WEST TOWN — When Wicker Park actor Kevin Miller first heard the synopsis for the upcoming comedy "Bad Johnson," he said he didn't quite know what he was getting into — only that he had to land a role.
The Chicago-shot film tells the bizarre story of a womanizer named Rich Johnson (Cam Gigandet of "Twilight") who, when he starts blaming all of his problems on his body and wishes a certain part away, gets a little more than he bargained for.
It takes the human form of comedian Nick Thune and proceeds to wreak havoc.
"You read it, and uh, you kind of sit back for a second," said Miller, 32, who, for his biggest film role to date plays Johnson's best friend.
DNAinfo Chicago caught up to Miller at Atomix, 1957 W. Chicago Ave., and chatted about what it was like to work with the unusual premise, his fear of messing it all up and why viewers might be surprised with what they find in "Bad Johnson."
"You read the script, and it’s just absolutely not what you’re expecting," said Miller, who described the material written by screenwriter Jeff Tetreault as relatable and grounded in perhaps familiar relationship woes.
"It's hilarious, but most importantly it’s got heart," Miller said. "And it’s got characters that you can attach to."
Miller said his character plays the "the rock in this situation" who challenges Gigandet's philandering.
Before the film, Miller had bit parts on local shows such as "Chicago Fire," "Boss" and "The Mob Doctor." But he knew he hit "the jackpot" when he landed a role that would allow him to add feature-length film to his list of credits without having to head to Los Angeles.
"I walked out of my apartment and just walked to work," Miller said.
In the film, viewers might recognize Wicker Park's The Revel Room (then Empire Liquors), along with a number of locations in Lincoln Park, such as Geja's Cafe, the zoo and some of the lakefront.
Fellow Chicago actor Katherine Cunningham, who Miller knew before the start of filming, helped him feel at ease when the nerves began to build.
"The first day I was kind of just intimidated by the situation," Miller said. "You play kind of the shy little brother on set."
Soon, though, the atmosphere of the film was full of laughs and some improv, Miller said. He got close with the writer and the rest of the cast and sometimes played the tour guide showing them around the city, including The Violet Hour and The Bluebird.
Miller said self-deprecatingly that when the film's released, he'll watch himself with a bit of nervous reluctance and anticipation.
"You kind of just hope that the people who told you [that] you didn't mess up this up weren’t lying to you," he said.
"Bad Johnson" comes out April 1 on video-on-demand and in select theaters May 2.