Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Opening in theatres this Friday from director Jay Chandrasekhar is a film about what one man will do for love – and babies in “The Babymakers.”
The film stars Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, as a couple trying to have a baby. When Paul’s character discovers he’s the reason comedy ensues when he tries to make things right. Kevin Heffernan, Aisha Tyler, Wood Harris, and Nat Faxon. With that cast you can expect serious laughs along with a storyline that is not only realistic but also touching.
Directed by Chandrasekhar, his name might seem slightly familiar to readers. Let me see if these film titles will ring a bell – SUPER TROOPERS, BEER FEST and CLUB DRED. As a total SUPER TROOPERS fan it is such a pleasure to talk to the man who played Thorny and brought the phrase, “I don’t want a liter of Farva” into mainstream conversation (as well as some other’s I can’t repeat here).
Hi Jay, I’m thrilled to be talking to you today!
Hi Jeri, how you doing?
Good, thanks for talking to you today. I want to tell you I watched your movie twice. It is hilarious with you and Kevin. I have to admit I’m a huge SUPER TROOPER fan. Tell me how you go from looking at this script to saying “I have to direct this.”
We are always looking for scripts that have the tone of our sense of humor. You would think it would be more common but they are kind of rare. Peter Gaulke who wrote the original draft, he directed a film called STRANGE WILDERNESS that Kevin was in. He gave the script to Kevin when we had a deal with Warner Bros. and we said ‘this is great.’ I was looking for something – all the movies I’ve directed so far except for DUKES OF HAZARD had five lead guys. I was looking to try something that had a traditional movie structure about a guy and a girl. To me this one has the heart of the male/female relationship but it also had the wildness of the hype. When you think of romantic comedies, I feel like every filmmaker or writer puts their spin on what relationships are like. I was happy to get a chance to do that.
I was asked how I would explain the movie and I said it was a guy movie for girls – kind of. I think you have to be a certain kind of girl to understand the sense of humor you guys have. You have to want to ‘go there’, or have brothers to understand that humor. Do you think it’s more of a guy film than a girl film?
I think there is certain guy humor in this movie.
A lot of guy humor!
I think romantic comedies have become so female centered and they’ve often been written by women, many times directed by woman and marketed to women. I think relationships are half male and half female so men have a point of view on relationships and a point of view on making babies. I think it’s underrepresented. I think this movie ideally is for both. We are trying to make a movie when a couple on Friday nights decides to go to the movies; I was trying to make a movie that would work for both. I want the woman to go for the romance between the two and the guy wants to see it because they love SUPER TROOPERS and BEER FEST. Hopefully both will go and say hey, I had a great time.
I think women might see this romantic comedy as more realistic. The humor between the guys is funny, especially when you do it. I mean seriously I would fall for a guy that went through all that trouble for me!
It’s ultimately not for me to say – if everyone thinks it’s a guy movie then great! We have a lot of female fans who frankly have come to BEER FEST and SUPER TROOPERS. Our goal was to make the film a little more real. I’ve been watching a lot of DOWNTOWN ABBY and THE WIRE and BREAKING BAD and I’m really attracted by the more realistic stuff. I consider this a step between what I’ve done and what is coming. What’s coming for me is that I’m trying to go more real and keep it as funny as possible.
Do you have something that’s coming up along that same line?
There is a film called SHOTGUN WEDDING that I’ve been re-writing and working on that is basically 100% real. There is a lot of real life stuff that happens. Stuff in this movie wouldn’t fit in that one.
Where does your humor come from?
I think it comes from – I was always around a big bunch of boys when I was a kid! We are from Chicago (Hinsdale) and it’s a pretty comedy centric town. People make fun of each other all the time and you have to sort of thick skinned and tough and absorb a lot of info and give a lot. I was in a fraternity in college and there was 100 guys constantly insulting each other. In the comedy group we are endlessly insulting each other. On top of all that my parents are from India and they came over in the 60’s and their humor is extremely British. They read a lot like P.J. Woodhouse and are fans of Python so I get my restraint from them and love of language from them.
And hanging out with Kevin again in this film?
The guy is hilarious, simply hilarious! I love the guy.
Do you guys get to work together a lot?
Yes, yes we do. We do live shows together sometimes. He’s on a tour with Steve Lemme and I’m going to join them at the Improv in Chicago and do three shows next week. Kevin and I are going to do a show in New York City on August 1st. We write stuff together and I think we have this great fun working relationship.
Did you have a lot to say about choosing the cast for this film?
I had everything to say, it was all my choice. The producers and I chose the cast and it was everybody I wanted.
Paul Schneider is an interesting choice.
But he’s such a good actor. We learned working with Brian Cox in SUPER TROOPERS that if you put a really good actor in the middle of everything it grounds the whole mood. It makes those crazier things more palatable. You’ve got this guy who can sell the reality of the moment for us and we can come in with the jokes.
Did you ever think that movies like BEER FEST and SUPER TROOPERS would ever have cult status?
No, no not at all. We always only made movies for ourselves. We thought it was funny to make the movie. We didn’t know if anyone else would be like us. We tried to exam the appeal but I think it’s that we are a real honest group of friends making movies. Everybody has their own group of friends with their own inside jokes and there own “Farva”s and they have their own moments. In some way people probably look at us and say, ‘they are like us!’ It’s gotten far bigger than we thought. We made SUPER TROOPERS for $1.2 million. We scraped it together and thought we didn’t know what we were doing but hey, there you go!
Have you ever been out somewhere and heard someone repeat a line from SUPER TROOPERS?
Everyday! Every time I go to a restaurant someone will drop a drink and I hear “here you go meow!” People play the meow game with me all the time. Police officers when they pull me over take photographs with us, it is amazing! People will yell stuff out of their cars at us. The military is one of the biggest sources of our fan base. Again, it’s a bunch of guys hanging around, and women too I’m sure – we get letters from guys who tell us they projected SUPER TROOPERS on the side of a mountain and photographed it sending it to us. We some guys from the Navy saying “we can’t tell you where we are but our Captain saw a boat approaching the ship and we’d say ‘what should we do about that’ and he’d say ‘that little guy? I wouldn’t worry about that little guy’.” I mean they are quoting SUPER TROOPERS to us, it’s this amazing thing. It was a little movie we made and it’s so out there!
You have ruined all four of my kids! We’ll go to a restaurant and they’ll say “I don’t want a liter of Farva” or they’ll yell “bear f**ker” out of the car. Thanks for that! She’s running late and will be here to talk to you.
How old is she?
She’s 28 and when she is with her brother that’s all I hear from them. So I want to thank you for that!
That’s so great, seriously. That liter of cola joke came from a Burger King and I use to go in and order a large coke. Then suddenly the owners changed and who ever owned it changed the large to liter and I thought ‘I don’t want a liter of cola I just want a large cola’. So the jokes come everywhere and we jam them in when we can.
You have such a unique sense of humor. What I mean by that is there are a group of us out there after seeing your movies who think “Wow, someone finally gets us!”
Yes we do!
(About this time Film Brat enters the room giddy to be talking to Jay on the phone)
Film Brat: Hi Jay, hey homeboy!
Hi Jenise, how are you?
Film Brat: I’m great and so are you! I love you!
Thank you, I appreciate that.
Film Brat: “I don’t want a liter of Farva!” It’s my favorite movie of all time.
Oh wow, thank you! We are trying to get Fox to let us do a sequel.
Oh my goodness that would be awesome.
We wrote a script and it’s a great one with all new jokes.
Film Brat: When do you think it will be released?
I think we would shoot it next year and at the very earliest fall next year. I’m really getting ahead of ourselves, we all haven’t agreed to it yet.
Would everyone from the original cast come back?
Yes, Kevin would be an easy one. All the highway patrol men would be back.
Film Brat: Yes, you have just made my life!
With everything that’s going on with this cast, are you celebrating anything big, besides a premier?
We are doing a press tour and those are usually pretty ruckus and fun. We came to Comic Con. We come to the San Diego Padres Beer Fest and hopefully we will again this year too. Hopefully we will have another movie by then.
When you said you were from Chicago and your parents were from India, how was that for you growing up?
I think I just dove into the mid-western thing and became a hard core Bears and Cubs fan. It’s a very excepting place if you love Chicago.
Film Brat: Go Blackhawks!!
Absolutely. I wore a Blackhawks t-shirt all day yesterday.
Thank you for your time and I know the military guys are going to love reading this.
I think we are trying to put a trip together for Okinawa and go to the bases out there. We may try to do it in January. That was last I heard that was on the books.
You tell the military guys you your thinking of making a SUPER TROOPERS 2 I think there will be a few hundred military personnel that are going to lose their minds!
Film Brat: Absolutely!
I know. This is going to be great.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today Jay.
Oh you’re so welcome.
Well that’s it folks. Film Brat and I geek’d out totally talking to Jay and cannot believe there is a possibility of a SUPER TROOPERS 2! Anything Jay and the gang do give us laughs and unexpected stories just like THE BABYMAKERS. Opening today!