You’ve seen Hannibal Buress stealing big-screen scenes in Neighbors, Baywatch, Daddy’s Home and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now the Chicago-born comedian is getting all the screen time he can handle in this month’s goofy ensemble flick Tag, also starring Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Ed Helms. Does that mean the notoriously deadpan Buress is taking his acting career seriously? Not exactly.
What’s your favorite movie you’ve done so far?
Well, Tag is the biggest one so far, the movie I have the most to do with the story. I’m just excited to see how this one connects. Ultimately, I enjoy movies but hopefully this helps my stand-up and gets more people to come to my shows. This one is a whole different ballgame. When you’re on the posters and the billboards and a bigger part of that whole promotional process, it’s a different set of obligations.
Tag looks kinda fun and ridiculous.
It is pretty ridiculous. It is ridiculous to do a movie about tag. A lot of us, while we were doing it, would stop and say, ‘Yo, we’re doing a movie about tag.’ But it’s really more about the friendship and the fun and the conversations and camaraderie that come with it. The cast is really good. It’s solid.
Are there similarities between prepping for a movie and getting material ready for a stand-up show?
At the risk of sounding incredibly unprofessional, I don’t really prep for movies. I just do a movie. [Laughs.] I just show up and say words until they say it’s time for lunch, then it’s time to go back and say some words until it’s time to go home. You just try to be funny in the context of this movie, you improvise, you try to stay on point with the story. If I was playing a boxer or something, that would be another level of prep where I gotta get in shape, learn boxing mechanics, watch old fights and interviews. If I get a role playing an anesthesiologist, I would read up on some of that terminology and probably shadow somebody.
Maybe you’ll be a boxer or anesthesiologist in the next movie?
Neither. I don’t want to do that level of work. [Laughs.] It is awesome to be in a finished movie because you get to see the result of everyone’s work, how the sound and editing and effects come together. But when you’re doing it, it can get kinda boring.
And doing stand-up is not boring, especially doing it in Las Vegas.
I come to Vegas just to kick it. I go to games, I gamble, I go see shows. I’ve probably been to Vegas ten times since my last show there. I’m in LA a lot so before I go back to Chicago I’ll stop in Vegas to kick it and go watch a Golden Knights game. They have been very fun to watch. I have become a hockey fan but it’s funny because I haven’t been to any Blackhawks games in Chicago.
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