No More Mr. Nice Guy for Chris Messina

The hubby from Julie & Julia finally gets his wish: playing an asshole in Greenberg.

Q: Your character in Greenberg—Ben Stiller's baby brother—is kind of a jerk.

A: I've played a lot of nice guys, so it was fun for me to be a dick and beat the shit out of my older brother. I was the nice boyfriend in Six Feet Under and in Vicky Cristina Barcelona—though some people think that character was just a douchebag.

Q: And you were the ultimate nice guy in Julie & Julia as the doting husband. You were annoyingly affable.

A: Although Amy's amazing, her character grates on you as a guy with a lot of testosterone. By the time we did the fight scene where I walk out on her, I was throwing things, saying, "You fuckin' bitch! Fuck you, and fuck beef bourguignon!" Nora Ephron was like, "Okay, that's not this movie."

Q: You and your girlfriend just had your second baby. Do you change diapers?

A: It's not so bad when it's your kid. Sometimes it's actually cute. It definitely bonds you. He's like, "I took a big shit, but you're doing this." You see a look in their eyes like, "I get it, man. This sucks. You must love me."

Q: What's the best part of fatherhood?

A: I guess it's hearing that laugh, you know? I'm kind of the joke guy, and their mom is the one who's like, "Okay, you know we have to feed them?"

Q: Your next project is Devil, produced by M. Night Shyamalan—which is rumored to involve being trapped in an elevator with Satan. Is that right?

A: It takes place in one day, and there's something haunting happening. I try to save the day. I got to carry a gun and wear a badge. I didn't get to fire the gun. But you can't take the Devil down with a gun anyway.

Q: So you finally get to be a badass.

A: Yeah, you can really trick yourself. I left four days after Giovanni was born. When I got home, my girlfriend opened the door, handed me both kids, and said, "Welcome home. I need a nap, so here you go. Good luck. You're not a homicide detective anymore, my friend."


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