It isn’t every day you get to sit in a room and interview Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Michelle Monagham, and Director Chris Columbus (you know his work from Harry Potter and Goonies)! If you would have told me 4 ½ years ago when I started my blog that I would also be interviewing movie stars for my family entertainment section on my website I wouldn’t have believed you! ESPECIALLY these A-list actors and director!
As part of the Pixels Press Junket, I was able to go to an early screening of the movie and then interview this cast while I was in New York! Pixels will take your inner 80s soul and have you laughing with this great talent and listening to amazing music all at the same time. So what was it like to interview these guys and gal!?
The cast entered the room at Dave & Busters, and the group filled with mostly mom bloggers and a few kid video reviewers cheered! The gang filled up the conference table and I was able to sit at the front corner of the room directly in front of Kevin James and Michelle Monagham! The jokes and laughs started right away!
Josh Gad gets on the mic and wants to know, “Why does Dave & Busters have a conference room? This is amazing that they knew they would one day need this.” We all chuckled and that was the first of many laughs.
Question: How was it like to work with Adam Sandler and Kevin James for the first time?
Josh Gad: “It was a nightmare! No, it was truly a dream come true. These guys have been idols of mine forever. I grew up in the generation of Adam Sandler being on SNL and watching it religiously.“ As for Kevin, “I feel like Kevin and I are cut from the same cloth. I always wanted to work with him. He didn’t want me to do the movie originally, and I told him it would be okay.” “And Michelle, I am just obsessed with.” “The entire cast is just amazing, and Chris Columbus defined my childhood. Goonies and Grimlins defined Josh Gad and made me the national nightmare I am today.”
Adam Sandler: “And he had 4 call backs for Home Alone.”
Josh Gad: “They told me that they didn’t want to go that Jewish with me.”
Adam Sandler: “They thought it would only play in Long Island.”
Josh Gad then screams.
Question: Michelle, how did it feel be the girl power role?
Michelle: “It felt awesome! Really the job title and the name really got me. She was Ltn Colonel Violet Van Patton. I could not say no to that. She is a weapons designer for the government. She gets to design this amazing weapon called the Light Canon. That is what the arcaders use to defeat the aliens. She is very cool, she is strong.”
Adam: “She is confident.”
Michelle: “She has got beauty, brains, and brawn, and that is what I love about her.”
Question: “Did any of you play classic arcade games from the film, and if you did what did you play?”
Chris: “I only knew Donkey Kong and Pacman. I was a little old, so hanging around arcades would have been a little creepy of me.” He talked about how he had a table arcade game at the bar when he was in college where he played some. Then some back and forth banter happened with Chris being old. Adam said that he had to put the “crochet stick” down in order to play.
Kevin: Talked about how he played different games. He listed some I have never heard about it.
Adam and Kevin: They both talked about what it was like to go to arcades. He talked about putting his quarter down prior to playing. He palyed at the arcade called “The Electric Dream Factory” just like the movie. Adam talked about having $1 and he could either play 4 games or play one and get a $.75 cheeseburger. Kevin responds with, “guess what I chose?” We all laughed of course! “They just dropped me off at the arcade and I just walked to McDonalds, “ Kevin wen on with the jokes.
How did you narrow down the soundtrack for the movie?
The soundtrack is awesome for the movie. Chris talked about how “Surrender” was in the script, “Working for the Weekend” was something they tried in the editing room. “It is weird how some of the songs you didn’t think were cool in the 80s have a life today.”
Is there any purposeful meaning of the scene when you were playing the Call of Duty game?
Adam: “It is coming at your kid’s friends’ house. It’s not too preachy, but it is. Some of the games are amazing on how crisp and realistic it is. In the 80s the games were goofy, but you are still shooting stuff. It does seem like the 80s games are more innocent. Not a powerful message, but it was saying that the difference is that the games can get aggressive.”
Question: Did you ad-lib?
Adam: “We always believed in ad-libbing but not as much as Josh Gad over here. “
Michelle: “Oh my gosh, that scene when we were talking to the navy seals, that might go down as one of my favorite days ever on a film scene. And the worst because we were not able to keep a straight face. We were filming a rated R movie for a bit.”
Josh: “I think they knew they had a meeting scheduled with mommy bloggers so it wasn’t going to work!”
Michelle: “That was a lot of amazing and brilliant improve.”
Adam: “Everyday Josh Gad was in a scene it was bananas.”
Kevin: “The crew actually chipped in and bought him a car.”
Then they all went on talking about the overtime that Josh would work in just doing all his ad-libbing.
Josh:, “When PacMan goes, ‘WaahuhWaahuhWaahuh.” He had us all laughing for sure.
Michelle: “With the Professor Iwatani when he thinks PacMan is his son…”
Josh: “Dinklage’s lines are all great.”
Adam: “Iwatani was the best!”
The entire crew talked about this scene for sure! Then Chris talked about getting the rights to be able to use the characters. So he talked about what if one of these guys were really crazy!
We then talked about how awesome the Donkey King scene was! There were more laughs and jokes. We started the interviewing laughing and we ended the interview laughing!
We ended the junket and of course had the opportunity to snack on some food, play retro video games, and hang out with the small entourage crowd that hung around the junket. A few were recognized talent that I get to see in many Madison Gilmore productions!
Purchase your tickets from Fandango.com today!
In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Monaghan plays the team’s unique weapons specialist.