Kidsday: Interviewing Kevin James

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We met comedian and actor Kevin James when he was in Manhattan recently.

Do you watch your movies?

Yes, I do. I see a lot before it goes in. And I'm pretty critical about my stuff usually. So I'll see it, and after I've worked on it for a long time I'd see it with an audience . . . and if everybody enjoys it, then I won't watch it for a long time. Then, I watch it way down the road again. I'll forget stuff in it. I'll let it go for a couple of years, and then I'll watch it again.

Do you have a good-luck charm?

Not really . . . I have a rabbit's foot, my other foot's normal . . . old joke! I don't have a good-luck charm. . . . but I do have a great family. Everybody is supportive in my family, and I love kind of bringing them around me when I shoot movies so they can all be around, and it makes me feel comfortable.

Would you ever do another sitcom?

I wouldn't say no. It depends. I enjoy what I'm doing right now with movies, but I would do a sitcom if the situation was right . . . I'll tell you what's nice about a sitcom is No. 1, you're staying in one location all the time. It's an easier, more controlled day. You know what you're doing every day, and when you're in movies, you're all over the place shooting. But I like it. I like the immediate reaction of an audience, too, if you get to shoot in front of a live audience. I miss that, too. But right now, I'll continue with movies as long as the movies do OK.

What is your favorite movie that you made, and one that you've ever seen?

My favorite movie is this one, and I'll tell you why -- because it's kind of like an homage to my favorite movie of all time, which is "Rocky." I like "Rocky," that's my favorite movie, Sylvester Stallone. That's why I asked him to be in the movie "Zoo Keeper." I was so moved by "Rocky." I remember leaving the movie theater and being really excited about that. So it was exciting to be able to have him be in my movie and then to make a movie and ask him questions about how he made "Rocky" and stuff. I think that was really neat, and making this movie.

Does your family come first?

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Absolutely. That's why I bring them with me whenever we can. We're always schooling the kids wherever we go. It's great, because they get to see cities and different museums and things like that when we're on location. I have to shoot around them. We have to make sure that they're comfortable and everything's going well with them before I can actually do a movie. I couldn't be away from them for three months at a time.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get it from all over. I get it from my father, my family, my wife, my kids, my teachers. . . . I had some great teachers on L.I. when I was growing up that have taught me some principles, good principles that I adhere to still today. They were supportive and very positive teachers.

Do you like being recognized on the street, or do you like your privacy?

Both. It's always nice to be recognized. I always try to be nice to everybody, even if you're not in the mood to be recognized. Only because I know there's going to come a time when people don't care who you are, and then you want to be recognized. You'd be looking after them . . . "hey do you want an autograph?" "No, I'm good." You have to appreciate and know what you're doing, and it's the fans that support you and enable you to make these movies. Honestly, I always made my movies for the fans; they're the ones, like I said, that drive me because that's what I was. As a kid growing up and I am now, I'm still when I watch movies I love to get inspired by it, and if I met someone, the actors that I looked up to, and they were mean, it's rough. I wouldn't want that. I would want them to be nice. But I also understand that it could be tough for them, and they get busy. Getting recognized by your fans, it's never really a bother.


What is your favorite episode of "King of Queens," and why is it still so successful?

It's weird. I don't have the single favorite episode. There are parts of most episodes that I like and then some episodes that I don't really like that much. There's like different parts. Like I laughed a lot at Jerry Stiller. I remember seeing him, and he would yell at me, and I would always crack up. And Leah Remini was great, too. Always just having fun. I remember certain scenes where I had the greatest time working with those actors . . . I guess they play it a lot in syndication so they keep playing it over and over again. And I'm finding like we have a lot of new fans. People that didn't know the show when it was first on. So now that they're discovering it, they're coming up to me all the time and saying that they're loving episodes, and I don't remember a lot of the episodes. At one time, I would love to sit down and just watch because we did nine years, and I'd love to sit back and watch it and see all the episodes because I don't remember. But it's nice. I'm so happy that they're discovering the show.

Do you have any pets?

I think we're going to get a dog, but I think my daughter is allergic. So we've got to find the right kind of dog to get.

What was your favorite place to hang out growing up on L.I.?

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I loved West Meadow Beach. I used to go there. I used to go to Smith's Point Beach all the time. I lived in the "S" section in Stony Brook, and I used to love going anywhere. Pools, playing in Little League, the parks. I used to go to Adventureland. That was fun. I always had a great time there. The restaurants, I love Long Island.

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