Every bloody thing we learned on the set of Goon: Last of the Enforcers!

Before we journey into the hearts and minds of the cast/crew of GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS, I must first admit that this was my very first set visit ever. I've officially broken my cherry with this trip and I can honestly say without a doubt that it couldn't have possibly been a better first-time experience. The cast and crew were shooting up north in Barrie, Ontario at the Molson Centre hockey arena and seeing everyone working hard during and between takes was amazing. When I got there with other fellow visitors, we watched the crew and cast out on the ice including Sean William Scott, Wyatt Russell (Kurt Russell's son) and now writer/director Jay Baruchel. After watching some skating action being shot, we were invited into the Halifax Highlanders' locker room to chat with a bunch of them including Jay himself. It was an extremely warm and welcoming experience and we've got a summary of what was talked about below for everyone to ready and enjoy.

Jay Baruchel

So how do you follow up probably the greatest film in Canadian history?

[Laughs] Well it's only because we know we're about to make the next greatest film in Canadian history. It's very nice of you to say, thank you. This is one of the reasons the sequel didn't release 6 to 12 months after the first one cause we took our time to make sure it's terrific as it means so much to so many people. If the sequel is going to be half as good or even as good as the first, it's pretty much not worth making. We're trying to re-define the whole thing and we've come up with a great story and it's pretty f#cking awesome.

They way they were describing it was like less of an indie film and more like "Raging Bull" this time around.

Yeah we have to see what we can do better overall. That movie is very dear to my heart. I felt like we did our little part to the atmosphere of Canadian culture. We definitely had to up the ante. Not just on the games themselves but overall and while we do wear the indie heart on our sleeve, we want to go less indie this time with elements such as shooting in 2.39:1 ratio with Paul Sarossy who is one of the greatest cinematographers in Canadian history. The thing we keep saying every time we see the dailies and cuts is "Wow, it looks like a real movie!". We want to make this the best looking hockey movie ever made.

Going back to what you were saying about the cinematography, the first film utilized tons of cool camera methods like the puck cam, etc. Is that something you're pushing further this time around?

Oh yeah, visually our hockey has almost nothing in common with the first Goon. The first film in general was shot to look like a hockey broadcast which fans can very much relate to and appreciate. We have a bit of that but the question was how do we make it different but still scratch that itch that Canadian hockey fans get? No country on Earth is more acquainted with how hockey is shot that Canada. So the mission is what we didn't do enough of last time, we do more of this time to really put the audience on the ice with the teams. We've got something cool called the shovel cam that's basically a plate with four pucks underneath so that it glads very well on the ice so it's a nice low angle and the fast-action shots look like f#cking Road Warrior. On top of that, we got the first Alex Mini cameras in Canada that came out of Germany plus a new stability system that is handheld but gives much smoother shots and mobility.

After the first movie, you said you felt like you had done everything you had set out to do. Was that one of the reasons you wanted to take on directing this movie?

Well I've always wanted to direct action and horror movies since I was a kid. Then in this world we created, we have all these wonderful characters and we felt there was a lot more to tell about them. When Dowse (director of "Goon") couldn't come back, Sean [William Scott], the producers and everyone said well maybe it should be you Jay. They wanted to pick someone from within the family as we all shared an extremely amazing experience together when making the first movie. The producers had a great deal of faith in me and they loved the script and what we were trying to accomplish in the sequel and I knew we had something very special to give to audiences.

Did you know right away that you were going to direct it?

Nope not at all, I wrote it first for Dowse to direct if he returned but I did my best to take on the responsibility when I was approached.

What as a director did you get from working with director Michael Dowse on the first "Goon"?

He means so much to me and is a dear friend and not only did I get his blessing to direct this film but also his strong support plus also Jacob Tierney. He's a true general and one of the worst things ever for an actor is when you notice that your director is uncomfortable. You don't want a dictator, you want the best General who treats everyone respectfully but also knows exactly what they want and that's Dowse in spades. The best piece of advice he ever gave me is "Buy yourself a nice pair of sunglasses and walk in like you own the place".

I've spoken to many people who say that even though they hate hockey, this still love this movie because of the feeling of Canada. As a writer and director and artist, do you almost feel an obligation to inject Canadianism into your work?

It's definitely not homework to me as I can't help it, it's in my blood. It finds its way into anything I'm a part of, even my work in the States. In the U.S., "Goon" is a cult hit and hockey down there is a bit of a third to fourth tier sport. There's even an appreciation for "Goon" in the UK because of the connections to Canada and hockey in general. England has James Bond, New Zealand has Lord of the Rings, the U.S. has Star Wars but English-Canada didn't really have that special film yet and if we pulled it off, we'd have something that would identify Canada in cinema.

What exactly does "Last of the Enforcers" mean in the title?

It's about an age that's drawing to a close and something that is going out of fashion in hockey. Do these guys on the team have a place in hockey anymore? We wanted to push forward on Doug's (Sean William Scott) career and where it can go since he's one of the last great enforcers.

Since you're busy directing, does that mean we'll see less of your character Pat in the movie?

Yup for sure, there's less of him but he's still in it. There was actually going to be less of Pat regardless of whether or not I directed because there was a 50/50 split amongst fans who either loved Pat or thought he was the Ja-Jar Binks of the movie. I absolutely hate directing a scene while I'm also acting in it.

"Goon" is so well remembered for the epic fights. Is the fighting much intense in the sequel?

Yeah we go f#cking hard in this one and we also did in the first but nothing compared to this new one.

When the first movie came out, many didn't know what to expect. With the sequel are you feeling the pressure of the fans?

That's exactly it. We literally made the first movie in a vacuum and we filmed it out in Manitoba and nobody was following it really. This time however there's a massive group of very appreciative fans who are following along and we wanted to make the best film we could for them. We've taken so many things into consideration and really thought it through. It informs every decision we make here and we don't take it lightly. We know how much it means to people and that the first film was successful because of all involved.

[Jay goes on to talk about films that he finds very inspirational from a visual story-telling perspective such as Martin Scorsese's "Cape Fear", Michael Mann's "Heat" and "Last of the Mohicans". He really wants to have a unique visual style for "Goon: Last of the Enforcers".]

One of the biggest announcements for the sequel was the casting of Elisha Cuthbert as Eva's (Alison Pill) sister in the sequel. What can you tell us about her character?

She's someone I've known since I was 14 and it was a really cool thing that she could just kill it. The only little spoiler that I'll give is that she has some of the most quotable lines in the movie and she f#cking destroys it. She's hilarious together with Alison in the movie.

With the first film, a lot of very memorable and lovable characters were established. Was it daunting to try and build on their characters in the sequel?

God no, not daunting at all. We were just scratching the surface with these guys and they all just sang when they showed up. What we did is we had all these ideas and jokes that we filled up a shoe-box with as there's so many ways we could go. So the real daunting part was just deciding what to use out of this wealth of great material we had come up with.

John Stevenson, Marc-André Grondin, Karl Graboshas & George Tchortov

[We spoke with some of the cast on the set and they were an absolute blast. There was a lot of laughs and conversations between everyone so I've outlined the important points below of what was discussed by the group.]

- They're thrilled to be back and it's been a lot of fun. When they found out the movie was a go, they were all very excited.

- They feel that Jay seamlessly jumped in as the role of director and seems like he has no weight on his shoulders. He really knows what he's doing and works so well with the cast.

- They don't want this movie to feel like another other sports film that has been done before. It's kind of like "Rocky and Mad Max on ice". Many compare the first film to "Slapshot" but they don't agree as they're so different in tone. "Goon" stands on its own.

- You will get a better feel of who the supporting cast characters are this time just like we did in the first movie. All the characters we love will grow and develop further. The chemistry of the team members is something fans really adore.

- After the first film, they gained a lot of fans and admirers, especially with Grondin who realized that lots of women seem to love "douchebags" like his LaFlamme character.

- They loved the script for the first film but feel the sequel is even stronger.

- There was a ton on Canadian in-jokes in the first film that really resonated throughout English-speaking Canadians and French alike.

- While they do enjoy shooting the more aggressive scenes on the ice including the intense plays and fighting, they do enjoy a break every now again like a nice dinner scene, etc.

- Shooting the first movie was brutal in terms of having to shoot during the winter and having blisters and never being able to take off the equipment. This time it's much better as they're shooting during the summer so they can throw off their skates for 10 minutes and go warm up outside.

- In terms of fight choreography, it's quite a bit different from the first film. Whereas in the first film where it was just massive punches back and forth, this new movie is much more stylized and heightened with the fights. Jay's use of the camera and the slow motion is extremely classic and cool where the highlighted moments are really showcased. None of that "slow to fast and back to slow" kind of frame-rate manipulation.

- The special-skilled players and consultants they have for the films are inspirational and so good at what they do. They're always helping them improve the hockey co-ordination, movements, plays, etc. The focus they want the actors to keep is that they're really playing hockey on the ice, not acting.

On behalf of JoBlo.com, we'd like to thank Jay Baruchel, the cast/crew and the studio for inviting us amd for the great time on the set. GOON: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS is set for release in Canada on March 17th and sometime later in the U.S. 

Source: JoBlo.com



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