Don Cheadle on House of Lies

Don Cheadle talks about his new Showtime series, House of Lies.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Don Cheadle

The Showtime series House of Lies has been a great vehicle for Don Cheadle. As management consultant Marty Kaan, he gets to crack jokes, swear and get his freak on. At the Television Critics Association panel for House of Lies I got in several questions about upcoming episodes, the tone of the show and one about Iron Man 3.


Episode 5 with the Mormons is great. Was that a fun way to play racism and have Marty really own it?

Yeah, I think we see it in subsequent episodes too where he says, “I’m not here to open these people’s minds. I’m here to open their wallets. We just have to work it however we have to work it.” I think we’re going to get further into things as we go deeper into hopefully next season and following seasons. You can see how it’s being teed up so to speak.


Do you have to be really careful with the humor about his son?

I don’t think we’re careful about anything on the show so I don't think it’s going to be about the son. I think we try to go for everything and we’ll let the chips fall where they may. If there’s blowback we deal with that.


Iron Man 3 is likely to be in 3D. Are you excited or interested in working on a 3D film?

I don’t think it’ll change anything on the ground basically. It’s still going to be the same thing. That’s something that’s after effects that they do. There’s probably going to be motion capture and similar things that we did in the first film. I don't think it’ll affect us in front of the camera that much.


What is the process of the freeze frames on House of Lies when you’re the only one still moving and talking?

That’s really a Stephen Hopkins question. He’s kind of the mastermind of that. The extras were really great because I go, “You guys are very important to this scene and very important to the motif we’re exploring.” They took it very seriously and they were really involved in it.


Your comic timing is great. When did you develop those chops as an actor?

Really I would have to say I come from a long line of jokers. We play a lot in my family. My father, my mother, comedy was a part of our lives together. We listened to Richard Pryor. I grew up with that mentality already. One of the first jobs I had was as a standup. I did it until I bombed and then I said, “That’s enough of that.” It’s something that’s been in my DNA for a long time. I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities to express it so it’s great to have a shot with these clowns to do that now.