Joel David Moore has called the film “The little Indie That Could” and today the film is finally hitting theatres. #STUCK is a romantic comedy like you haven’t seen before. It is a labor of love and that is evident on-screen. With the film hitting theatres and Video On Demand, Joel David Moore sat down with me in an exclusive interview to chat about one-night stands, road rage, uncomfortable situations and getting #STUCK.
KK – I have to say that anyone can appreciate this film but anyone that has lived in LA and has gotten stuck on the 405 is going to adore this
JDM – From RI to LA, well then you know all about getting stuck in traffic. Yea it’s the worst, it’s the worst ever. It is really a bad feeling that a lot of people actually don’t experience in life and you really find a lot about your humanity out in it and you find how much of an asshole you are. For some reason we think that we are invincible within these four walls. Imagine if you were upset at someone in a grocery line you would never yell at them, screaming, honking a little air horn that you have in your hand and flipping them off, cursing at them. That would never happen, but for some reason we think that between those four walls that anything goes and by the way I am guilty of the same exact thing. I would say that I am more refined in my old age and I don’t do that anymore but we have all been guilty of it. I am glad you can share in the experience of Los Angeles traffic on the 405 in rush hour because it’s a pretty terrible place. It’s purgatory. Whatever I can understand about purgatory, that’s what it is, its purgatory.
KK – How did you get involved with this project, you are not only starring in this film but you are also an Executive Producer so at what stage did this project come to you?
JDM – One of my really good friends Joel Michaely was one of the producers on it and he brought it to me. It was when they were talking about having Madeline Zima attached to it. I went and looked at some of her work and obviously she is just fabulous. We have become great friends since, but when we both came to this project we didn’t know a lot about it. I didn’t know a lot about Stuart but I knew a couple of very key things after a conversation with Stuart (Acher) the director. I knew that A) he had a brilliant vision of this and that B) he had a great script and everything starts with a script. There is an old saying when it comes to movie making:
“You can make a bad movie out of a good script, but you can’t make a good movie out of a bad script”
And that is 100% true. You want to start with as many good pieces as you can, a director with a good mind, and you got a great script and with those two things, you know you are. Listen you are playing the lottery any time you are making a movie but you want to have a couple of things in order so that you can make as best a movie as you can. Really it comes down to collaboration, so when I came on to executive produce as well, I knew that we were all just teaming up and going to boot camp together. That was something, that it was important for all of us to make the best movie we can. Nobody got paid from this, we all did it for nothing, we all did it as a labor of love and I think that it really shows on screen. It also shows the fact that the movie looks like it was made with a lot higher budget than what it was. We made this for like a bag of peanuts basically. So we are as impressed at the way that it came out as hopefully you guys are.
KK – I loved the script, there were so many great one liners, that you couldn’t help but just giggle. We have all thought it, maybe we haven’t said it, but we have all thought and you guys went there and said it, and it was a lot of fun to watch.
JDM – Yea, I think it was really, when two people get stuck in a car that have completely conflicting maybe morals or ideals on dating you are going to get a lot of interesting fodder to deal with and that is what makes for good dialogue. That is what makes for a lot of these real charming moments that happen and some of them weren’t scripted. Some of them just came along the way, sitting in the car and figuring out the chemistry between two people. The awkwardness that is created when two people are stuck in a car for that long that don’t even know, that basically hate each other at that point, they don’t like each other and are obviously getting to know each other. Along the way you realize that there are a lot of things that you do like about this person. I think that that grows, and the way that we flash back, sort of Chris Nolan style, Memento type flashbacks, where your flashing backwards in time and I think that really created some interesting. ‘How did they meet, how did this end up where it was’ mixed with the POV stuff which I think that was a really cool choice of Stuart to take and it really made it intimate. It brought an intimacy to it. You know when you do things that are POV you are the audience so the audience is walking through the lens of the camera. As we are telling the story from two different people, and these two worlds are brought together and end up in a car together and have to get to know each other, I think that’s what people are really going to respond to.
KK – I love that you brought that up, because it wasn’t the normal use of flashbacks that you see so often and can get bored with. It was almost like two very separate stories were happening which made the viewer excited and invested. Most of the scenes you were shooting were in a car, so how hard is that as an actor to be confined in such a small box, literally?
JDM – Well that is part of the charm of shooting films, I mean we know what you are signing up for. You know that the film is going to be shot inside of a car so you know that’s part of the charm. When you are shooting a movie over twelve days you are going to have to shove a lot of scenes in one day. Usually you are doing about on average, when you’re shooting a film, you are shooting about 2-3 pages per day and in this we are doing like 13 pages a day, so you are really getting through some dialogue in movies like this. But again, it is why it is charming. It is what brings you together as actors when you are having to be together in that hot stinky car, I don’t know why it’s stinky it wasn’t really stinky that’s just a saying, in a hot car in LA heat and you know you’re just powering through it and making the best that you can out of it. Madeline is such a gift, she is a treat to work with she would improv with me when we wanted to go off the page, when Stuart and I would decide we should just add a little bit here or there. She was just a delight to work with and we have created a fun friendship out of that and I think that that shows on camera.
KK – Your on-screen chemistry was amazing with Madeline. I love that she has the ability to be the sweet girl next door one second and almost a femme fatal the next. Your scenes together were great in the car, but you also had some pretty intimate moments with the drunken one-night stand scenes. That had to be extremely fun to play off of someone like her?
JDM – Yea, and one-night stands are always, I mean, there are so many weird things that can happen in one-night stand moments. Not that I would know I have never had one in my entire life, Baptists don’t have those, I’m just kidding I’m not Baptist (laughing). We know we all understand how awkward romantic situations can be and how awkward even that setting is. When you don’t know anything about someone and you are just throwing your bodies together and figuring it out, I think there is fun, there’s levity to that, that we brought well. Then there’s the ultimate waking up in the morning and realizing “What have we done” and then having to deal with all the “what have we done’s”. It just pushes for such a great story line when you then get stuck in a car for an hour and a half after sharing this intimate moment with one another, then regretting this intimate moment with each other and then basically having to just get through it. Then realizing that we are going to be talking about this. This is going to come up and the fact that we are at such different sides, different end zones of our romantic lives, she (Holly) is wanting monogamy and in relationship after relationship and I (Guy) can’t even spell monogamy. I don’t know what it is and I’m all about a one-night stand. I don’t want to be in the scenario where I have to take this girl home, I want her to just poof disappear. I think we have all had that moment in life, like ugh why do I have to deal with this person.
KK – I became so smitten with Guy, how much fun was it taking him on and what, if any traits do you share with him?
JDM – Well I’m a very cerebral like Guy, I would over analyze things like he does and I would get caught up in nuances. But I also think I brought a lot to Guy in the levity side things and the quirky side of things. For this film to work if you were just going to have some big meathead in that role it wouldn’t work as well, but having sort of an awkward guy that has to use charm and levity along the way makes it more interesting. You are kind of in a weird way rooting for him or at least rooting for him to understand love and to walk through the emotions with the person that maybe he’s not use to or comfortable with. So I can relate to that, again coming back to the awkward side of things I think we all get caught up on the nuances of meeting somebody and trying to figure out who that person is and taking some chances along the way.
KK – You shot this film in 12 days, that had to be one crazy schedule?
JDM – Yup, we shot this in 12 days. It was a crazy schedule. It was guerrilla warfare trying to get this done. But when you had the good things that we had in place, a good director that understands, has a vision and is able to pick his angles visually and as far as characters go, and make decisions on the fly along the way then you are going to come up with a good film and that’s what we have, a good film.
We completely agree with Joel David Moore, they definitely have a good film. #STUCK will open in New York at the Village East Cinema and in Los Angeles at the Los Feliz 3 as well as several other major market cities. At the same time it will be available on DirectTV, Charter, Verizon Fios, Att Uverse, Itunes, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox, Playstation, Amazon instant and Youtube Movies. For more information on the film and where you can find it in your area please visit the #STUCK website, Facebook Page, or Follow them on twitter.