TODAY   |  April 24, 2014

B.J. Novak: ‘Spider-Man’ villain ‘drunk on power’

The actor and author of "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories" joins TODAY to chat about his role in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back at 8:44 with a very talented c.j. novak, actor, author, and producer best known for his work on the hit nbc comedy "the office" but is showing a different side in the new movie "the amazing spiderman 2" playing a tough and very demanding boss.

>> you're late.

>> trams are so slow.

>> don't you realize we're responsible for an entire city's energy?

>> i noticed that. the power grid was designed by me.

>> you designed it. sure you did. i'm spiderman. now get to work.

>> good morning. good to have you here.

>> first i've seen of the movie.

>> you haven't even seen it yet? that's surprising. you act in the movie but they don't let you see it.

>> that's right.

>> perhaps for good reason. kidding. small role. but important because you actually lead jamie foxx 's character to go off and be the bad guy . you play a part in that.

>> yes. you could not have the movie without my role. without me as an actor but not my role what was it like to be part of this film?

>> it was kind of overwhelming. i showed up onset and there is so much secrecy that i didn't even get the full script. i had to sort of do my own thing about my character. i was able to talk to the director about what thoit i was piecing together but it was cool to be part of something so global and alive in the imagination of so many people.

>> there are interesting similarities that go back to your character to this guy as well.

>> i did find some overlap unfortunately i could draw on. my character ryan in "the office" was also sort of drunk on power at a very young age. i think that is the story of this character i play here. he, i think, yeah.

>> drunk on power.

>> at least that's how i saw it for sure.

>> i love your personal story for a lot of people who don't know about you and how you kind of came to fame. harvard grad, a writer by trade, but also started off playing the clubs doing standup comedy .

>> yes.

>> i understand one night a heckler actually did you a big favor.

>> well, it was more a sign of how pa thetic i was at that stage of my career. i was so bad on stage. this was very early. i've improved. i was so bad a heckler stood up and yelled, slow down. take a breath. ask us where we're from. the heckler was actually trying to help me, which was so much sadder than a heckler who considers you an equal that they can heckle.

>> it worked right?

>> i asked where she was from. she said kansas city . it was a woman. i said -- it got worse.

>> the comedy routine gets better though.

>> i wound up here yes.

>> you have great friendship and chemistry still with a lot of "the office" cast. you actually went to high school with john kaminsky and played little league .

>> yes.

>> who hit more home runs , you or him?

>> i hit a memorable home run early on. one of those things where you show up early on the first day.

>> yes.

>> i hit a huge home run like the first practice. and i was forever more the kid who hit that huge home run .

>> take that, john. right? then mindy , who i understand, i mean you obviously are on her show a lot as well.

>> yes.

>> you would love to work on something with her again.

>> i especially keep proposing, mindy if you're watching, i am always proposing that the two of us write a book together. she is such a great author. and i am such a great aspiring author in that field. i think that -- there is this book of letters between two great french philosophers. ask carla bruni about it. and my thought, they're arguing about the greatest issues of their day. i think a book with mindy and i arguing about what we think are the great issues of our day would be a lot of fun.

>> that's good. you guys have great comic timing. speaking of, you're a man of words. and instagram, you're apparently very active on instagram. i now follow you. pictures and text.

>> not about the pictures. more about the text okay. so you took some this morning.

>> yes. these are greatest hits . it looks like of my instagram. i can't resist back stage.

>> some of our scripts and copy?

>> this i felt was a little unfair to carson . look at all the scripts matt gets. then at the end, carson , ad lib . carson , make it up. we ran out of time.

>> that's the story of our life. you discovered a secret around here.

>> yeah.

>> is that how it works?

>> we're kidding. b.j. novak , great to see you. good to have you back here again. and the amazing spiderman 2 opens nationwide on may 2nd . can't wait to see it. back in a moment. this