Set Visit: Jennifer's Body
I had the great fortune to visit my first movie set in May of 2008 and I'm pretty stoked to share the experience with all of you. The name of the movie is JENNIFER'S BODY and it's being pitched as an 80's style horror comedy akin to HEATHERS. Starring Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, and Adam Brody, this flick is the first movie executive produced by screenwriter Diablo Cody. The movie also has Jason Reitman, Mason Novick, and Daniel Dubiecki along as producers. On the set visit, I was pretty excited to see what Ms. Cody has next up her sleeve.
I arrived in Vancouver on a somewhat cold Monday afternoon and checked into my hotel room. Before the visit, I met up with some friends for some movie talk and a meal. After that it was off to the hotel bar and of course our first chance encounter with talent. Diablo Cody, likely staying in the same hotel, stopped in the bar and after a subtle invite came over and said hello, and mentioned she'd be here all night hanging with her lawyers smoking cigarettes. She was incredibly chill and relateable; also, wearing what turned out to be her signature leopard print coat.
The gorgeously dreary city of Vancouver!
After a night's worth of conversation in the hotel bar and drain of the per diem, the morning began around 10am. I was hoping to grab a Crepe before leaving the hotel but that was not be in the cards. Because the set was cross town, I had to take a shuttle past "heroin alley" (as I like to call it) and another twenty minutes of metropolitan attractions. First up was a face to face with Jason Reitman. I'll transcribe the entire interview in a later column; however, I really want to share this with the world because I can. As the interview starts, we go around the table and introduce ourselves:
"I'm Alex Keen from JoBlo.com"
"Did you say you're from JoBlo? That's funny, I met Kevin Smith a few years ago and he has always been an idol of mine and, I said 'Hi, I'm Jason Reitman and I'm a director'. [And Kevin Smith said] 'You made THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. Your trailer has got three hamburgers on JoBlo and that was so cool that he knew how many hamburgers my trailer had. That was one of the great moments of being a director."
Not too shabby for my first interview and the first thing on my tape recorder, eh? After that JoBlo f*ckfest, Reitman was grilled on his role in the filmmaking, his future projects, love of smaller movies, and plenty of other interesting stuff pertaining to JENNIFER'S BODY. Overall, Reitman was a very cool guy, laid back and fun. He knew exactly what he was working on and knew where he wanted the movie to go. There was no sign of on set tension or disagreement, just mild differences in explanation. Reitman was supported by his production partner Dan Dubiecki, who seemed to be more of the cheerleader on set. In his interview Dubiecki came across as the hype man, exactly like you'd expect a stereotypical producer to be. But I guess after weeks of filming someone needs to be the ray of sunshine.
In the morning, I spent time with Mason Novick, Diablo Cody's production partner. While Dubiecki came across as polished, Novick seemed a bit more nervous but also more candid. Novick is also the producer of Y THE LAST MAN and very briefly talked about that, as well as a romantic comedy that Cody has in the works. Since Novick and Cody were attached to JENNIFER'S BODY from the start, Reitman and Dubiecki have less of a history with the project. The only big decision that seems to have been made prior to Reitman and Dubiecki joining the project was the casting of Megan Fox.
The very cool deer head in the lobby bar.
Although Megan Fox was not available to interview, Adam Brody stepped up to the mic next. In emo attire and make-up, Brody looked like Chris Carabba from Dashboard Confessional. He had a curious satanic (his words) tattoo of a moon on his neck, black clothes, and, of course, eyeliner. Brody was very friendly, slurping away on his Diet Coke, answering all of our questions from What singer did you channel? to If you could be any superhero, who would that be? Personally, I mentioned he might make a good Ant-Man. He channeled Samuel L. Jackson with his reply: Fuck Ant-Man!
I also had the opportunity to observe Brody in character, lip synching with his band, emoting his face off and bringing his character Nikolai to life. It wasnt a long scene and and Brody squared it away in one take. Brodys character is supposed to be a dark, but funny, character. It seems like a stretch and definitely not a safe bet if it works, it should work well.
After I interviewed Brody it was back to the set for a glimpse of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. Fox was showing ample cleavage (fitting for her character) while Seyfried was much more reserved. The two had a brief scene in a bar flirting with a meathead Gomer (Codys slang for a redneck) and then checking out the band. The scene took multiple takes, mostly due to the complexity of Codys dialogue. While Seyfried delivered a consistent performance from take to take, Fox varied her delivery and sometimes stumbled. Nothing drastically wrong with the scenes, just obviously not print worthy.
Lunch was next and the craft services tent was as good as youve heard. Nothing like Pesto, Brie, and Sundried Tomato on a crispy cracker to make you feel special. Too bad rain drenched the entire city all day and my lunch as well.
Apparently, I got dissed like a fat kid with a rose.
After lunch, director Karyn Kusama waxed philosophic on the subtext of JENNIFERS BODY. Kusama has definitely thought through the story extensively and understands the hows and the whys thematically and psychologically. Questions regarding her previous studio film, AEON FLUX indicate Kusama was not happy with the end result and blames turnover at Paramount for the films poor quality and performance. Kusama is very intelligent, well prepared, and happy with things so far with Fox Atomic.
Next up, after a delay, I interviewed screenwriter and producer Diablo Cody. Cody was an interesting interview, showing varying emotions heavily dependent on the question. Some questions she answered directly, some with uncontrollable enthusiasm, and others she seemed on the brink of crying. Im not exaggerating when I say that Diablo Cody gives an interesting interview and is definitely unique to her profession. In one sense she wants to be an introvert; in yet another she just wants to be noticed (why else wear a leopard print coat?). In my brief experience with the woman I didnt get the impression that shes nuts or crazy. In fact, I bet most movie fans would love to hang out with her. Cody seems to walk to the beat of her own drummer and that's just fine by me. In the interview, Cody talks about her future romantic comedy, her upcoming Showtime show, and of course the writing process.
Director Karyn Kusama on the set of JENNIFER'S BODY.
Finally, the last interview was with star, and protagonist of JENNIFERS BODY, Amanda Seyfried. Seyfried is best known for her work in MEAN GIRLS as well as her upcoming role in MAMMA MIA! After showing some nerves early on, she settled in and gave a decent interview. Seyfried looks younger than her age in person but is obviously smart enough to look beyond the surface of her profession. While shes not exactly a fan of the horror genre, Seyfried has a great sense of where to take her career. Even if this movie isnt a hot property, working (and getting along) with Reitman and Cody should only help.
After the interview with Seyfried, the set visit was over. Because of time constraints (or perhaps some other reason) I didnt get to see or touch the set. I spent most of my time watching take after take on a flat screen HDTV, while the crew did their stuff filling beers with endless cans of ODouls non-alcoholic. There were also multiple fake tombstones out on the dock that were used in another scene. Beyond that, the story continues even if the set visit ends.
Megan Fox hangin' out with Amanda Seyfried in science class.
Because Im East Coast I was in the hotel for another night. This just meant one more night in the bar with friends, a boatload of per diem, and time to kill. We hit the hotel bar again, spending probably six hours shooting the shit. What made up the bulk of my conversations was the new paparazzi photos of Megan Fox
topless. The timing of such a breech of studio security seems way too coincidental. Do I believe that Fox had no idea about these pics hitting the net? Do I believe that the studio wasnt aware
not at all. But thats just one guys opinion.
The crepe place that I wound up never eating at.
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|Extra Tidbit:||Adam Brody looks like Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional in this movie. Like it or not. And for half-naked pictures of Megan Fox, CLICK HERE.|