Set Visit: Step Brothers
What do you get when you put Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly together as STEP BROTHERS? Well most likely there is a boatload of issues. Especially since both are living with the parents and are much too old to be leeching off mom and pop. And of course, neither of which have any intention of growing up. Well, what you get this time out is another Judd Apatow production, with Adam McKay directing, and a script written by Adam and Will. And since a few on-line journalists were invited to check out the family, I eagerly signed up.
When I arrived at the Sony Pictures lot, I waited around for a few others to arrive. And once the small group of us were ready and willing, we headed over to wardrobe. The lovely and talented costume designer, Susan Matheson was going to show us how the boys are going to dress. When we all gathered in the trailer where the costumes were kept, we were shown how it was all set up like a library. Certain types of clothes together for the specific actor. And for a comedy, it is amazing how many clothes both John and Will had.
First, she gave us a glimpse at what she had created for Will. It was a wonderful world of Kenny Rogers t-shirts and much, much more. I was truly impressed with The Judds tour shirt with “Why Not Me?” printed on the back. I really couldn’t imagine any man in his thirties or forties wearing this… so of course, I think it would be kind of cool. There was much more in the way of shirts, including travel shirts for Puerto Vallarta, a lovely purple shirt with two white unicorns and even a Mountain Dew shirt. Truly awe inspiring. But the real star of the show were some Star Wars pajama bottoms which Susan created by ordering a bunch of Star Wars bed sheets. And lucky for them, they got the rights from Lucasfilms. It was a scary thought, any grown up wearing any of these clothes. And yes, I would definitely have no problems wearing any of it… except possibly the unicorn shirt.
As for John, it was equally as ridiculous. By way of his outfits, his character is really into amusement parks. He had a Six Flags Magic Mountain Viper shirt which I kind of dug. He also must have enjoyed the beauty of Puerta Vallarta, because he had one of those too. He seemed to do a lot of traveling in general with all his shirts from the Grand Canyon and one shirt claimed, “It’s Better in the Bahamas.” And aside from being a drummer with a ton of those ““drummer headbands”, he also loves Bruce Lee. It is truly amazing what you can get on eBay, which is where Susan had found many of the films costumes.
After the very detailed look at costume, we were brought to the actual set and shown around. On the soundstage was a very detailed two story house created by Production Designer Clayton Hartley. He showed us each of the rooms including the living room, the parents room and the “drum” room where John C. Reilly gets to pound out a few beats, not as Dewey Cox. In fact, the drum room has much to do with the scene that we would later be seeing.
The most fascinating room of course was the room that the brothers share. Like any good teenagers room, there were a ton of posters, including Metallica, Joan Jett and Space Hunters 3D. And keeping in the theme of STAR WARS, they have a Yoda peeking out behind one of their beds. The wallpaper consisted of blueprints of trains and if felt very much like a young boys room. I wouldn’t even say a teenager. More like a pre-teen. And of course, in keeping with the times, they have Guitar Hero.
After looking around the house, we finally got to watch John and Will in action, with Mary Steenbergen and Richard Jenkins filling in as mom and dad. This is funny stuff with a touch of real sibling rivalry going on. But usually, the siblings that fight like this are in their early teens, not forty-year-old men. It is a scene that takes place after a fight between the two boys. Both mom and dad demand that they should be punished. There is a bizarre sense of sitcom throughout the scene, and it might not have been as funny with a couple of teenagers. But since the siblings are in their forties, it is pretty funny.
After the parents take away television privileges, the two boys try and bargain. It doesn’t really work, but you can tell the rules here won’t last too long. While filming the scene, McKay would call out lines of dialogue which lead to some very humorous bits. I really enjoyed watching Will and John work together. Both are very funny, but I really found they have a pretty realistic relationship here. At least from the scene I was watching. Now whether or not this is as funny as it looks like it could be, we will all have to find out this coming July 25th at a theater near you.
Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to JimmyO@joblo.com.