Directed by Kyle Newacheck (Workaholics), the action comedy Game Over, Man! (available to stream at Netflix on March 23rd) shows what can happen when a star-studded event at an L.A. hotspot is taken over by armed gunman. Amid the chaos, Alexxx Kingle (Adam Devine), Darren Duncan (Anders Holm) and Joel Duncan (Blake Anderson) realize that it’s up to them to save the day by becoming heroes, if they can manage to survive the guns, explosions and all other manner of danger.
At the film’s Los Angeles press junket, Collider got the opportunity to sit down with Kyle Newacheck to talk about extending his relationship with the film’s lead actors, beyond their seven seasons together on Workaholics, how directing feature films was always his dream, having nothing but love for Netflix, why he thinks good comedy comes from chaos, male nudity, and how he feels about test screenings. He also talked about developing Sex Castle, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, with Netflix and starring Blake Anderson, as well as whether he’d also like to tackle drama.
Collider: When you direct a movie like this, how do you keep everyone wrangled together without descending into chaos?
KYLE NEWACHECK: There’s a lot of actors in a lot of scenes together, but I am a fan of chaos, as well. I think chaos is wonderful, as long as you can guide it, which in that case, it wouldn’t be pure chaos, but a little chaos, I enjoy. I think good comedy and good energy comes from chaos. So, how do you do it? You push everybody. You’re like, “I need you to be really good in this scene. I need you to do your best.” I gave everybody homework. All the actors had character work, where they had to write me a story, in their character. Before I even met everybody, everybody had to do that. I wrote 20 questions, as well, that everybody had to answer, so that they knew that I meant business.
Was there anyone you had to convince to do it?
NEWACHECK: Oh, [Adam] Devine! Devine was like, “What is this shit?!” ‘Ders did it, Blake did it, and all of the other cast had done it. We were about to shoot and I was like, “Adam, I need your thing. You can’t be the only one that doesn’t do your homework!” On the last page, he just drew a big ol’ picture of his dick. I was like, “Okay, I get it.”
Do you have all of that saved somewhere?
What are you going to do with it?
NEWACHECK: I don’t know! I have so many pages from Workaholics and from this, that are very interesting to thumb through. You’d be like, “What the heck is going on?!”
Had you been thinking about directing a feature for awhile?
NEWACHECK: Oh, yeah! That’s why I moved to Hollywood. I went to film school to make movies. The funny thing was that I was like, “I don’t want to make TV. If I ever work in TV, that will be a failure.” And then, I did seven seasons of a television show with those guys. Turns out, I was just ahead of the curve. So, making a movie is a dream come true. I’ve thought about it for awhile, and I loved it, way better than TV. I guess it depends on the budget and how long you’re doing it for. I felt like I was in a box on TV. At first, it was so amazing to be shooting the show and doing Season 3. But then, with Season 5, 6 and 7, I knew the restrictions and I knew what I could and couldn’t do, no matter what my imagination thought of. With the movie, it’s the other way around, where you’re like, “I want it to be like this,” and they’re like, “Okay, let’s do it like that.” It makes things so much easier. I don’t have to change my images in my mind.
People talk a lot about how Netflix hires people because they believe in their specific vision, and that the notes they give are actually helpful. Was that your experience?
NEWACHECK: Oh, yeah, they were great. They were really hands off. They stupidly trusted me, on my first movie. I have nothing but love for Big Red. I love ‘em! We had a table read and the only note that they gave us afterwards was, “You have to keep Joel coming out of the closet and his friends don’t care.” We were like, “Okay! That’s it? Great! We’re also gonna shave a guy’s face off, do the whole eating the butt thing, and kill a dog. All that’s cool? Great! We’re gonna do it!”
Did you have to draw straws to decide which of the guys would get naked, or was it always Adam Devine who would be the one?
NEWACHECK: It was always Adam. Adam’s the one. I lived with him for seven years, and he’s never been shy about his penis. Never! I had them prepping a prosthetic wiener for him. It was just him and I in a room and he was like, “Kyle, I have totally made peace with showing the world my wiener,” and I was like, “Okay, let’s do it!” So, we did it! I think it’s the most male nudity in a comedy. Maybe Sacha [Baron Cohen] has done something like that. Borat has been pretty nude, I think. There are some shots in this of Adam where I don’t want to see that, but it’s funny.