, Naked," based on the Nick Hornby novel. "It's kind of about obsession," he said. "I'm obsessed with Ethan Hawke's character, who's an ex-singer/songwriter of the '80s and '90s, something of a recluse now. I'm with Rose Byrne, and I try and track him down and it doesn't end well for me when we track him down. … And she has never seen necessarily the attraction to his music, but in person finds him much more attractive."
Yes, it's a romantic comedy. But is O'Dowd's fanatic fandom a little creepy? "Oh, very creepy!" he offered.
To watch a trailer for Juliet, Naked" click on the video player below.
Wagner asked, "When you auditioned for 'Bridesmaids,' rumor has it that you never thought you were going to get the role. And now you're a superstar on American screens. Are you surprised that it's gone so well?"
"Not really!" he laughed. "The truth is, I never had very high expectations for myself. All of this is wonderful, but even if it hadn't been, I don't know that it would have mattered so much.
"Keep expectations low and the gratitude high!"