A short retail career—“It was not my forte,” he says—saw a manager harp on him about “hanger integrity” which he explains is “the act of making sure all your hangers in a closet or on a clothing rack face the exact same way.” But he doesn’t remember her as horrible. “Passive aggressive, yes, and very detail oriented. But horrible, no.”
His current boss, Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels gets more effusive praise. “I picture him laughing a lot,” he says. “I think that is what keeps him so spry.”
In Horrible Bosses, the handsome actor—he’s good-looking enough to have dated January Jones!—plays Kurt, who, along with Jason Bateman and Charlie Day, plot to kill their evil employers. “I just think Jason and Charlie are so great,” he says. “I watched and thought, ‘Golly, they’re so frickin’ funny. I hope people are alright with me.’”
The plot sounds sinister, and Sudeikis admits “you could do a Fox Searchlight movie of this” but his movie isn’t serious in any way. “I don’t know if any of our characters go through an emotional arc,” he laughs. “It never gets too dark. There’s not going to be any copycat situations. It’s not going to start things up around the country, or the world for that matter.”
It’s a buddy comedy expanded to three, just like another big hit this summer, The Hangover Part 2. “People, if they want to be crappy about it will say, ‘Oh, they want to be The Hangover,’ but it is totally different.”
I mention a tweet someone sent after seeing Horrible Bosses. “Three is the new two,” it read.
“I’ve been working on my own theory that four is the new rule of comedy in this new generation,” he says. “One establishes the premise, two hits it, third is the punch line, then the fourth one is a comment on what the first three were.”
Horrible Bosses is being released amidst the crash, boom, bang of the summer blockbusters. I ask him if he’s concerned about competing with the likes of Transformers.
“Out of the movies that are being released around it, it’s the one I would go see,” he says. “I just happen to be in it, which is nice.”