Back in March of 2012, Collider (along with a handful of other outlets) was invited out to the Woodland Hills, Calif. set of the comedy Get a Job. From director Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger) and writers Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel, the film shows how life after college graduation is not exactly going as planned for Will (Miles Teller) and Jillian (Anna Kendrick), who find themselves lost in a string of strange jobs. As they learn to navigate adulthood and make it in the real world, they get help from family (including Bryan Cranston), friends and co-workers.
After watching some of the shoot, we hung out in a nearby office building doing roundtable interviews with actors Bryan Cranston, Miles Teller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicholas Braun (who play two of Will’s friends), along with Kidd, Pennekamp and Turpel, and producers Michael Shamberg and Josh Rothstein, who all shared some tidbits about making the film. From the interviews, we’ve compiled a list of 15 things that you should know about Get A Job, which is available in theaters and On Demand on March 25th.
- This script was developed for four years prior to filming, which occurred in 2012, and director Dylan Kidd came on about two years after that. As the script progressed, they made it deeper, funnier and more real, but the spirit of what they shot is what they started with. They wanted to make a fresh comedy that appeals to everyone.
- They met with a bunch of directors on the film and, at one point, a different director was attached, but went on to do another movie. Ultimately, Kidd signed on because he really got the material.
- Screenwriters Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel said that this story is based on themselves and people they know. They started out with stories that happened to themselves, and then called up people to ask them about the craziest things that ever happened to them at their first job.
The character of Will, played by Miles Teller, is a combination of what Pennekamp and Turpel went through and who they were, at that age. They both had crap jobs when they first started out on the path to be screenwriters, and that’s reflected in the film.
- In talking about what drew him to this role, Teller said, “It’s different than all these other roles that I’ve played. He’s right out of college, and a lot of stuff is going on. This generation thinks that you’re going to be the best and take over the world, but kids are graduating and they’re in a very tough spot. I liked the comradery with him and his friends. And it’s always nice to have a love interest.”
- The heart of the movie is the relationship between Will and his dad, played by Bryan Cranston, but that was not something originally in the first draft of the film. That was something that developed while they were working on the script. Now, it’s a reflection of Pennekamp and Turpel’s relationships with their own dads.
- When it comes to any script that he’s involved with, because he’s also a writer, Cranston said he doesn’t give comments about any issues he has without a reason, and that there’s always the purpose behind it of making it better. He even gives feedback on other characters, if something doesn’t feel right and true to the story.
Nicholas Braun and Christopher Mintz-Plasse play friends of Teller’s lead character. Braun plays Charlie is out of college and a big stoner that’s struggling to find motivation, but is not really looking that hard. He becomes a chemistry teacher for middle school, but isn’t really sold on the job. Mintz-Plasse plays Ethan, who is also a stoner out of college. He created an app and is convinced that it will be the next big thing, so he’s trying to get it sold.
- Jesse Eisenberg, who was in Kidd’s previous movie Roger Dodger, was supposed to do a role in this film, but was too busy doing Now You See Me, so he ended up not being available.
- According to producer Josh Rothstein, “This is the type of story that’s always going to be relevant. People are always going to have to figure out their first job. They’re always going to have to figure out their relationships with their significant other and their parents. It’s great that it does feel really contemporary and relevant to everyone, but the issues in the script are things that are always going to be relevant to people, in their own lives.”
- Pennekamp and Turpel initially wrote the film in an “Apatow-ian” way. Everything is about bring real before being funny. The humor is related to the situations and grounded in reality. Said Teller, “It’s a really funny script. I think the difference between this comedy and a lot of other comedies is that there’s not a lot of one-liners. It’s very contextual and grounded comedy, and you care where these characters are going to end up.”
- Unlike Teller’s character in the film, he got hired for his first movie before he’d even graduated college. He said, “I didn’t have that struggle. All of my other friends were like, ‘Fuck, we’re graduating. Now what do we do with this Bachelor of Fine Arts? There’s no jobs. There’s no work.’ It’s hard as an actor, so it’s not hard to get into that space when that confidence gets tested and you don’t have a safety net. My parents have always been there for me. They said, ‘If you do good in school, we’ll take care of you. You don’t have to get a job. We’ll give you some money.’ But, what if that wasn’t the case?
At the time this film was shot, Cranston was Teller’s first movie dad. He said, “Starting with Bryan Cranston, it’s going to be a high bar now for everybody else who’s going to play my father. I grew up watching him on Malcolm in the Middle, and that energy that he has is great for comedy.”
- They had to cancel the first day of production because Teller started the film with strep throat and laryngitis, and then he could only speak on camera for a bit after that. He could only talk when the camera was on him. If the camera was on someone else, the script supervisor had to say the lines while he was mute.
- They decided to shoot the film in Los Angeles as Los Angeles, and as a result, they wanted to capture the city in a way that’s new and real to the audience and the characters. Because there are several cameos in the film, it was easier to shoot it where everyone was located. Originally, the film was set in Chicago, and they had even looked at Atlanta as a possible shooting location, but decided to go for a non-L.A. look at L.A.
Get A Job is available in theaters and On Demand on March 25th.