Zach Galifianakis walks up to the driver’s side of a FedEx truck and, pretending it’s his, pulls out a key. At least one on which the inside handle of the passenger-side back door works. This is not a joke. But if it was more than $500, he can afford a better car. It’s his car. Then he leads me to a beat-up 1997 Subaru station wagon. I don’t know exactly how much he got paid for The Hangover Part II, the new sequel to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time.
Bean backpack his mom bought him in the early 1980s. He has no assistant. He has no publicist, and e-mailed me directly to set up our interview. Fourteen years later, Galifianakis is wearing, as he usually does, a red plaid button-down shirt, a gray blazer, drab khakis and a battered L.L. In the Subaru. He looks as if he’s going to his job at an independent bookstore to pay for grad school. “I don’t know what my assistant would do besides get me pot,” he says. For two weeks in 1997, Galifianakis lived on this street in Hollywood where the Subaru is parked. The actor and stand-up comic had moved to Los Angeles from New York City after getting a holding deal from NBC to star in sitcoms, but he didn’t want to ask his agent to rush the check.
“He has a hate-hate relationship with his audience,” says Todd Phillips, the director of Due Date and the Hangovers. “Comedy is about the unexpected. If Galifianakis didn’t suffer fans gladly before The Hangover made him famous, you should see him now. That’s about as surprising a thing as you can do — hate being loved.”.
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