The Big Picture
- Dicks: The Musical is a raunchy comedy that explores family dynamics, as the “f***ing identical twins” try to reunite their parents and create a family.
- Nathan Lane’s character finds unconventional comfort and love in raising the Sewer Boys, whom he compares to pets like rescue dogs.
- The film, featuring a star-studded cast including Megan Thee Stallion and Bowen Yang, received accolades at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Larry Charles‘s film Dicks: The Musical isn’t afraid to go to some strange places. Adapted from the two-man stageplay F***ing Identical Twins by Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp, it leans fully into its R-rating, following the writers and co-stars as immature businessmen who frequently discuss their genitalia and discover they are “f***ing identical twins.” One of the more absurd elements of the musical comedy is the aptly named “Sewer Boys,” two diaper-donning monstrosities Nathan Lane found in his adventures through the New York sewers. Lane plays the father of the twins who, after separating from their mother, now spends his time taking care of his little sewer buds. That includes feeding them like a mother bird feeds their young.
Collider’s Steve Weintraub sat down with Lane and Megan Mullally after the film’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere where they discussed the Tony winner’s experience chewing up and spitting out food into the Sewer Boys’ mouths. Lane has done plenty throughout his career, from earning a Tony for the 2001 run of The Producers with Matthew Broderick to scoring an Emmy for his guest appearance as dip tycoon and murder suspect Teddy Dimas in Only Murders in the Building, but baby-birding little gremlins from the smelliest sects of New York was a new experience, to say the least. When asked about the scene, he explained the surprisingly complex behind the scene workings of the Sewer Boys and the cost behind bringing them to life:
“No, he feeds them like a mother bird. They eat deli meat, they like ham, and I chew it up and then spit it into their mouths, and they’re in a cage, you know. I had asked Larry if I could stand over them and have them underneath here, like a mother bird, but he said, ‘No, they can’t move.’ They don’t do too much, the Sewer Boys. It’s extra. That costs extra to get them to move a lot. So he said, ‘No, I want you to actually spit into their mouths from out outside the cage.’ I said, ‘Okay, that’s, something.’ The mouth could move on one of them, I think, at least they showed me that. Maybe it was just for close-ups or something, but his little mouth and little teeth could move up and down, but that was thousands of dollars.”
‘Dicks: The Musical’ Is Really All About Family
DIcks may revel in its raunchy riff on The Parent Trap, but at its heart, “it’s a movie about family,” says Lane. The titular “f***ing identical twins” hatch a plan to get their parents back together, so they can have a family again after all. “It’s about people trying to create a family. As weird as they all are, and they are all truly bizarre people, they want a family.”
Even Lane’s bizarre relationship with the Sewer Boys is out of the same type of familial love. As all pet owners know, family comes in all shapes and sizes. Lane says his character found comfort he desperately needed in raising his Sewer Boys, comparing them to pets. “I mean, even though he gave up one of his sons and just raised one of them, because they had separated and she raised the other, he found himself raising two Sewer Boys to replace that in his life. So, it is sort of moving in its strange way that he cares so deeply about them. They’re like rescue dogs, you know?” As he says in the trailer for A24’s first musical, “They’re not disgusting. They’re gay culture.”
Dicks: The Musical‘s loaded cast also features Megan Thee Stallion and Bowen Yang. The film brought down the house at TIFF Midnight Madness, earning the People’s Choice Award at the festival over films like Hell of a Summer and Boy Kills World. For more watch the interview below.