"Being able to say anything to anyone at any time regardless of if you are interviewing him or not is fun to do, and inappropriateness is really fun to me," he said. "When I see somebody being rude in public, I laugh, not because I agree with it, because I am laughing at them. That is kind of the take on 'Between Two Ferns' -- inappropriate humor."
Galifianakis isn't always inappropriate. The 41-year-old, North Carolina born-and-bred actor claims his true self bears little resemblance to his over-the-top "Hangover" character. His turn as a psych ward patient turned teen mentor in "It's Kind of a Funny Story" isn't his first in a serious movie -- besides "Up in the Air," he appeared in Penn's 2007 Oscar-nominated "Into the Wild," which probably explains how he got Penn on "Between Two Ferns" -- but it is his most meaty.
"I think I tricked [directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck] into believing that I could pull it off -- a more serious thing," he said. "I was also kind of flattered to be a part of something that was a little bit more of a sensitive story than just a big, loud comedy."
Zach Galifianakis, sensitive? Certainly. But there's no stopping his sarcastic streak, especially when he gets going about those Hollywood ego-maniacs he loves to hate.
"My mom needs to get permission to call me. Sometimes I will call her back," he said. "I will go 'Hi mom, it's Zach Galifianakis, what do you want to talk about?' She will say 'Why don't you call?' and I say 'I've changed. It's a new realm. I am hanging out with the California Raisins, McGruff the Crime Dog, a lot of other Hollywood types and I don't have time for my family.'"