From director Kay Cannon, the outrageously funny comedy Blockers shows the hilarity that can ensue when three parents (played by Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz) discover their daughters (played by Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan and Gideon Adlon) have a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Determined to do whatever it takes to keep that from happening, the well-meaning trio will stop at nothing, even if that includes car chases, butt-chugging contests and party crashing, to ensure that these three smart, determined and empowered young women don’t make a decision that they’ll regret.
At the film’s Los Angeles press junket, Collider got the opportunity to sit down with Kathryn Newton and chat 1-on-1 about the appeal of Blockers, why she enjoyed the environment that director Kay Cannon created, bonding with her co-stars, all of the laughs on set, the toughest scene to get through, and her own prom experience. She also talked about why she’s so excited to be a part of the Pokemon movie Detective Pikachu, what she’s learned from being a part of The CW series Supernatural, and being a part of HBO’s Big Little Lies.
Collider: When you signed onto this, did you have any idea exactly what you’d be getting yourself into, especially with the physical comedy side of it?
KATHRYN NEWTON: Definitely! I was on a CBS sitcom for three years, called Gary Unmarried, and we filmed in front of a live audience, so I was like, “Oh, I know how to ride the wave and know when something’s funny.” I’ve never done a movie like this before. The way that Kay [Cannon], our director, set this environment where you could do whatever you wanted, there was no fear. I really trusted her and Leslie [Mann] and my two girls, Geraldine [Viswanathan] and Gideon [Adlon]. They asked us to let go and just fly, and we made stuff up. We did a lot of improv, and then they were shooting us lines, on the day. Things changed a lot. I’ve never worked that way before, and now I’d love to continue working that way. It was just a really fun way to do it. It kept it fresh and we just laughed a lot.
When did you realize that chemistry was there? Did you get to spend some time together, ahead of time?
NEWTON: The moment I met Leslie Mann, we both started crying in my audition. We were both bawling and I was like, “This going to be great!” I love her so much. It took awhile to find the two girls, and I didn’t meet them. The day before filming, we were all staying in the same hotel and I finally got to meet Gideon and Geraldine, and it clicked. We were like, “This is going to be great!,” and it was. We were immediately friends, and we’re still friends. We talk so much. They’re probably two of my closest friends. I’m really lucky. I did a really fun movie, and I got two really good friends out of it.
When you do movie like this, is there a lot of laughing and fun on set?
NEWTON: Oh, my goodness, Geraldine made me cry, laughing. There were so many laughs and so many fun things. We just said the wildest things. We broke a lot. Leslie made me break like crazy, and she never laughs. She didn’t break. I would be crying, on the other side of the camera, and she’d just be in it, so focused. It takes so much focus not to laugh. It was outrageous!
Was there a specific day or scene that was toughest to get through?
NEWTON: Yeah, the vomit scene, which was a night shoot. Once you get to four or five in the morning, even if you’re having a sleep-over with your best friends, you forget how to speak, at that hour. When you’re filming and doing something as ridiculous as throwing up, I could not keep it together. I was just dying of laughter. One of my favorite scenes to shoot, though, was actually the scene where we made the sex pact. It was a very important scene because it set the tone for what it was going to be like, but you also learned, immediately, who these characters are. I broke a lot because they were throwing all these lines out and it was the first day, and we were getting to know how it was going to be to film, with all of the alts and keeping it fresh. There was a lot of laughter on that day.
Have you ever gotten yourself in trouble with leaving a computer or something open, and somebody found the conversation you were having, like your character does?
NEWTON: It’s definitely happened to me, for sure. My mom will be on my phone, pretending she’s looking at pictures, but she’s reading a conversation. It’s not bad, or anything, but she does that. I think that’s a very relatable thing that happens to a lot of kids, at least once. It happens with friends, where someone sees a text message. That happens, all the time. You can’t really hide anything. You’ve just gotta let it all out there.