Podtalk: Comedian Jim Gaffigan on His New Film ‘Being Frank’

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CHICAGO – Comedian Jim Gaffigan is one of the funniest persons on earth, basically by being himself (Score!). In the last five years, he has been immersing himself into the waters of character acting in the movies, doing some serious supporting roles in films like “Chuck” and “Chappaquiddick.” Lately, he has been on an indie film streak, with lead roles this year in “Light from Light” – which closed this year’s Chicago Critics Festival – and the recently released “Being Frank,” in which he portrays the title character.

Directed by Miranda Bailey, “Being Frank” has Jim G. as a father, which he also famously is in real life, but this Dad has a twist. Somehow, someway Frank has managed to maintain two families, and take them to maturation. This jig is slowly coming apart as the film begins, as Phillip (Logan Miller), the son of the Mom portrayed by Anna Gunn, begins to suspect that something is amiss. Meanwhile, in Frank’s second family (where the Mom is played by Samantha Mathis), his daughter Allison (Danielle Campbell) takes a role in the unraveling. It’s time for Frank to “be frank.”

Father of the Year: Jim Gaffigan Juggles Two Families in ‘Being Frank’
Photo credit: Film Arcade

Jim Gaffigan’s style of laconic character stand-up comedy has sustained his persona for many years now. Gaffigan grew up as the youngest of six siblings in Chesterton, Indiana, but began his stand-up career in New York City. He honed his act to signature dry observational bits (“Hot Pockets!”), and his Comedy Central TV specials (“Beyond the Pale,” “King Baby”) have been major blockbusters. Besides film, he has also branched out into TV series (“My Boys,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show”) and TV commentary, on CBS Sunday Morning (where he naturally did the Father’s Day tribute). Naturally, because Gaffigan is a father of five children, which he chronicled in his book, “Dad is Fat.” His film career is currently on the “hot cycle.” Besides eight releases in 2019, he has two more film appearances in post production.

In Part One of a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Jim Gaffigan talks about being an actor in “Being Frank,” and how he and director Miranda Bailey worked to create different personalities in the character’s duality.

In Part Two, the “King Baby” talks his comedy career, especially the time-honored concept of “don’t look back.”

”Being Frank” continues its limited release in Chicago on July 21st. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn, Samantha Mathis, Alex Karpovsky, Logan Miller and Danielle Campbell. Written by Glen Larkin. Directed by Miranda Bailey. Not Rated. For a 2013 interview with Jim Gaffigan by Patrick McDonald, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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