Dax Shepard keeping busy with 'Parenthood', movies for 2014

Dax Shepard. (WENN.com)

Dax Shepard. (WENN.com)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:07 PM ET

It's not surprising that Parenthood's Dax Shepard says he has a cameo role in the upcoming Veronica Mars movie. After all, Shepard's wife is none other than Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell.

But with Parenthood in the midst of its fifth season, Shepard also has two other movies in the can.

"I'm in a movie called The Judge with Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D'Onofrio, Billy Bob Thornton, Vera Farmiga - I'm the only non-nominated actor in the cast," Shepard says.

"And I'm also in a movie called This is Where I Leave You with Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and a bunch of other great people."

Conversing about movies leads Shepard, who plays Crosby Braverman on Parenthood (Thursdays on NBC and City), to a wider discussion about the differences between the TV world and the movie world these days.

"I think ego-wise you still would rather be Robert Downey, Jr., than anyone else," says Shepard, acknowledging the higher reaches of film fame. "But I also think anyone would recognize that the best writing is happening in television.

"There was no movie this year that was as riveting as Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or any number of TV shows, in my opinion. And to do it every week? What filmmaker is making 12 films a year that are all that brilliant?"

But what about the acting side of things, specifically? Did Shepard, 38, pick up anything from working with the likes of Robert Downey, Jr.?

"Honestly, (I learned) that it's all the same," says Shepard. And he wasn't being flippant.

"I idolize RDJ, he's always been my hero since Weird Science (1985 film) and there was one scene in a mall where he pours a Slurpee on someone," Shepard says. "But I'm not watching any of those guys and thinking, 'Wow, these people are a lot better than Peter Krause (who plays Adam Braverman on Parenthood).'

"As I get older, and I've been doing this for 10 years now, it becomes more obvious that most of it is just perception and packaging. I think Peter could be in any movie, I think Lauren (Graham, who plays Sarah Braverman) could, I think Mae (Whitman, who plays Amber Braverman) could. So those are my thoughts on that."

Of course, Shepard writes and directs films, too, so he clearly has his feet planted in both camps.

"But the television business has quadrupled, it has gotten better and better and better," Shepard says. "Movies have gotten worse and worse and worse, and yet they're adding categories to the Oscars.

"In TV there are all these niches now, which means you're not going to get (massive audiences for regular series), but the beauty of that is, a show like Parenthood can survive with its niche, and Mad Men can exist with its niche, and so on.

"We, the viewers, win big time. Me, the actor who wants to make a bazillion dollars, is going to lose in this scenario. But as a viewer it's phenomenal."

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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