Dax Shepard almost didn't make it in time.
The Michigan-born actor showed up to the Palace of Auburn Hills at halftime of the Pistons game on Monday night, just minutes before we were scheduled to talk about his new movie CHIPS (out March 24) with his co-star Michael Peña.
The reason? Valid. He stopped for coney dogs.
"Yeah, we've been here for an hour and I've already had two," Shepard said.
He picked up two coney dogs from Leo's Coney Island, and said he ate a large Greek salad and crispy fries, too.
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"I can't eat it right now, because I'm on some weird diet, but he loves these coney dogs," Peña laughed.
Shepard's love of all things Michigan was apparent Monday night. He has been on a promotional tour with Peña, getting the word out about their movie re-make of the TV series that aired from 1977-83.
"It's been so fun. We started in Miami, probably like five or six days ago and we did crazy stuff there. Then we went to Philly and gave out cheesesteaks, went to the Sixers game and shot free throws," he explained.
But here Shepard was, courtside at his hometown arena, watching the Pistons honor Rick Mahorn, Bill Laimbeer, and the Bad Boys.
"Mahorn was the original Bad Boy. He'd sometimes get four fouls in like 45 seconds. I think he has records. It's so great," he said.
Shepard stood and clapped as the pair of Detroit sports icons were introduced. He recalled stories of his dad living on the same lake as Laimbeer, watching him fish.
As great as the rivalry was for so many years, the irony in the actor's visit was his co-star's heritage. Peña is from Chicago.
"This is interesting, because we're really good buddies. He's really excited to see the Pistons and I'm from Chicago. I'm sorry!" Peña laughed.
Where they come together: their passion for CHIPS and Midwest foods.
"Not only is it a throwback to a show that was in the 70's, but if you were like me and grew up in Michigan, and it was gray eight months of the year and you turned on that show and the sun was out and they were on a beach, on motorcycles, we still have those magic ingredients," Shepard said.
Peña had to ask his buddy to explain what made coney dogs so special. (Shepard cited the 'sublime' natural casing, by the way.) In the end, he understood the food craving more and more.
"That's like Chicago food. You know what? Anywhere in this part of the United States, there's a lot of cheese, there's a lot of meat, and there's a lot of gas," Peña deadpanned.
Friends built on basketball, movies, and gassy foods: sounds like a winning combination.