Jake Kasdan the director of Sex Tape movie was an amazing interview. Honestly, he was probably one of my favorite interviews I have ever done. Being able to learn about the logistics of the movie, his opinion, what he liked, how he felt, the process of the film all really interest me. I am a big geek and I felt like he was one too–In a good way! He was really down to earth the entire time, friendly, and made us laugh a lot.
James Kasdan was also the director for Bad Teacher (also starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) and he also worked as a producer for one of my well liked shows–New Girl. When getting to ask him about Sex Tape he was very excited and open. He talked very highly of his lead stars and even spoke highly of the entire cast.
With the movie coming out in theaters THIS weekend you will be sure to check it out! I LOVED it and it was really funny! It is a great Date Night and Girls Night Out movie, but like the film suggests it is rated R. The movie is very funny and will have to covering your face because you will be laughing so hard!
Here is what he had to say:
Question: We want to know about the pineapple. Why the pineapple? (laughs) We are foodies.
Jake: It is super weird. Right? Yeah that was like a last minute. I am trying to figure out how to make that first scene um just a little just better. Jason had a really funny idea. He remembered some meeting as a kid that just starting to get going. He was weirded out about how much people were trying to push the sliced pineapple on him. I thought it was genius. So Hank is obsessed with pineapple and trying to get other people to eat pineapple.
Question: What was it like with the three kids that you cast? The child actors? They were fantastic…the sensitivity of the movie. How did that go?
Jake: We lucked out with the kids. They were just really sweet great kids. Their two kids were completely adorable..
Blogger: The little girl.
Jake: Yeah I know. She was like one of these angelic little people. and Scott’s little boy was a sweetheart also. There was also a little bit of…we were always kind of protecting them from the story… to what ever extent that we could. We would do a read through of the script they would come and go out of the room. He is a little older so a little more savvy, he could understand what was happening a little more than the little girl who I think sorta didn’t really understand at all. You know we were just sort of careful of what was being put out in front of them. They were just so good. So we were always so thrilled to see them coming. It isn’t always how it is with child actors. I have worked with mainly really sweet kids. But it is just harder a lot of the times and it takes longer and all of that. This was the unusual thing where Jason and Cameron and I all had the same thing we just see those kids coming, the whole crew really, and we just really thrilled to see them. Yeah. It was a really nice thing.
And then Harry, who plays Howard, was this unique little comedy freak who very fortunately dropped in our lap at the very last conceivable minute and um it was a funny thing where were having a really hard time finding a kid who could convincingly sell all of that and you know and still be able to laugh at it and all of that..and just funny. We were getting at where we kept saying we just really have to see a few more kids I feel like and then he just like walked in in New York and owned it and it was like “well there it is. That is Howard”.
(Side tracked someone sitting in the room Jake didn’t notice)
Question: What was your biggest challenge in selling this movie and what was your favorite part?
Jake: Honestly..It was the daily challenge of just figuring out what you are doing moment to moment. There was a little bit of a thing I was conscience of going in to it that was sometimes it could be hard to…a lot of sexuality can overwhelm peoples ability to laugh. I have done a bunch of things that have had fairly edgy sex jokes…and I have had it happen and seen it happen where you are sitting in the audience and showing these people and if just what is happening on screen is too provocative it makes it harder for just people to laugh. Even if they are having a good time. Laughing out loud and looking at naked people those things quiet each other a little bit or something. So we knew that part of the challenge of this movie is that it had to be funny and about sex. That is what..that is a big part of why I wanted to make it. I thought it was like a really strong interesting thing to do. That was the appeal to me. It was this movie about a couple trying to work out their relationship, their life, and their sex life. There was really funny material in that, but we knew that in order to do that you kind of had to find a level (5:35) of that where you weren’t really trying to hide from everything, but they had to actually be credibly in the midst of you know of everything they were doing but that can’t overwhelm the jokes which is what we were there for. So there was a little bit of trying to find out how that balance would work and it was something I was a little bit anxious about because I knew it would be difficult…but as soon as I started working with the two of them I was like “we don’t have to worry about that” because they are incredibly funny doing that stuff. And their kind of fearlessness add ease with it
Jake: Honestly..It was the daily challenge of just figuring out what you are doing moment to moment. There was a little bit of a thing I was conscience of going in to it that was sometimes it could be hard to…a lot of sexuality can overwhelm peoples ability to laugh. I have done a bunch of things that have had fairly edgy sex jokes…and I have had it happen and seen it happen where you are sitting in the audience and showing these people and if just what is happening on screen is too provocative it makes it harder for just people to laugh. Even if they are having a good time. Laughing out loud and looking at naked people those things quiet each other a little bit or something. So we knew that part of the challenge of this movie is that it had to be funny and about sex. That is what..that is a big part of why I wanted to make it. I thought it was like a really strong interesting thing to do. That was the appeal to me. It was this movie about a couple trying to work out their relationship, their life, and their sex life. There was really funny material in that, but we knew that in order to do that you kind of had to find a level (5:35) of that where you weren’t really trying to hide from everything, but they had to actually be credibly in the midst of you know of everything they were doing but that can’t overwhelm the jokes which is what we were there for. So there was a little bit of trying to find out how that balance would work and it was something I was a little bit anxious about because I knew it would be difficult. But truly as soon as I started working with the two of them I was like “we don’t have to worry about that” because they are incredibly funny doing that stuff. And their kind of fearlessness and ease with it um makes it so you are disarmed. It takes away the discomfort for the audience I believe. and in the way I am the very first audience. They can be really funny doing this stuff and there is just no tension of that at all.
Blogger: One of the thing that was so different about this movie is that the leading man was just as naked as the leading lady. That was awesome.
Jake: We like that. That was by design. I am glad you think that.
Question: Was that a difficult decision was it hard to convince Jason to do that?
Jake: No, Jason just does that. That is one of his moves. Ugh. We all knew that was really important. Exactly what you were describing. It was just the way we wanted to treat this relationship and this couple is that they were really in it together. And you can really feel that in their performances and that they are both really giving of themselves in every conceivable way with each other and with the movie. It was just really important to me that it felt like a couple at home. They are great looking and hugely charming, but at it’s core. It feels like a couple at their house…
Jake:…trying to activate their love life basically. So I thought a big part of that is that we need to be really even in that way. We are not kind of learing at either of them. And Jason and Cameron were both in total agreement and up for it. In a situation where it wasn’t really that big of a thing. We are figuring it out scene by scene. How are we blocking this? Where is the camera? and all that. It was the most relaxed set ever.
Question: How much was improvised? (laughing) (Jake: You mean of the whole thing?) Yes out of the whole movie? Did you stick to the script or did it change?
Jake: I absolutely sorta of like improv. I like to work that way and when you have people that really like to improvise the way they can you are crazy not to because you get great stuff and funny stuff and also I think you get better acting some of the time. Because there is something about when people say stuff for the first time, even the stuff that is scripted, sometimes comes up in takes when they are improvising more. So here is a lot of improv in our process but I would say that the finished movie is very close to the original script. The script that we started with
Questions: Were the kids able to do any improv or were they pretty much straight from the script?
Jake: No they can improvise! All 3 of them: The little girl, the little boy, even Harrison–Were all Weirdly Solid Improvisors. Harrison actually improvised some of the raunchiest stuff I have ever had..stuff that was too raunchy for me! To like I was starring at the monitor, and we were all laughing…and I was like this kid was offending MY delicacy. He was supervised. With different people with him at different times. But we were all startling but hilarious. But in joke form, you know, hard crazy dirty jokes.
Blogger: How old is he?
Jake: He is like 14…just crossing over in that area where he is a comedian and a comedy nerd.
Question: What did your wife think of the movie?
Jake: She really digs it. She is actually a really big part of it. When we first get the script…when we were getting serious about doing this. I didn’t show it too early…We have three small kids. She isn’t going to read extra stuff. When it becomes serious consideration…So she reads everything. I am very sensual that way. She read it and had been skeptical because of the title. Then read it and loved it. She was like, “when my girlfriends and I have dinner this is all we talk about.” That is what I want. To me that is what is interesting about this. Within the context of this big crazy comedy idea. This is exactly what she is talking about.
Question: Did the name cause a lot of problems?
Jake: It was partly because…the way they do this is people hang signs all over the place and I didn’t just want signs all over Boston saying “Sex Tape” there was a little bit of discretion…
Questions: Were there any scenes where you were just like we couldn’t use it? It was way pushing the envelope.
Only by the slightest degree. There was nothing so crazy that we couldn’t handle. It was more like..mainly about getting a laugh….We would have a joke and on a second thought where it doesn’t score just right with the audience….
Question: I had to ask how did you come up with the idea of Annie being a mommy blogger?
Jake: That idea…I am trying to think where that idea came from. Angela who wrote the original script. This was very much the movie she wrote. Over the process Jason and Nick did some work on it. I think it was relatively late where we…she was already a mommy blogger. I think right toward the end we did that opening that way where I it was in that voice where I thought was a really good way to step in this way. In the version of it I was the most interested in it was an important part of it. Where it would be from her perspective as we are getting in to it as she is addressing this universal thing where she is like “what happened?” Men and women feel the way and it was always important we hear from it first. In terms of getting on board to where it was heading because it is some what outrageous for what they end up doing. But they do it for all the right reasons, you know what I mean. We always said we want to be rooting for them to make a sex tape, we don’t want to be judging them. The movie isn’t pro-sex tape but it is pro sex and it should be an affirmative message where you should feel like they are doing something good for themselves. Then when it sorta all goes to hell you feel it with them because it is meant to be private. I felt like a big part of that thing is you had to walk in it with her. I knew Cameron would be great in doing that sequence with him in that way.
Question: What was your famous scene to film and why?
Jake: Honestly, we had so much fun. It was we were all every day like couldn’t believe. We were all having a good time together. The vass majority of the movie was just the two of them. When it was just the two of them it was total pleasure. Then when we would get other people coming through it. We would just have these brilliant people showing up for days at a time it was just a total rush. With Ellie and Rob were some of the most fun days I ever had. The big sequence with Rob Lowe was like we were shooting for quite a while it was pretty involved. The dog was just a big chunk of the movie. We couldn’t believe how funny they were…with Jason, the dog..
Blogger: We love the Disney part of it.
Jake: I thought it was so funny. It was the one he was talking about and were like…we should have a bunch of these all over the place. My production designer, Jeff, spear headed it and it was so good!