Paul Walter Hauser revealed that one of his desires throughout his career has been to play the late comedian Chris Farley in a biopic. In Cruella, Hauser portrays the character of Horace, Cruella’s (Emma Stone) dimwitted lackey and partner in crime alongside his brother Jasper (Joel Fry). This is Hauser’s second time working in a film directed by Craig Gillespie, following his appearance in the 2017 black comedy film I, Tonya.

In addition to Cruella, Hauser is best known for appearing in the Netflix series Cobra Kai as the idiotic karate trainee and comic relief character Raymond/Sting Ray, who happens to be the only adult student in the Cobra Kai dojo. Hauser has also starred in films such as BlacKkKlansman in 2018, Da 5 Bloods in 2020 and most notably as the title character in the 2019 biographical film Richard Jewell directed by Clint Eastwood. Hauser based his character of Horace around Bob Hoskins’ performance as Smee in the 1991 film Hook. “I studied Bob Hoskins quite a bit in preparation for this role. I was given two options by the dialect coach Neil Swain; he said to me, ‘Do you want to go for a Bob Hoskins or a Ray Winstone?’… and I couldn’t shake Bob Hoskins as Smee from the movie Hook. I just felt like that was dead on and what I had to do,” he told Variety. “So I studied that, I did it and I’m happy really, really happy with how it turned out. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’ll fool some people who don’t know my work very well.”

Hauser further revealed that he had wanted to play Farley for quite some time, but has recently decided to move on from doing so in order to stay healthy. “I wanted to do a Chris Farley movie where he’s in rehab for half of the film, and for the other half of the movie, he’s doing his SNL stuff and his movies. I think I have a really great take on that story, but I’m trying to lose weight and I’m trying to redefine myself as a person of healthy choice-making, and as an actor. So the days of doing Fatty Arbuckle, Chris Farley or Ignatius J. Reilly in a Confederacy of Dunces movie have a very small time window, and it’s getting smaller by the week.”

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