Sisters' Ike Barinholtz Jokes Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Refused to Talk to Him for a Month


This Q&A is part of Us Weekly’s 2015 Holiday Movie Preview.

RSVP to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey! In Sisters (Dec. 18), the BFFs and former Saturday Night Live costars reunite as estranged siblings on a mission to host one final epic house party in their childhood home. The Mindy Project‘s Ike Barinholtz, who romances Poehler in the comedy, jokes with Us Weekly about set pranks, man boobs, and more.

Ike Barinholtz

Ike Barinholtz
Credit: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

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Us Weekly: Did you know Amy and Tina before filming? 

Ike Barinholtz: I was a lowly busboy at Chicago’s Second City when they were the big stars of the improv scene there in the ’90s. I always said, “One day, I’m going to do a movie with you guys.” And they would say, “If we ever do a movie with you, that’s a sign our career is not in good shape.” But as it turns out, they’re fine!

Us: Who was the biggest practical joker during filming?

IB: Tina and Amy had this running practical joke that if I wanted to talk to them, I had to talk to their assistants, which I thought was really funny the first month and a half. I kind of wish I had been able to talk to them a little bit more person-to-person, but once they do a practical joke they keep it up.

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Us: So they really stuck to that?

IB: They really stuck to that! It’s a lot like when they filmed Ocean’s Eleven, where, like, Matt Damon would have George Clooney’s hotel room moved to a new location — Tina and Amy wouldn’t talk to me. 

Us: Did you do anything to prep for your role?

IB: When I first auditioned for it, I was pretty heavy. And this character is wearing a sweaty shirt when Amy and Tina spy him and say, “Oh, cute guy!” That doesn’t really work if you have a spare tire and man boobs. So I did lose a couple pounds to get in normal guy shape — not crazy action hero shape, just normal human male shape. 

Us: In the trailer, there’s a pretty painful scene involving a music box mishap. Did you do your own stunts?

IB: I went full method. It’s been about a year of pretty difficult rehabilitation. I still have to sit on like several donuts when I sit down, and I had to give up my dream of being an Olympian. But I think it’s worth it. The gag is worth it.

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Us: Between Sisters and The Mindy Project, you’re building up your own squad of Hollywood’s funniest ladies. You’re giving Taylor Swift a run for her money!

IB: You know what, it’s just yet another reason Taylor Swift and I are almost identical. I know she’s a little worried that I’m encroaching on her territory, and I’ve got news for you, she should be. Because I’m coming for you, Taylor!

Us: Is there anyone else you’d like to add to your squad who you haven’t worked with yet?

IB: There’s a ton of people! We’re living in this great time where there’s so many amazingly funny women that are actually getting the chance to show how funny they are — Melissa McCarthy and Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There are so many of them that I don’t even know who to pick!

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Us: What are your go-to tips for throwing an awesome house party?

IB: Make sure you don’t run out of ice. Ice is the key to a party. You can have all the booze in the world, but if you don’t have enough ice — no one wants to drink a warm cocktail. So don’t run out of ice, and you know, give your neighbors a heads-up beforehand. Let them know, “Hey, we’re going to have 500 or 600 people at the house tomorrow night. You’re not invited, I’m just letting you know.”

Us: Pick a sister: Amy or Tina? 

IB: I would want them to both be conjoined and be my sister. That way I don’t have to choose, and I could probably make a little money on the side touring them around the country. I don’t know if that’s politically correct, but I’m just looking for a little extra cash.

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