There’s no stopping him! Mel Brooks spoke exclusively to Us Weekly about his new film, Underdogs, at its U.S. premiere in Los Angeles on Monday, July 18.
“When I grew up in Brooklyn, we were all underdogs,” says the Hollywood icon, 90. “We never thought we’d get to Manhattan. But a lot of us made it! I think Harvey Weinstein has put together a wonderful cast and a wonderful movie. It’s all about underdogs who never thought they would ever succeed, and by dint of magic and will and good luck, they make it. So it’s great.”
In the animated film — which also stars the voices of Bella Thorne, Ariana Grande, Matthew Morrison, Taran Killam, Nicholas Hoult and John Leguizamo — a shy foosball player and the toy figures from the table team up to defeat the town’s nemesis.
Brooks — who voices the preacher in the film — also praised the July 9 episode of the hit Showtime series Ray Donovan for its humorous Blazing Saddles joke, in which Pooch Hall’s Daryll quotes the classic 1974 film that the Oscar winner directed and stars in.
“They’re sitting there with guns waiting to confront bad guys with other guns, and they go into this scene from Blazing Saddles," Brooks explains of the episode. “It was just really amazing. They were doing Cleavon Little, who was a bit of a genius, and he was such a good actor and such a good guy."
In addition to his film, Brooks has another accomplishment to celebrate — publishing an upcoming book based on his 1974 comedy/horror classic, Young Frankenstein, which also inspired a hit Broadway musical. The book hits shelves October 18.
“Don’t spill any coffee on it!” he jokes. “It’s a beautiful book, with many wonderful pictures in it. It tells the story of how Young Frankenstein came to be."
So how does the unstoppable Mr. Brooks find time to relax? Watching films with his young grandchildren — but some very specific ones.
“I love watching my movies with my grandchildren!” he says. “And some of them are a little adult for them, but I don’t care. They love and I love it."
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