Thursday, February 16, 2012


Jonathan Daniel Brown, Oliver Cooper & Thomas Mann
"I think it's definitely a Comedy until you turn 35, then it's a Horror Movie", says Oliver Cooper, in Toronto to promote Todd Phillips' latest-produced Comedy, Project X along with his Co-stars, Thomas Mann and Jonathan Daniel Brown. The three young Actors are on the verge of a major breakthrough if Phillips' previous track record as Producer is any indication of success. Old School, Due Date, The Hangover and The Hangover Part II are just a few of the little known Films to which he prior has lent his name.

Project X by first-time Director Nima Nourizadeh, centers around three nerdy High School Seniors who decide to throw a Birthday Bash for Thomas (Mann), led by wisecracking and potty-mouthed Costa (Cooper)J.B. (Brown) tags along and might deliver a few laughs of his own.  Desperate for popularity, there is no holding back. E-mails are blasted, Text Messages are sent and Craigslist Ads are posted. Before they know it, the Party - which v. loosely is inspired by Australian Party Boy Corey Worthington, among others - spirals wildly out of control, maybe to disastrous proportions.

If it seems that the Boys had a blast making the Movie, well, it's because they did.  Although Joel Silver and Phillips held a nationwide Talent Search to cast for Project X back in 2010, ultimately they found Brown on the Internet through an Open Call, after having auditioned rather late in the process.  Being relatively unknown Actors, how do they stand out in a crowd of Fresh Faces, I ask?  "We're just that good" Cooper jokes, revealing "I've never actually auditioned for anything before.  I had a Friend named Shaun Weiss (also an Actor)  get me an audition for Project X through Judd Apatow, which was really strange because I didn't know what I was doing".  On the other hand, Mann explains "I just submitted through an Agent and didn't really audition, but I'm glad I got it. It was a really long process over several months and we did several mixes and matches.".

After three weeks of rehearsals which included Script Rewrites molded to suit the Actors with Writers watching them improvise, filming took place over a five-week period filled with dancing.  A DJ would help keep the Actors' (including 300 handpicked Extras) spirits up between takes.  "The energy on-set was high, so it was easy to be there. It was harder to play the Party Pooper - the Guy who is stressing out", admits Mann. "A lot of people say they feel exhausted after watching this and I'd say that's accurate... It was real exhaustion that we felt".

Cooper raves about two young Scene Stealers in Everett (Brady Hender) and Tyler (Nick Nervies) - who go to all lengths in maintaining order at the Party as Security Guards.  He has fond memories especially filming a memorable scene involving a Taser Gun and an annoying Neighbour. "Any scenes we did with the two Kids were really fun. They're really cool Kids", he praises.

Brown perhaps had the roughest experience of all filming this Comedy, experiencing a minor injury one night when the bottom of Cooper's Pimp Cup (a chalice) accidentally sliced Brown's head, resulting in him yelling spontaneously, "Cut!" in the middle of a take. Literally, Brown was cut. As in Liquid Band-Aid cut.  Fortunately, some of the more painful scenes involving Brown, including one on a treadmill, were done with the aid of a Stunt Actor, whom he reveals also did work on 1973's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  As for whether or not he needed a Body Double for another scene where he experiences "Male Issues" in a Locker Room, he tells one Female Journalist coyly, "You have my number".

Watch a Video featuring Highlights from the Roundtable:

Warner Bros. releases Project X nationwide Friday, March 2, 2012.  Expect to laugh; expect to be terrified.

To see Photos from last night's super-fun Project X Afterparty, click here.

To enter to win a Photo signed generously by Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown, plus a Project X T-Shirt, click "like" on Mr. Will-W.:Pop Maven on Facebook and on this corresponding Post.  You should also be following on Twitter here.  Good luck!

(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)