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Exclusive interview with actor Ken Davitian from You May Not Kiss The Bride

October 12, 2012


           Ken Davitian can now be seen in the romantic comedy “You May Not Kiss The Bride” also starring Katharine McPhee (Smash), Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters, 666 Park Ave), Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law), Rob Schneider (Rob), and Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World).

In the film, pet photographer Bryan Lighthouse (Dave Annable), is thrown into action, adventure, and romance when he is forced by Croatian crime lord Vlatko Nikitin (Ken Davitian) to marry his daughter Masha (Katharine McPhee) and spend his honeymoon on a remote Tahitian resort where she is kidnapped.

Davitian is best known for his award winning nude wrestling scene with Sacha Baron Cohen in “Borat” and his roles in “Get Smart” and “Meet the Spartans.” He most recently appeared opposite Jean Dujardin in the Oscar winning “The Artist.” We would like to again thank Ken Davitian and all who made our interview possible.

“You May Not Kiss The Bride” can be seen across the country in select theatres starting September 21st and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and On Demand


Before the Trailer (BTT): Your new movie is “You May Not Kiss The Bride.” How did you become involved with the project and what can you tell us about your role?

Ken Davitian (KD): Well, I liked it and that’s actually very important to me. I liked it and some of the reviews were not terrific but to be honest, when I was making the film, I did not want to be portrayed as a goofy mobster. I wanted to be serious and everybody else be romantic but I wanted to be a little more edgy. I think we were able to do both where it was funny but you could see the seriousness of my situation with my daughter who got kidnapped.

They sent me the script like everybody else. I have ready so many and when I read this one, I said this is really cute. The guy’s borderline dork but he really wasn’t a dork. He ended up becoming a pet photographer. I knew David and he’s not really dorkey but he’s got a dorkey job as a photographer of pets. I loved, really loved Katharine McPhee, and you can really see it in the movie. She not only gorgeous, not only can she sing, dance, she can act. I said we should have a song in the movie but it wasn’t a musical. Then when you add Rob Schneider and Kathy Bates, I said, okay where are we shooting this film. Hawaii. I said, I don’t care if it’s all monkeys, I am going. Hawaii actually became a part of the cast. It was very pleasant.

Before the Trailer (BTT): I can imagine with Rob Schneider, Kathy Bates and you on set, there was a lot of humor and antics. What were some of the funnier moments that occurred on and off the camera?

Ken Davitian (KD): Kathy bates shot in LA in a sound stage. I was with everybody else in Hawaii and I have got to tell you, working with Rob Schneider, you have to be on all the time because this guy’s funny and you got to be quick with him. He is very intense and funny and you got to be able to catch that wave. David Annable was fantastic, he was perfect for the part, I like him as a person, and we had a great time together. He’s great, I hope him the best of luck with  his new show 666, which is enough to scare the heck out of me, Park Ave. I’m envious, it sounds like a great show. It’s a show that I will watch, and “Smash,” I watched that since the beginning. I was also a big fan of “Harrys Law.” I loved Kathy Bates, I think she’s great. I was very upset that it was cancelled but that’s the nature of television.

Before the Trailer (BTT): Let’s talk stunts.

Ken Davitian (KD): All the stunts were real, no CGI. It was all really done. I met with the guy who actually poured something on his face and he had to take this big jump and fall into the water and then he jumped. David Annable had a funny bit on a rock overlooking the ocean, very high up, I mean it was a dangerous situation and we made it worse by having Rob Schneider come up with a helicopter. It was one of those things, if someone makes the wrong move, someone will get hurt and it all worked out.

Before the Trailer (BTT): The film was shot in 2009 and the release was postponed three years later. How do you feel about this long time period?

Ken Davitian (KD): After I saw the first screening of the movie, I told them I would help in any way with the distribution because I liked it. Everybody that I have shown it too thought it was really a great romantic comedy where you could even take your guy date because there was a lot of action in it.

My biggest regret is that it’s not playing in 1,100 theaters. I took the film to several large distribution companies and it was a year and a half, two years ago. It was still not a good financial situation for everybody. We needed 5 to 12 million dollars and it was very difficult. Everyone said that it was not set up previously, we didn’t know about it, but you just name the cast and everyone was interested to see the film. We showed a few people, they felt the best way to do it was this new way for independent films to be in theaters at the same time as On Demand. I haven’t gotten the numbers back but it’s been doing great in Hawaii and I actually went to Burbank and saw lines. I started meeting with people about production and now I have 5 films that I am going to finance and produce.

Before the Trailer (BTT): What was it like going back to Hawaii for the premiere?

Ken Davitian (KD):  I went back for the premiere and the director and I want to be in Hawaii so bad that we are writing a sitcom, a single camera sitcom, to be shot it Hawaii. We thought the only way to have Hawaii be a part of the cast is to use the beauty of Hawaii. It’s about my character coming to live in Hawaii with his very liberal daughter and her husband. I am a grouch from Armenia and I am very conservative. I want it to be edgy and funny. Hopefully we can get a sitcom out of this.

Before the Trailer (BTT): In 2009, you starred in “Chuck” as ‘Uncle' Bernie” and it just so happens that we will be speaking with Vik Sahay who played Lester Patel. What was it like working on the set of “Chuck?”

Ken Davitian (KD): My very close friend, we even tried to do a cartoon together. We pitched a cartoon just a couple of months ago. I like him a lot. I was working at the house where Bernie ends up dead so we actually didn’t work together on that show. The whole show was fantastic. I wish I had more to do on that show.
Before the Trailer (BTT): I saw that you own an LA-based French- dipped sandwich shop, “The Dip” and a hot dog stand, “The Infield.” How do you balance your time in and out of Hollywood?

Ken Davitian (KD): We closed the sandwich shop about a year ago but we still have a hot dog stand and we have stadium seating that we got from different stadiums. There’s this really cute story, this young woman came with her kid to the hot dog stand and he sat in the Dodgers seats and she sat in the Chicago seats. The mother says, “what are you doing over there. Come and sit over here. He says, “I don’t want to sit there. I am from LA. I am a Dodger.” She says, “well I am from Chicago come and sit with you mother.” “No I don’t want to sit there,” and they sat apart from each other because she likes the Chicago team and he’s a Dodgers fan. Because we have a Chicago dog, Charlie Sheen came by, ordered a Chicago dog, he decided that he was going to put some hot sauce on it, he put at least a cup of this real real hot sauce, you couldn’t see the pickles, the tomatoes, anything anymore, and he took a picture of it and tweeted it and called it the “Tiger Blood Dog.” We have still been selling it and that was over a year ago. We got a lot of press out of that and I always say “thank you Charlie.”
Before the Trailer (BTT): In the last five to six years your notoriety has really increased. What has it been like for you to have the increased attention for your roles in “Borat,” “Get Smart,” and “The Artist.”

Ken Davitian (KD): Oh “The Artist” was a gift from God. I was so happy to be asked to do a cameo. The first thing I thought and said, “come on guys, really, black and white, no sound?” But after I read it, I fell in love with it. So romantic and the director, when he met with me, he told me that he wrote it for his wife so to me it was a double love story. It was a man writing a movie because he loved his wife. He wanted her to have this great film and the love story in the movie was enough to get me going. It won the academy award. I was happy to be anywhere near it. I don’t know if anyone can do it again, it’s just like “Borat,” amazing film, no script, everything adlibbed, 6 people running around the country trying not to get arrested.  

Before the Trailer (BTT): While IMDB isn’t always reliable, we do see that you are in the pre-production for the film “Wild Oats” as co-producer and actor as Vince. Can you verify the information?
Ken Davitian (KD): Vince’s name is now Otis. We just pushed it back from October to February. We were going to shoot in October and now we are talking about pushing it back because one persons schedule and it’s too hot in Louisiana.

I am now putting the producers’ hat on and doing both. It’s very exciting and I like it. It’s more constant then acting because acting you get something and then another two months go by and then you get something else. Producing is awesome because you are really starting with 100 pages of something and you take these 100 pages and after a while you actually create a film and then you are entertaining people.


Watch the official trailer for “You May Not Kiss The Bride”


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