After starring last year in two ensemble comedies “Horrible Bosses” and “Hall Pass,” comic actor Jason Sudeikis will be seen next in Warner Bros.’ “The Campaign.” He plays Mitch, the loyal but increasingly overwhelmed campaign manager, of incumbent congressman, Cam Brady (Will Ferrell).
In the film, as Cam Brady brazens through an embarrasing sex scandal with his usual flair, the seasoned politico prepares to segue unopposed into his fifth term in office. But this time, to his astonishment, a challenger appears out of nowhere: local tour operator Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) — a dumpy, soft-spoken, cardigan-wrapped, fanny-pack-wearing oddball with zero political experience. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other.
It’s not the first time Cam has been caught with his pants down, though, and he’s sure he can put the incident behind him with an appropriately staged public apology, a wide smile and some fancy footwork from his faithful campaign manager, Mitch.
“You can’t teach charisma and Cam Brady is charming as hell. He’s been relying on that for years,” says Jason Sudeikis. “Mitch is not only Cam’s campaign manager but closest friend, the guy who knows him better than anyone and is always there to cover his tracks and put out the fires he sets.”
Adds Sudeikis, “Mitch runs the gamut from enabler to straight man, to the voice of reason, to a cohort, depending upon what’s needed. Mostly he protects Cam from himself and his own appetites and delusions and, at the same time, truly likes him and believes in him.”
“Overall, I think if you threw Mitch into DC or a bigger arena he’d get chewed up, but for the 14th district of North Carolina, he’s the man,” says producer Chris Henchy. “It helps when there’s no one running against your candidate.”
Mitch’s loyalty and creativity are perhaps most evident when Cam is pressed to recite The Lord’s Prayer in public and must rely on his manager’s elaborate back-of-the-room pantomimes to piece the words together, a hilarious performance that Sudeikis ad-libbed in rehearsal. “That was my improv instinct kicking in,” he says. “While Cam is sweating it out on stage, he looks toward Mitch for support and I just wanted him to have something to respond to. From there it grew, with [director] Jay Roach adjusting the focus and the writers giving it more context. You never know if that sort of stuff will make it into the movie but it’s a good sign when you see the director laughing.”
Next year, Sudeikis’ upcoming projects are the feature films “We’re the Millers,” which re-teams him with “Horrible Bosses” co-star Jennifer Aniston and Adam Shankman’s drama “This is Where I Leave You” based on the best-selling novel of the same title.
Opening across the Philippines on Aug. 29, “The Campaign” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.