With writer-director Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s fantastic first film The Peanut Butter Falcon opening in select theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with cast members Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen and Dakota Johnson to talk about the movie. If you haven’t seen the trailer, the acclaimed movie is about Zak (played by Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true. Along the way, he has a pretty epic adventure and meets a number of fascinating people played by LaBeouf, Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Yelawolf, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Mick Foley.
During the interview, LaBeouf, Gottsagen and Johnson talked about how the very large group hugs came about, the rap battles being done on set and in hotel rooms, why LaBeouf and Johnson wanted to be part of the project, where the watermelon scene came from, and more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about follow by the official synopsis and trailer.
Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen and Dakota Johnson:
- The rap battles on set and in the hotel rooms.
- How did the group hugs come about?
- Why did by LaBeouf and Johnson want to be part of the project?
- Shia LaBeouf talks about how Ben Foster was originally going to play his role and how he landed the part.
- Was Dakota Johnson disappointed she wasn’t part of the watermelon helmet scene?
- Where did the watermelon helmet scene come from?
Here’s the official synopsis for The Peanut Butter Falcon:
A modern Mark Twain style adventure story, THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON tells the story of Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). A strange turn of events pairs him on the road with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a small time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whiskey, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.