Interview by Melissa Hanson (Dial M For Melissa)
As a fan of Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan, I jumped at the chance to interview the two members of Broken Lizard, the comedy team behind Super Troopers, Club Dread, Beerfest and Slammin' Salmon for their latest project, The Babymakers. Although this is not a Broken Lizard production, it does feature may of the familiar faces as well as similar humor.
After trying everything to get his wife Audrey (Olivia Munn) pregnant, Tommy Macklin (Paul Schneider) realizes to his horror that he may be shooting blanks. Terrified that his marriage may fall apart, Tommy recruits his friends to rob a sperm bank where he made a deposit years ago. As with any half-baked scheme, everything can and does go wrong, testing the limits of Tommy and Audrey's relationship and showing how far one couple will go in hopes of getting pregnant.
Each have a role in the film, Chandrasekhar as Ron Jon, the ex-mobster for the Indian mafia and Heffernan as Wade, one of Tommy's best friends who instigates trouble. Chandrasekhar enjoyed playing the role in addition to his directorial duties because as he says, "Indians are usually doctors or cab drivers." He wanted to play a character who has a bit of a complex about everyone thinking he's non-violent and not "tough enough."
Both went on about how they enjoy playing silly, comedic roles, but Chandrasekhar revealed that he like the "grounded relationship" of the film and liked that it was real. He's been interested in drama more as he's been watching "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," Downton Abbey," "Walking Dead" and "Mad Men." This does not mean he want to director or act in drama, as he eluded to a new project where the dialogue is "super straight, but funny."
Heffernan's friend, Peter Gaulke wrote the script, which was based on his experiences and then it was brought to Chandrasekhar. With the help of Jason Blum, the producer behind Paranormal Activity and Insidious, the film was pitched with a big studio hook and a modest budget. They shot for 21 days in L.A. where they were able to get a recognizable faces for the cast. The set was relaxed with the same crew from Beerfest.
With the editing of the film, even though now they hire editors, Chandrasekhar explains that "when we first started out, we couldn't afford one, so I got a job at an editing house and learned to edit." Now with his films, he works with the editor to maintain the "consistent rhythm of dialogue" that fans have come to recognize.
At the end of the month, the Tribeca Film, Side-by-Side, a documentary about digital vs film is being released and I asked each for their thoughts on which they prefer and why. While Heffernan admits he's only worked with film, so that's what he's used to, Chandrasekhar had a more defined answer that digital is too detailed and that it's "not perfected how to make older people look good." He concedes that it may be the future, but it's not here yet.
The Babymakers is also being released through Tugg, a company which facilitates fans with showings. The concept is simple: people sign up committing to seeing a movie, and when there is enough interest, a screening is put together. Cinemit has partnered with Tugg before, and is currently offering Iron Sky in select cities.
Both Chandrasekhar and Heffernan are very pleased with the concept of Tugg, as they admit their film usually have "wildly gigantic DVD numbers" and that their "crowd likes to sit on the couch with their buddies to watch movies" and it's not as easy to get them to the theater. In addition to Tugg, the film will also be released on demand so their fans can "watch the way they want to."
Chandrasekhar also admits that the shows he mentioned previously, he watched on the treadmill. "Would it be better on a big screen? Maybe, but that's just not how it is anymore." He has a good point. While the industry is still grasping at getting people into the theaters, the real focus needs to be on adapting to the new ways people can and will view movies and of course, getting a profit.
So who have been their favorite characters to play? Well, it's no surprise, Heffernan chose Rod Farva because it's "fun to be an unadulterated a$$hole." Chandrasekhar said he really liked his character in The Babymakers, but of those before, "definitely the state trooper. It's fun to hide behind a mustache and glasses."
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
Written by: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
Featuring: Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn and Kevin Heffernan
Plot: After failing to get his wife pregnant, a guy (Schneider) recruits his pals to steal the deposit he left at a sperm bank years ago.
Melissa Hanson, Cinemit Content Editor, also known as Dial M For Melissa, has been a Cinemit member since 8/29/10, is a member of the Women Film Critic's Circle and also writes for MoviePass.
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