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INT: Jonah Hill/Stone

08.16.2007

SUPERBAD week continues as we talk about the young and in love couple, Seth and Jules, who find fun in a home economics class. Jonah Hill who you may remember from KNOCKED UP, I HEART HUCKABEES and the recent EVAN ALMIGHTY, as a semi-loser who is looking for that final hurrah in school is incredibly funny alongside his mate, Evan, played by Michael Cera. Jules, played by the lovely Emma Stone, is the hot chick who doesn’t really get that she’s hot, who rules Seth’s heart. Well, whatever Evan hasn’t a lock on. Both of these two actors work wonderfully together and lucky for the journalist gathered in Culver City Studios, they were great together here too.

At one of the screenings for SUPERBAD, I sat in front of Jonah and I was incredibly impressed that he wanted to see the flick with an audience (even if most of them were journalists). But he strikes me as someone with a good head on his shoulders, who is taking fame one step at a time. Good for him, because after this, I think a whole lot of opportunities are going to open up.

As for Emma Stone, she is wonderful in the “straight man” role and she will be every kid that couldn’t get the courage to ask the pretty girl to the proms new crush. She has an extremely charming quality and reminded me a bit of Rose McGowan. She is also on her way it seems with a few new movies in the works, so hopefully we’ll be seeing her much more often. And since I haven’t mentioned it here, SUPERBAD opens on August 17th...that's tomorrow.

Jonah Hill Emma Stone

Were you up for [working on this movie] or did you have to be talked into it?

Jonah Hill (JH): No, I always wanted to do it when I read it. I read it awhile ago and really wanted to do it but I was always told I was too old to play the part because I knew Judd [Apatow], Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg] so well. Seth and Evan and I are a year apart so they just looked at me like I’m the same age as them, so why would I have played a high school student, and I had just played one of Seth’s friends in KNOCKED UP, but I really wanted to play it. It was one of the best scripts I’d ever read, and definitely the funniest script I’d ever read.

But I was considered too old to play it, and they had such a hard time finding the lead in the movie that finally Judd looked at me one day and said, “How young could you look?” It was kind of like I was hiding in plain sight while we were filming KNOCKED UP, and Greg and Judd were like “How young could you look?” and I was like, “probably eighteen or seventeen – like I said I could have awhile back.” And then I shaved and we made a tape in Seth’s trailer, just improvising and stuff, and that day I was in the movie.

Did they take out there aggressions out on you? You get hurt in this movie more that anybody else.

JH: No, well Seth had originally written [the part] for himself but he just aged so terribly that he wasn’t able to play it. [Laughing] I don’t think it was a specific attack against me, hopefully, maybe they just added some more violence when I came along to make my life worse. [Laughing] The character [I play] says so many vulgar and crude things that you need to be sympathetic to him. So right as you are ready to dislike me, it’s nice to see me get hit be a car. You feel bad for me and it kind of allows ten more vulgar things that I say to happen, I think. Same thing when someone bullies me or spits on me, you realize where that anger comes from.

The ultimate message of the movie is just to be yourself. Does that really work?

JH: I think it does. If it does or it doesn’t, I’m not going to try something else. I’m myself and if you like that then you can be friends with me, and if do not then you don’t have to be.

But that is the message of the movie underneath all of the vulgar stuff?

JH: I don’t know if the message is be yourself. I think there should always be some sort of message of ‘be yourself‘. I think there are a lot of themes to the movie. I definitely have realized I’m not going to try to be somebody else to appease anybody. I think my character is kind of like, take it or leave it. He’s unapologetically about who he is. I kind of think it’s like that in real life. You shouldn’t have to change anything about yourself to make other people like you more, because then they’re not liking you, they are pretending to like what you are pretending to be.

Well, he’s trying to be the cool drunk guy because that’s what he thinks is cool for awhile.

JH: I don’t think he’s trying to be the cool drunk guy. I think he’s trying to get alcohol because that’s what the girl he likes is asking him to do. I think he’s trying to make her happy. I don’t think that anyone assumes that being a drunk guy is to help you in any way. It’s a pretty absurd thing to believe I imagine, that being an out of control drunk person is going to help you in any way. I think it’s pretty clear that it only makes you look more foolish. But I think the intention was that she would drunk and I would be drunk, and that would be [what brought the characters together]. When you’re young, you assume that’s how people hook up with each other because their inhibitions are gone.

Emma, how many “Seth characters” have you had to fight off in your life?

Emma Stone (ES): I don’t think I’ve had to fight off any “Seth characters” in the movie. I’m not really fighting him off in the movie, I think it’s just a situation where I really do like him, but I just don’t want our first kiss to happen in that situation. No, I’ve never really had that experience, I don’t think, of someone coming on to me out of their mind drunk. I’m the lucky one maybe.

Speaking of Seth, did he say “the character isn’t like that”?

JH: I’m not playing Seth in the movie. I’m not doing an impression of Seth. It’s not his WALK THE LINE or anything like that. He wrote the character in his voice because he was originally going to play it until I came along. He’s one of my best friends. We’ve known each other for so long. We’ve worked together a ton. It’s was more like how we make this more for my strong-suits as oppose to [Seth’s].

We had shot KNOCKED UP right before and that was kind of chance to show what his voice was about, and this was my opportunity to show what I do that was different from him. Very early on we were just hanging out at his house and he [asked me], “You’re not going to do me, right?” and I was like, “No.” That was the only time we ever discussed it. It was just clear that we are both unique in different ways and it was important to show [those differences]. And, Michael wasn’t doing an impression of Evan Goldberg either. The only ideas they gave were just because they knew the script better than anyone else because they wrote it, and it was important to keep the intentions of each scene the same, and the emotions of each scene [the same]. It’s with these [characters], it’s more about what they don’t say to each other rather than what they do say, do you find with your own friends, are you as honest, or do you kind of hold back in terms of what you feel and stuff like that?

The whole story is Michael and I having separation anxiety from each other. When you are a teenage male you are too insecure and freaked out by emotion to have a conversation to the effect of “I’m freaked out about this, are you freaked out about this?” and it takes the whole movie to have that conversation. So talking about sex and taking about things like that are a blanket so you don’t have to talk about anything with any real emotion. It’s kind of like a safe subject for teenagers to talk about because it allows you not to talk about anything that you are freaking out about.

There’s a hierarchy of the friendship, the fact that his character is afraid to tell you that they are going to be rooming together because it’s like a lower guy on the totem pole.

JH: There is that, and also I think, you’re so afraid to hurt your best friend’s feelings. I think he just knew how hard I would take it. Because I think his character is just so nice, he’s more aware of how earth shattering that would be to me. Well, my character – not me – because I don’t give a shit who Michael lives with. [Laughing]

You guys are both in a lot of projects coming up, could you give an update as to what you’re working on or what you’ve done recently?

JH: Emma is shooting movies everyday.

ES: [Laughing] Every single day of my life I’m shooting movies. No, actually I’ll be starting on my third film. SUPERBAD was my first and two days ago I just wrapped a movie called THE ROCKER with Rainn Wilson and then next week I’ll be starting a movie called HOUSE BUNNY which is an Anna Faris movie.

Could you take about your characters in both those movies?

ES: In THE ROCKER, I play a bassist in a band and Rainn is kind of a washed out 80’s musician that got kicked out of this heavy metal band called Vesuvius before they went on tour, and he’s been working a desk job for the past 20 years and resented this band as they sold like 100 million albums. His nephew is in a band with me, and [Rainn’s character] ends up joining the band as a drummer, gets us signed to a label, and we go on tour and he completely wrecks himself on this tour with these kids. That movie also has Christina Applegate as his love interest.

In HOUSE BUNNY, I play Natalie, and she’s the president of the worst sorority on campus, which has like seven pledges. Anna Faris plays a playmate that gets kicked out of the house when she turns 27 because it’s like 59 in bunny years. She comes to the UCLA campus and becomes house mother to my sorority and gives us all playmate makeovers and gets us more pledges. In the end we find out it really all about being yourself. [Laughing]

Have you started filming that yet?

ES: No, I start filming that on Tuesday. I’ve got a costume fitting right after this.

And Jonah, could you give us a little update?

JH: I don’t have really anything coming out that I’m acting in, I’m writing two movies and… for Judd [Apatow] at different studios, Universal and Sony. And I’m gonna star in, producing one with Judd. I’m really trying to take my time and not rush into acting in anther movie because I really like this one so much. I just wanna follow it up with something I’m really excited about. The next movie that I’m probably gonna do is one that I wrote, that I’m gonna star in and it’s called THE MIDDLE CHILD.

I’m just finishing writing it right now basically [Laughing], I would be finishing writing it at this moment if I wasn’t here so as soon as I get - we’re kinda looking at directors and finishing all the drafts and everything like that. And that’s pretty much it, I’m really looking at concentrating on writing and taking my time and learning how to direct. I don’t wanna rush into doing movies, it’s kind of the benefit of not having like a wife and a family and things like that. I don’t need a lot of money and I’m not gonna just try and do as many movies as I can while things are going well. I just kinda wanna hang out and wait for something really great or create it myself to try and do it.

Are you going to write a part for Seth?

JH: We’re probably going to be working together on something pretty soon.

You are going to write a part for him…?

JH: You know, he might play my brother in THE MIDDLE CHILD. The movie’s about a guy who finds out he had a brother who was put up for adoption before he was born. And the brother who was up for adoption finds the family again, and then I come home from school and basically become a middle child. I start going through “middle child syndrome” in my twenties. And the brother comes back and kind of like, fits into the family way better than I do, kind of replaces me. And Seth might possibly play that brother.

Did you have any input on your wardrobe for SUPERBAD?

JH: The big thing we thought about was, we had the image for my t-shirt of what I’m wearing in school. Like we all thought that had to be like an iconic image, whatever it was. And there was a lot of different things. The Richard Pryor one, I couldn’t have been happier with. I mean, we all talked about it like, it has to be… that shirt has to describe who that guy is. Or the kind of guy who would wear a Richard Pryor shirt at school would be a kind of funny guy or [he] likes cool things… really interesting, old school. You see, kind of, that was an important decision. We had a lot of different versions of that shirt and that was the one we landed on. We had a lot of discussion about it.

Can you talk about the silhouette dancing in the beginning?

JH: Oh, yeah, that was actually… there was a DVD feature, we all thought it would be funny to just, for the DVD menu, if Michael was dancing for forty-five minutes. You know, in the background, without looping. So you would notice that it wasn’t looped. You know, like we really made him dance for like an hour or something like that. And so we did it in front of a green screen and we all thought that it was really funny, him just dancing… he just kept dancing. He was really tired, it was really funny.

And then, [for] the opening sequence, one of the assistant editors named Scott who is just really cool, made it a silhouette and did opening titles, like for the movie, just for fun. And just showed Greg, ‘check this out, I made this thing’. And Greg loved it, and we all were like, that is the coolest thing. He did everything, he took the old Columbia logo. And then Greg was like, ‘we have to do it with Michael and Jonah dancing’. So we then got another green screen and Michael and I danced for like two hours with just different dance moves. And I cut my hair at this point, this was after we shot the movie and I put on like a wig and everything. So we just danced and danced. It sets the tone I think for the whole movie.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to jimmyo@joblo.com.

Source: JoBlo.com

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