Sam, Clark, and Chuck: ‘Choke’ Artists

Choke is a vulgar film, obscene and obsessive. Sexual addiction, chronic masturbation, colonial theme parks, mental institutions, and one lady’s woo woo. Culled straight from the mind of iconoclastic author Chuck Palahniuk, the film is a juggling act of childhood trauma, compulsion, and redemption, all brought to life by first-time director Clark Gregg, and starring the colorful oddball Sam Rockwell. The three of them were recently in New York doing press for the film, and when you’re around such depraved individuals, asking the typical, overused junket questions (what was it like working with such and such?) becomes, well, mind-numbing. For Sam, Chuck, and Clark, a different approach was used, and the results were enlightening. Up next, why Clark Gregg wants to be Hayden Panettiere’s Siamese twin, why Sam Rockwell wants to live inside Heavy Metal , and why Chuck Palahniuk wants to have sex with a giant panda.

If you had to be a Siamese twin connected to the spine of any celebrity right now, who would it be? Clark Gregg: Hayden Panettiere. I think she’s living a very interesting life that could not be any more different than mine, and I would just want to experience that. Sam Rockwell: How about Pauly Shore. I’m going to say Steve Zahn actually. He’s one of my favorite actors. Chuck Palahniuk: Ann Coulter. I’d make her life a living hell. Oh my god, I’d take every drug there was. She would be so fried all the time.

If you could live inside any single cartoon, which cartoon would you want to live inside for the rest of your life? CG: My daughter’s six, so I would most want to make crabby patties with Spongebob. SR:Heavy Metal. Absolutely. No doubt in my mind. No question. I’d be in a Ralph Bakshi, too. Heavy Metal comes first. You get everything. You get sex, sci-fi, you get it all. You get a big dick, you get big muscles, forget about it. No questions. CP: Richie Rich. I’d want to be his best friend.

If you knew that every day of your life would be worse than the day that came before, would you want to continue living? CG:You’re just asking me about the ‘80s really. It would depend what my baseline was. How crappy was it when I started? How incremental was the descent, you know if it started out really crappy and was only getting worse, I think I’d have an appetite for about a month or two. But I survived the ‘80s, and it lasted much longer than a month or two. SR: I guess it depends how bad it gets. The human instinct is to keep going, so I guess I would try to keep going until I finally couldn’t take it. If I had leprosy, my cock was falling off, I had no legs, I couldn’t dance, and I was deaf, I might blow my brains out. CP: Yeah. I’ve gotten good at making the best out of bad things, so even a bad thing is tempered by the idea that I could use it for something, that I could do some good with it. So even if I’m having a shitty day I can still do something that would make somebody else happy or make their day better.

If you could be yourself in any era, pre-20th century, when would it be? CG: I think I’d want to roll with Ghengis Khan and those guys. It was kind of like Fight Club with swords and they never got in trouble. SR:I’m going to go for King Arthur type shit. CP: It just seems every era has its drawbacks. Can we come back to that one?

Would you want the ability to see other people’s thoughts when they’re close to you, if you could never turn it off? CG: No, absolutely not. Oh no no no. The older I get the less I want to know what other people are saying about me. God forbid what they’re thinking about. SR: Only if I was a spy. CP: No. I don’t even want to see what they’re wearing. No no no no.

If you had to give up either reading for pleasure, listening to music, or watching films for the rest of your life, which would you give up? CG: Could I give up masturbating and keep the other three? SR: That’s rough. I’ve already given up reading for pleasure, so it comes down to movies and music, because I read scripts. I can’t go without music, so I’m going to have go without the films. That’s tough because I love movies, but how can you go without music? That’s insane. Forget about it, I can’t do that. CP: Well, there are not a lot of films that light my fire. Does that include documentary films? There’s just not a lot of narrative films that get me. Is there music in the films? I’d give up music if I could hear it in films.

Would you rather have the ability to understand all languages or breathe underwater? CG: I’d go for the all languages, move into the global comprehension level. Would I be able to know all languages and be single, get a little time travel in the mix? Yeah, that’s what I would definitely do. SR: The language thing. Of course that could drive you insane. It’s almost like knowing people’s thoughts. CP: Breathe underwater, definitely, because there’s so much shit underwater that you can go get.

If you had to experience the pain of being burned alive for an hour, but then you would save the life of child that you would never meet or know, would you? CG: An hour being burned? That’s my greatest fear. Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll be burned alive for an hour to save this random, stinkin’ kid. Is it a bratty kid or a nice kid? SR: I know my girlfriend would say yes. I don’t know if I would say yes. But god I love my girlfriend. She’d probably say yes, but I don’t know. CP: Oh, this is the question where I look like a phony asshole, or a real asshole. No I would not. That child can go live with God.

If you had to have consensual sex with a mammal, what would it be? SR: Okay, I like that. I’m going to have to go with a goat. You can’t go wrong with a goat. That’s been working for years. CP: A giant panda, yeah. It would be like plushy sex, yeah.

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