Laurel and Hardy

Why John C. Reilly was intimidated to take on latest role

John C. Reilly — who plays Oliver Hardy in the new film “Stan & Ollie” — says he was at first intimidated to take the part.

“I try to talk my way out of jobs,” he told Annette Insdorf during a 92nd Street Y Q&A. “It’s a great way of divining what’s meant to be. To keep the reasons pure, I go, ‘Oh, no, surely not me.’ ”

He said of the role, “I don’t do impressions, unlike [co-star] Steve Coogan . . . That, coupled with the fact that I was always in awe of Laurel and Hardy, made it intimidating.”

He was convinced to take on the challenge when the film’s director Jon S. Baird came to see him on Fire Island arriving by “car, a train, a ferry,” and “a fairly long walk to the beach.”

Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker and Tom Bernard also hosted a special screening of the film with Baird and the cast at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center followed by a party at Lincoln Ristorante.

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