A few weeks ago I participated in the roundtables for the film Accepted, which arrives at your local theater this Friday. The great part of that day was I had done a bit of press work down at comic-con for the film, interviewing some of the cast members as well as drinking with some of them at a big Accepted keg party that took place outdoors on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon. So when some of them walked in and saw me, it meant everyone had sort of met each other already and we wouldn’t be starting from zero.
The other thing that really struck me from talking with all of the cast members is how happy they all were to be there promoting the film. Even Justin Long who has been in a ton of movies (Dodge Ball, Galaxy Quest, Waiting) and is everywhere in those Apple commercials, was enthusiastic and forthcoming, even spilling a bit on Die Hard 4 and doing some great imitations.
Getting back to the film, perhaps you have seen the Accepted commercials, perhaps not. For those who are in the dark, Accepted is about Justin Long’s character Bartleby and how he gets rejected from every University he has applied to. Rather than face his disappointed parents, Bartleby and his friends decide to start a fake University so he make his parents proud. But since this is a teenage comedy, chaos ensues. His computer genius friend Sherman, played by the up and coming Jonah Hill, makes the website actually work and many other rejected students get accepted to this fake school.
While I may not be the target demographic of this film, the chemistry between all the actors kept me engaged and interested. The film tries to emulate the predecessors that came before, like Back to School or other classic 80’s films. Now I won’t say that it hits all the marks that it is trying to reach, but I definitely think that Justin Long and Jonah Hill are the real deal. Both have that on-screen charisma that makes you follow and care about the characters they are portraying. Thankfully both don’t realize that they are on the ascension to stardom, so during the interviews they were as grounded as anyone I have ever met.
If you haven’t heard of Jonah Hill let me give you a brief reminder. Perhaps you have seen The 40 Year Old Virgin? Jonah played the eBay customer who wants to buy the shoes from Catherine Keener’s store and is perplexed as to why he can’t just give her some money and take them home. The other reason you may have heard of him is he is one of the leads in Seth Rogen’s upcoming movie Super Bad.
The other person who I was enthusiastic to met was Lewis Black. Yes, that Lewis Black. He is finally getting some roles in movies and with his turn as the Dean of the University, he has been working non-stop on a few other films as well. During his interview he talked about recently working with Robin Williams and how generous of a performer he is. But the more interesting parts for me were his talking about the studio system in general and about finally making it into movies after all these years struggling for a part. Very interesting and honest.
Now while I have singled out Justin, Jonah and Lewis Black, the rest of the cast does a solid job with the material and are quite funny to listen to. I hope you like these audio interviews, look for The Illusionist tomorrow.
To listen to an interview either click the persons name, or right click it and save it to your computer for later. There is no copy protection so you can easily put the interview on your iPod or MP3 player.
Justin talks a lot about the Mike Judge film Idiocracy and also does some great imitations. The time index on those is 8 min 22 seconds. He also talks a lot about his work in The Break-Up and towards the end might drop some info on Die Hard 4.
Tom Shadyac is also the Director of the upcoming Evan Almighty starring Steve Carell and talks a lot about it during the interview.