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Kevin James: From "Mall Cop" to "Zookeeper"


"King Of Queens" and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" star Kevin James is making bank yet again with his latest release, "Zookeeper," co-starring Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb. Despite stiff competition from the latest Transformers movie, "Zookeeper" was able to hold its own at the box office during its opening weekend with a solid $21 million in tickets sales.

James stars as the titular Boston zoo employee who, with the help of a few talking animals voiced by the likes of Cher and Adam Sandler, must learn to accept himself while trying to impress his former lover (Bibb) with Dawson's character, a fellow colleague, along for the ride. James recently sat down with us in New York and said that making this film was a blast, especially when it came down to working with Bibb and Dawson, his two easy-on-the-eyes human co-stars.

"[Rosario and I] fought for like a while. We did not like each other right out of the gate...I'm kidding," James said, "She was a little worried about her comedy because she hadn't done much comedy before. But she surprised us all and just wowed us and kept adding great stuff to it ... And then we had Leslie Bibb, of course, who is the other side of the coin. Boy, it just gets pretty ... they're both so pretty ... and I'm stuck in the middle. What world am I in?"

And despite it's clearly targeted demographic, James said that "Zookeeper" isn't just for kids.

"That was important to me, to make a movie that kids could go to, obviously for parents to bring their kids, but also for the parents, for the teens, and for everybody to have a good time at. That's the trick of what I want to do now. That's really what I want to live."

The actor will next star in "Here Comes the Boom," due out in 2012. He will play a biology teacher who moonlights as a mixed martial artist, a sport with which James has real-life experience. Aside from raising his three children with wife Steffiana de la Cruz, the actor has been spending his time mastering the art of combat.