Jon Favreau Talks 'Chef' And Returning To His Roots

Favreau reveals how his latest film project stirred up special childhood memories.
12:10 | 05/02/14

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Transcript for Jon Favreau Talks 'Chef' And Returning To His Roots
Well are you not are you okay for me happy. As happy. Not a dozen miles away to thank all of -- plant in and begin not buying the game I want you. He's finally got a couple of -- and he. He need not fear of pentagon beat him he -- -- -- -- now. He's aligned began. -- have moments on this Bolton. Appears like you either so much and back at sunken worker grilled. -- and what's not. And -- everybody I'm Peter Travers and welcome to popcorn we we tell you what's happening at the movies and there's -- happening right now called sheath. Which is written directed produced by and starring John forever -- And it's a movie about food it's a movie about friendly it's a movie about love and it's a movie about the art of making all those things happen. So it is my pleasure to welcome John back camera you did it all -- on this -- -- -- -- you cooked. For the crew I'm sure yes it's right. It was you wanted to serve did I did I -- -- I like. I like food culture and you know one of one of the -- -- of my gig is that. If his -- for an actor you're training for role you get the best people. In their fields to teach you. To help make you because they have a vested interest generally if Macon a cop movie they wanna make a look at you know that you know your -- copy Holman gun rights as a reflects on the whole. You know the whole culture. And in this case this you know Roy Choi and a lot of other chefs all stepped up in either let me pick their brain are actually trained me. So learning to be a chef gave me tremendous insight into this world which helped -- as -- directors well. -- but that is the theme of the movie two one he'd just said up about who. Chef Karl Casper is so what's going on that the beginning. So this is a guy who's you know -- pretty comfortable position he's got it successful restaurant in Brentwood. He's been -- in the same menu for 510 years. Seems to be filling up the place everybody loves -- food. Urban neighborhoods happy. But he wants to do something ambitious he's getting he's a guy that passionate chef he wants to try something his boss played by Dustin Hoffman. Won't let him. Encourages them not to. Why get adventurous -- be an artist people like the food you're serving a critic comes in. Rips the manual part. Got I -- frustrated. His son's ten years old size him up for Twitter he thinks he's -- a private message back to the critic it turns into a big public flame war. Hands with his public shaming he loses job. And that's with a movie picks up and eventually. Connects with his son -- line cook played by John Leguizamo. They fixed up and refurbish. Taco truck and they start selling Cuban sandwiches -- -- cross country together hitting all the great food music cities along way. It sounds like the idea what. It's critical and when you make the movie you really get to live that life. But I that month we're shooting I got to experience Ellison was really wonderful and I am assuming there's preparation before screwed -- as a few months learning this stuff era choice semi to culinary school before every level he went to school yet he gave me I -- really condensed course and very traditional French. Culinary training -- knife cuts and -- names and -- sauces. -- glass and all the things that you know you he would learned it culinary institute. -- Then I was allowed to -- prep work in his kitchens and then eventually I was working a lineman. And actually. A pretty productive member of his kitchen staff. I want to talk -- about the subtext to this because you start you know yours screenwriter. You right wingers here. And it's is independent movie is there can be -- picture. And now very much like the chef. You have com and become really famous we're doing big movies and doing with that what was going on -- -- -- -- like big movies like I don't. The guy in in here feels tremendously compromised by doing. What somebody else is asking me do -- -- because I don't have to take on any project that I feel feel excited about. As a director you make one movie every two years or so. So you know you just wait patiently until the right one comes along they try. And if that doesn't -- you write something -- humor writers well. However I will say that. It felt incredibly freeing to not have to check with anybody. Who live and die by your own wits and by your own tastes. And when somebody asked you questions to check in with a committee. You know these big movies it's not you know that's a lot of money on the line -- these are brands that are more important than any individual. It's it's -- it's a corporate responsibility and -- and often one of the biggest revenue streams for big conglomerate so. You can't you know marvel is a big thing you know marvels of being. There's this. Second act it's you know it's not just me and Robert making Iron Man anymore they have its avengers it's Captain America and and and they are making wonderful films and they're all successful. So you have to fit into that machine at that point. You know and after doing two of those movies back to back. It's using a different set of muscles I love it it was fun I love watching people cheer in the audiences around the world visual effects -- get to work with. Great actors. I enjoyed working collaborating with those people abnormal -- they care deeply about coming out well. At a certain point you feel like middle management. You know and it's nice to break away and do something where you can just -- sell out. But the thing I was getting at about your Iron Man movies with Robert Downey junior have they. They look like a John -- have for a movie to thank you they have that sense of improper that it isn't all planned out it's -- yeah it could just come. Think it just occurred. To -- -- it was I'd I'd love nationalism and and and and the big movie liked like Iron Man so much has been planned. And I think was the areas that don't have to be plan let's eleven be spontaneous let's hire actors -- -- real let's try to let's try to ground this crazy story as much as we can. And I I always feel that that that makes stakes higher than -- comedy better it makes the action -- I think. If it's real people with real states. It was very different than most -- -- -- most were very. Presentation -- theatrical bigger than life. In this was very mundane people and then and I drew that -- honestly from the marvel marvel is always -- flawed characters even when it was just the books for the movies. Flawed characters and justified violence which is very different than the DC of the golden age books. So I that I didn't I figured my -- filmmaking married well with that and now as you look at the avengers and what justice is doing and and the -- Brothers that that tradition seems to be embraced and continued which makes me very you know. Please I mean when you look at it and swingers is just people still -- that I'm -- they come up to you and say. You're so much yes yes yes they're -- do that would you and Vince -- both impossibly skinny. Yes yes yes yes yes it is starting -- -- -- years ago we watched wingers late today and laugh. -- I love it -- -- is flawed but its charm now what it's flawed in charming. And as funny as I felt that it shape then it just shows if they did -- -- the state of mind at that as thin as a rail. Ripped. -- is scares me this -- skis and she just -- it happens this is you know it's also showing him the first time he's. Like watching a bird -- for the first -- at eagle spread his wings. And I've always been my best deal honestly has been seeing understanding how to count the people are boots and presenting them -- a way that that showcases that. And it was within seven trailer -- with with Farrell and Al. I think really showed interest. Completely these people without these people as movies -- -- the movie that you think of his hits are classics are things that. You wanna watch time and time again -- -- -- intentionally casting what was that you grow up in Queens here inflection right yeah yeah. Yes and you know you -- on in -- -- to do many things you work for Bear Stearns yes you did comedy -- coming I did in front yeah yeah all that stuff you like but what. Who you looking to. Neither the multiplex well i.'s -- alive -- Staten. And then animal house all those. People that came out of that world really. Yeah really electrified me Mel Brooks Woody Allen was introduced and also my my dad introduced me to allow the revival houses downtown. It's in the village theatre eighty. So each -- the the thin man he shall meet her -- Swiss -- So I started the -- good dad yeah well taxi driver might have been a little. I'm a little young for that one thing when you with body exactly it was they weren't gonna do the math let's go and look I turn out that's so -- -- -- -- fart scene in blazing saddles and reed says had just three generations laughing together really was something to aspire to. But I was also ushered -- movie -- the RKO -- in flushing. That was his beautiful grand old vaudeville house that was part of the circuit The Marx Brothers played there. And here was this white elephant this rusting -- of a beautiful beautiful piece of architecture more shark -- texture. And I night and I was there and -- we get to watch movies over and over again I think it was there when return of the -- I was there. Indiana Jones to. That was -- little dance that was. Spinal Tap. I remember is hilarious there were two people in the theater. It was hilarious and I ended up now working with Bob Layton on chef who -- who edited that and my whole style of letting people. Be conversational -- -- humor come out of discovery -- character. You know goes back to him. The Chris gets films he's worked on to the Rob Reiner films he's worked on. Does very fortunate. Two again collaborate with great people. -- actors are behind the camera. That helped teach me the craft of film which I don't have a formal education. Our job well when we say goodbye yes we do -- -- song I know. You do I've been a more worried about this than the -- the movie -- well you know last night I talk to Susie from flushing. And she said when -- -- -- -- you had. You what -- pajamas with the feet of papers on the east -- -- -- -- -- my family's you really do it but she also says that one of your greatest performances. Was as nicely nicely Johnson know -- -- -- and -- guys and dolls said. That Johnny. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- give -- at the revenues of Asia kept. I dream last I was on the boat to heaven and by some chance I had brought my that's a long. And there I stood and I hollered someone -- me. But the passengers they knew who right from wrong. And the people all said sit down sit down your rocking the -- Yet the people all said sit down sit down -- -- -- in the vote. All the devil will pull you wander by the -- -- of your checkered coat sit down sit down sit down sit down sit down Iraq in the vote. Everybody senior ago that's what they're doing writing on this but that's I wanna do and that's what it is amused at the rights that's got a little -- Movie that was made a thousand years we gotta do it now it has to be done he gets some good song and dance and in this new generation John -- thank you. -- lot of fun.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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