The Big Short — a comedy based on the true story and best-selling book about the events that led up to financial crisis of 2008 — has quite the all-star cast, featuring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, and Christian Bale. To get to know the Hollywood mega-stars on a more ~personal~ level, we sat down with some of the cast to play a little round of "Who's Most Likely," in which we learned that Christian Bale is an expert drummer, Ryan Gosling thinks Steve Carell is a liar, and Brad Pitt is the biggest prankster. Here's what went down.
Who is most likely to make an inappropriate joke in the middle of a serious scene?
Ryan Gosling: Adam McKay. Yeah, he just talks through a microphone and he’ll just try to [make you laugh]. All the time. I remember we were in the middle of one scene and I’m talking to Steve and he says, “Why don’t you ask Steve if he wants to go out for a Chimay and a rainbow roll.” You know? It was a serious scene.
Jeremy Strong: Ryan. You know, I think that wouldn't always be true. But I think the nature of the role he played in this was kind of cheeky in that way.
Finn Wittrock: Oh, Brad! Brad did that to me!
John Magaro: Yeah, probably Brad. But not to mess you up, but he will, like, crack outrageous jokes.
FW: Yeah, like, he's funny and it really cracked me up multiple times, and some of it they kept in the movie. Ryan too is really— well, they're all really sharp.
JM: The stuff about peeing in your soil [Brad Pitt improvised]. Also about getting a colonic.
FW: "Really, though. Twice a year, guys. Twice a year." Those are all [Brad].
JM: Those are all off the top of his head.
FW: Lots of Ryan stuff, too. That whole part about the sundae, "You get the sundae, you get the cherry," that's all him. He's really good.
Who is most likely to nail a scene on the first take?
RG: It was Christian [Bale], yeah.
JM: Probably Bale?
FW: Yeah, Christian. We didn't see him, but we assume that he's great. Yeah, there was no pressure at all. You walk onto set and it's like, "Christian Bale was just here and he was so good." It's like, oh, great, cool! Now go, action!
Did you get to witness any of that?
RG: He did it by himself. He likes working by himself.
Who is the best at doing impressions of other cast members?
RG: Probably Hamish [Linklater]. Hamish is just really, really funny. He just kind of kept us all on our toes.
JM: Yeah, Hamish.
Steve Carell: My guess, and I didn’t see him do this, but I bet Christian Bale. Because he is such a consummate actor, and I wouldn’t call him a mimic, but he embodies these other people, so I would be petrified to see him do me.
JS: Probably Carell. I mean, I never saw him do it, but you just know he could. You just know that he could, like, nail you.
Who is most likely to plan a prank on set?
SC: Ryan. He has sort of an impish, devilish quality to him.
RG: Hmmm. Steve.
Yeah? He said it would be you.
RG: Really? He's a liar.
RG: Yeah. Who do I think would be the most likely to be a liar? Steve.
JM: A prank? Brad. I'd say Brad.
FW: Yeah. Well, Ryan. Ryan's pretty funny.
JM: It's always, like, Brad or Ryan. But Brad is a prankster, I would definitely say Brad.
FW: Our first day on set was the speakerphone day, where we're talking to him off camera. And he sat there all day, which is pretty awesome, off camera, and like riffed with us. But yeah, he threw out some gold that we were not expecting.
JS: Adam McKay. He's just like the funniest person you've ever encountered. And he would be in the other room on a kind of God mic and just saying like really funny shit all the time. And sometimes you're like, "Adam, we're trying to focus here!" No, but he brings such a sense of kind of playfulness and keeps the environment light, which for something like this, it's so heavy, that was really important to find that kind of balance.
Who is most likely to brighten your day?
SC: Ryan. I've worked with him before, he is the nicest — he's a great actor, obviously — but he's just the nicest guy. I just love him.
So he’s a liar but he also brightens your day, so it balances out.
RG: Yeah, yeah. He’s a ray of sunshine, that one.
FW: Uh, it's not cast, but...
FW: Yeah, me. Ourselves. I brighten my own day.
JM: Yeah, who would you say?
FW: I was gonna say McKay, our director. He was just such a breath of fresh air every day and just so passionate about the movie.
JM: He also had really fresh breath every day, so that really made it more appealing. Carries a lot of mints and Tic Tacs.
JS: Finn Wittrock. He's just a genuinely, like, kind of luminous person.
Who’s most likely to initiate a group hangout with the cast?
SC: Probably Adam McKay, the director. You know, he'd say, "Where ya going, what're you doing?" And New Orleans is a great town; there's so many opportunities to get into trouble there. We'd go out to dinner — the food is so, so great. And I had to put on weight to play the part, so that kind of went hand in hand.
RG: Jeremy Strong. He was always, yeah, he kept the group together. He was great.
FW: We did hang out a bit!
JM: [Finn] was pretty good about that, actually. I think you. You sort of coordinated a lot of it, because you were friends with Hamish from before, so you became the liaison to get that world with our world.
FW: Yeah, we had a good time.
JM: Then you also knew...there was another movie shooting and they were staying in the same hotel, and you also knew someone from that job, and then we ended up hanging out with that cast, too. So it was definitely you.
JS: I would say I actually tried to kind of get the gang together a couple times, and we did. I thought it was important to kind of create some camaraderie, which was actually just really easy anyway. And Rafe [Spall], who's from the U.K., didn't really know how to drive here. And it was raining torrentially in New Orleans, and Steve and Hamish and Rafe and I all got into Rafe's rental car, and we're driving on the wrong side of the street, going through stop signs. We almost, like, didn't make it to work the next day.
Who is most likely to be on the dance floor at the wrap party?
SC: Well, I saw Ryan on SNL last week. That dude has some moves. So he's got the moves — whether he'd bust them out on a dance floor at a party, I don't know. But I know of all of us, he would definitely be the one with the moves in his back pocket.
Did you guys do that — did you go out while you were shooting?
RG: Yeah, well, we were in New Orleans, so we went out a few times. We went, I don’t know, it was some parade, but we had a really nice time. Yeah, it was fun to shoot there. I’ve never made a movie there. It was great.
Who’s most likely to actually listen to heavy metal music in real life?
JS: I mean, I feel like Christian's gotten really into it. He's kinda like going around telling everyone they should learn to play this Pantera album or something.
SC: Brad Pitt. The image of him listening to heavy metal is kind of funny.
JM: Uh...Steve Carell.
FW: Probably Steve Carell.
JM: Maybe Selena Gomez, actually. I think Selena Gomez would be totally into it.
FW: Yeah, definitely. I think Margot Robbie might have a metal kick.
RG: Christian. I think he really enjoyed it, yeah. And he can really play double kick drums now.
Who is most likely to be cracking jokes all day long on set?
RG: McKay. Yeah, it’s brutal. It’s not fair, it’s just relentless, it’s like machine gun jokes.
SC: To be honest, I never worked with Christian. All of his stuff was done before I got there. But you know what, in getting to know him a little bit, he's a really funny guy. So maybe I'd say him. He's somebody that I was very intimidated in meeting the first time because he has, you know, he's a dramatic actor and he's so great, and he seems like he's so serious. But I found him to be much less serious than maybe I had imagined.
JS: No one was really cracking many jokes. Maybe Steve — I would say Steve, yeah. He was really dialed in to what he was doing, but every once in a while he would sort of like drop a comedic bomb.
Who is most likely to be found at craft services?
SC: Me, because I was the one without any sort of guilt. [I was] eating anything at that point; it was pretty disgusting. I ate a lot of deep dish pizza to prepare for the role.
Steve actually said it was himself.
RG: It was Steve, actually! Because Steve was gaining weight for that [role].
JS: I'll say Hamish Linklater. Just to, like, out him a little bit.
See more of the interview in the video below!
The Big Short hits theaters in the U.S. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, and in the U.K. on Friday, Jan. 22!
An earlier version of this post misspelled Steve Carell's name.