If you watched Zach Galifianakis’ supremely weird performances in films like “The Hangover” or “Dinner For Schmucks” and thought “This guy belongs in a mental hospital!” you were right, at least for one role. In the new film “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” Galifiankis plays Bobby, a guy very much like “The Hangover”‘s Alan or “Dinner For Schmucks”‘ Therman: an funny eccentric with a strange way of looking at (and interacting with) the people around him. But for all the characters’ similarities, the worlds they inhabit are very different. Bobby’s is the New York City psych ward where he meets Craig (Keir Gilchrist), the suicidal teen who is the film’s hero. The pair become unlikely friends in this coming-of-age story based on the novel by Ned Vizzini and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the creators of “Half Nelson” and “Sugar.”
I asked Galifianakis about working with Boden and Fleck and whether he could relate to the problems of both main characters. Somehow we wound up talking about beards. It was a good time all around.