THE COMEBACK GANG SPILLS ALL!
We've all enjoyed, to varying degrees, those spoof films like the classic Airplane and the Scream franchise, Date Movie and Epic Movie, etc. Now, the "underdog wins" sports-themed films take a hit in the new comedy The Comebacks. Actors Matthew Lawrence, Brooke Nevin and Melora Hardin sat down with us in Beverly Hills to give us the upbeat info on making the silly and fun film. Since the three actors were all child and teen stars, we got their advice on making that transition to adulthood as well. We also learned what the trio has coming up next.
Picture cute Matt in jeans and dark gray, long-sleeved shirt with rolled up sleeves, Brooke in blue lace tank and brown sweater and wearing dangle earrings and Melora in delicate, sheer ivory blouse over dark jeans.
TeenHollywood: Okay. Let's get it out of the way. Matt and Brooke, talk about the silly scene in which Matt is checking out your boobs by copping a feel.
Brooke: Well, there was a lot of padding on that bra so I would just say, in terms of it being terribly intimate, there was a lot of padding.
Matt: There was a good inch between us [laughter].
Brooke: But, I will make a testament to Matthew and his very gentlemanly behavior on set. He was a joy to work with.
Brooke: It was nowhere near as awkward as it could have been. Remember when we had the kissing scene, there was a stadium full of people.
Matt: They were like 'awwwww'.
Brooke: I wish I had them around all the time when I kiss a guy. I'd love to have people cheering!
TeenHollywood: Were you all familiar with the different sports movies being spoofed or did you go 'what's that one?'
Melora: I did about a lot of them. There were a couple that needed to be explained to me because I had no idea.
Brooke: For me, it was a lot of the sports references about coaches and histories; real life sports references. I wasn't familiar with that.
Matt: I pretty much got it. There's a couple of movies I hadn't seen but I pretty much caught all that; Friday Night Lights and that stuff.
TeenHollywood: Matt, you went to football boot camp for this movie?
Matt: He [director Tom Brady] put us through two weeks of stuff for this movie.
TeenHollywood: Melora, you and your co-star David Koechner are on "The Office" on TV and playing husband and wife here. Have you made plans to have scenes together later on in "The Office"?
Melora: I recently was talking to [showrunner] Greg Daniels about the fact that David and I play man and wife in this movie. He loved that pairing. He was like 'how interesting. I can't wait to see the movie'. I saw his little wheels turning so we'll see what he comes up with.
TeenHollywood: Brooke, you have some scenes as a gymnast in the film. Did you do any of those gym moves?
Brooke: It was me for some of it. When you can see my face, that was me [laughs]. While the boys were at football camp, I was at little kiddie gymnastics camp. I remember taking a gymnastics class as an afterschool program but I was running around on floor mats and doing mini-beam routines with the 4 and 5-year-olds. There was one thing I added into my routine, some animalistic behavior into my little routine [she indicates claws and purring like a cat].
TeenHollywood: The Comebacks is a sports spoof film. Does anybody have a favorite spoof movie?
Brooke: Naked Gun! I love Leslie Nielson.
Matt: Hot Shots [Charlie Sheen in a Top Gun spoof].
TeenHollywood: Oookay. Matt you've worked with a lot of very funny guys, Robin Williams, Rob Schneider now David Koechner. Are you ready to play a comedic lead?
Matt: All those guys are one of a kind. I think it has to be your thing. I'm not sure I'm capable of that. It's something I never really thought about. When I look at roles, it's not necessarily to step out as a great comedian. Working with these guys, it's very intimidating. They're naturals at it. I have to work at it. I love doing comedy and stuff that is more serious. That really broad type of comedy is where I probably fit in better.
TeenHollywood: All of you were kid and teen actors. What advice would you give to actor teens who are trying to make that transition to adult actor?
Brooke: I think if they feel that they need to disappear for a couple of years, then do it. I made the choice at a young age and forced my parents to get me into acting. It's a career choice. When you get to that [transition] age, you need to make a decision at the crossroads in your life. Hopefully, like any career, you make an informed decision and know that that is really what you want to do.
Matt: I think if you are very exposed as a child and your image as a child in ingrained in people's minds, growing up, becoming an adult, it's something that's hard. It's hard for you to now get that [new] image into people's minds. I understand it's a difficult road. But, it's about work. Sometimes, in anybody's career, the work just isn't there. At that time, especially if you've been working a lot as a child, you do need to step away from it and just have real life experiences. Because, if you are passionate about acting, that's the only way you are going to be able to come back as an adult.
Brooke: Yeah, that's what you draw from.
Matt: The things that you apply as a child just don't apply as an adult. You need that life experience.
Brooke: Yeah, cute smirks and little expressions only go so far.
Melora: Yes, you need to live your life because life is our well to draw from. Without that, you don't have anything. I also think that sometimes you see child actors that get to a certain point in their development and they can't quite take that step over the line. Sometimes that's because they've relied so much on this cute thing. Cute only goes so far, as Brooke said. Then sexuality comes into it. So whether you are comfortable with your sexuality and whether that can translate. That needs to be a part of grown-up performances.
Brooke: It's an awkward transition for any girl I think.
Melora: Or boy [Matt agrees].
TeenHollywood: Brooke, you have a background with Second City comedy. Did you and David Koechner bond over a comedy sketch background?
Brooke: I'd like to say that there was a secret Second City mantra that we chanted before every take but indeed, if there is one I'm not privy to it. No brotherhood or sisterhood of the Second City. But, it was good to have that training in my back pocket.
TeenHollywood: Was there one scene for you guys that was difficult for you to keep a straight face through?
Brooke: That shower dance thing (Matt and pals do a silly dance in the locker room showers).
Matt: That was interesting [laughter]. That was literally the first scene that all of us guys shot. We didn't know the crew or anybody.
Brooke: Well, they knew you after that! [laughter].
Matt: Everybody applauded and we're in women's underwear and we're like 'oh, thanks, guys'. That was an awkward one but the one where I couldn't keep it together was where David comes to the party and says we aren't partying enough. We he first did it and there weren't any cameras rolling, he went a lot further than what you see. It was hilarious. So, for the first five takes we [he indicates covering his face]. That was fun. David did so many things that made us laugh.
TeenHollywood: Was there anything they asked you to do that you were like 'not gonna'?
Matt: Not on this one.
Brooke: We went all out.
TeenHollywood: Melora, your character gets crushed and trampled a lot. Any stuntwork in your resume?
Melora: Oh, I did that all myself [she's kidding]. Well, I did all the tackling but my stunt double flipped over the railing. I did the beginning and end of the flip. But, I could have done it. She had a very large mat underneath her. I might have hit my head on the concrete though.
TeenHollywood: Was tone difficult for any of you? This is a very broad comedy but it has some serious, very real moments too unlike some of the other spoofs.
Brooke: Good question. It's a fine line doing a broad comedy but having serious moments. I feel like Tom (Brady, director) set the tone really well. I think it's pretty clear when you are reading a script and working on a scene, what needs to be broad, how large it needs to be. It's interesting how you can walk into an environment and you can feel where the ceiling is on every different set. It's just a feeling.
TeenHollywood: Was there a lot of improv on the film?
Brooke: Oh yeah. It was encouraged. A lot of times, we'd stick to the script and then Tom would say, 'okay, this take is just for fun. Do something extra. Do whatever you want'.
TeenHollywood: You've all had experience in both television and film. Any preference?
Melora: For me, I just want opportunities to be creative; film, TV, theater or making records. "The Office" happens to be an exceptionally creative environment for television. I think now, my bar is set pretty high.
Brooke: I would love to go back to stage work. My only stage work has been sketch shows but I'd love to. It's great having audience feedback and being on your toes. There's nothing else like it.
TeenHollywood: What else is coming up for everyone?
Brooke: I have a horror/comedy/thriller film called Infestation. It's about big bugs that take over the earth and I'm one of the few humans alive and awake to try and stop them. That will be out hopefully, within next year and I have a couple of indie films. One's called Sherman's Way.
Matt: I finished an independent movie called Trucker and it's got a good cast. It's Michelle Monahan. She's the trucker and it's about her life. She's a mother but doesn't have good relationships. It's her journey to becoming a mom and realizing that there are good things in her life. I have a small role. At the beginning of the movie, she randomly hooks up with a guy at a restaurant.
Melora: I also have a movie coming out in January called 27 Dresses which is Katherine Heigl's film and I'm doing a singing act with Richard J. Alexander who is a big Broadway presence. He's directing an act I'm doing which will have some of my songs. It's Jan. 4th, 5th and 6th in Hollywood. And I'm gonna make another record next year.
Brooke: And because I love the show, I wanted to say I'll actually be on it next month "[Grey's] Anatomy" as a patient. I have a body part that is thematically featured. I've done boobs in this movie so my bum will be put back together on [Grey's]. McSteamy is one of my doctors but Sara Ramirez is my main doctor on that. She's wonderful.. Mid-November.