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Nick Swardson goes into porn with ‘Bucky Larson’

Born to Be a Star,’ in theaters Friday.

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He’s been featured in supporting roles as a nerd, a stalker and a flamboyantly gay petty criminal. Now the spotlight’s on him, and this time he’s an aspiring porn star.

Nick Swardson noted for his roles in “Grandma’s Boy,” “Blades of Glory” and TV’s “Reno! 911” stars as the wide-eyed, buck-toothed Bucky Larson in “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” in theaters Friday.

The film follows Larson, a small-town grocery bagger who discovers his conservative parents were once porn stars. Armed with a bowl cut, a sweater vest and a “Fargo”-esque Midwestern accent, Bucky moves to Los Angeles hoping to follow in his parents’ footsteps.

Swardson spoke to The Lantern in a conference call about the film.

Adam Sandler founder of Happy Madison Productions, the production company that produced the film came up with the idea for “Bucky Larson,” Swardson said. Rather than being horrified that his parents are in the porn business, Sandler wanted to tell a story in which Larson decides porn is his calling.

The film isn’t truly about pornography, however.

“When you hear about the premise of the movie, you think, ‘Oh, it’s just gonna be a lot of d— jokes and t—‘ and stuff like that,” he said. “But it’s actually a really sweet story about this kid trying to find his place in Hollywood, a place he doesn’t belong.”

Don’t go into this film expecting some rich commentary on the pornography industry, either, Swardson said.

“Pornography is just kind of in the background,” he said. “It’s not really a commentary on pornography. It’s more of just a universal theme of a fish out of water and making something out of nothing.”

So how does a thespian of Swardson’s caliber prepare for such a film?

Not by watching porn, he said.

“Obviously I’ve watched 100,000 hours of pornography so it wasn’t like I had to crack open a safe of knowledge I didn’t already have,” he said. “I went at it more like a guy who doesn’t know what he’s getting into, so instead of researching a lot about it, my character was way more naïve and kind of clueless.”

The film opens today and has yet to be screened for critics, a sign that the studio may not be confident with what’s on their hands.

Swardson was disappointed early on in the making of the film when he saw his fans reacting negatively on the Web to what they’d seen of it, but said he knows what kinds of people will enjoy it in the end.

“It kind of hurt my feelings,” he said. “I created this character. I worked really hard on it. If you get my sensibility, I think you’ll for sure dig this movie.”

Critical and fan reaction aren’t the only potential shortcomings of the film. Bucky’s manhood, or lack thereof, is a major stumbling block in his pursuit of a career in pornography.

While Swardson said the film will champion viewers who share the same misfortune in that department, he was quick to defend his own.

“(The length of) Bucky’s penis is probably half of a Skittle,” he said. “Mine’s at least five Skittles, so I’m gonna be in good shape there.”

As of Thursday, a day before the film’s release, review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com hadn’t posted a single review of the film.

With no verdict either way from critics, and with Steven Sodebergh’s bio-disaster flick, “Contagion,” and the annual critic’s darling sparring film, “Warrior,” both set to receive a lot of attention at the box office this weekend, Swardson offered up his reason why audiences should give Bucky a chance.

“It’s the same people who’ve created ‘Grandma’s Boy,'” Swardson said, “It’s funny, it’s different and it’s the weirdest romantic comedy you’ll ever see in your life.”

“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” also starring Christina Ricci, Don Johnson and Kevin Nealon, is rated R and is scheduled to hit theaters Friday.

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