Unknown stars talk about landing breakout comedy roles, recount filming favorite scenes in ‘Project X

By Zach Drucker

After an early screening of their new film, “Project X,” co-stars Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown stuck around for a question-and-answer session with some newfound fans.

Q: How did you guys end up with parts in the movie?

Thomas Mann: It was actually pretty awful. Over the span of two months, I ended up going in seven or eight times, and we all had auditions with [producer] Todd Phillips several times.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: [I originally had an] open call over the internet.

Oliver Cooper: I had nine auditions!

Q: Was the film shot on a set or in a real neighborhood?

OC: This is real life, sweetie.

JB: We shot it on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. But we got a whole block and actually furnished the entire house so it was actually in livable conditions. I’m a carpenter on the side [Laughs].

Q: What was the filming like with so many people?

OC: It was what you see. It was fun. They played awesome music. We had a DJ in the movie — they literally had him playing all day and all night! So, crazy sex and drugs.

TM: We did five weeks of night shoots, which shoot from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. It was like one giant party. The energy on set was always at a ten.

JB: So much O’Douls, man. And apple juice and water mixed together in the beer bong.

Q: Have any of you been at a party anywhere close to the party in the movie?

JB: I don’t go to parties. I just play Xbox alone.

Q: The dialogue sounded real. Was most of it scripted or improv?

OC: [Mostly] the script. It changed every day.

JB: I would say it’s 70-to-30 scripted to improvised. With Nima [Nourizadeh]’s directing and the writing and Todd on set, it helped create a naturalistic kind of style.

OC: Todd would throw lines at us while we were in the middle of a take.

TM: We also did a lot of rehearsals. We rehearsed a lot of scenes for two weeks before we started shooting. But a lot of scenes were rewritten for our specific voices once we were cast.

We usually got what was on the page first and had a couple takes where you could play around.

Q: What was one of your favorite scenes?

OC: I love every scene with the little kids. Like with the Tasers. I had a blast with those two kids, [Brady Hender and Nick Nervies].

Q: Was it hard to get permission to film this movie since it portrays high school kids on drugs?

TM: That was not our job!

OC: We just showed up.

TM: Warner Bros. has a legal team and they hashed that out. Everyone on set had to be 18. That was the only rule.

JB: Except for Brady and Nick. Lucky f—— kids!

TM: But, they were not allowed to be around any of the breasts.

Q: Who made out with the most girls in the most scenes?

OC: I definitely did. I had a make out montage, but it got cut out! But it was kind of weird. At six in the morning, you’re making out with a bunch of girls that hadn’t brushed their teeth since… [trails off]

Q: What was the best thing about doing this movie?

TM: Getting to work with Todd Phillips.

OC: Doing a movie.

TM: It was amazing to work with people who have established themselves, like Joel Silver, who’s known for all his action movies, and Todd, who’s known for “Old School” (2003) and “The Hangover” (2009). It was nerve-wracking, but very rewarding.

JB: Nima Nourizadeh was the man. He directed the film. He had an eye and a visual style that I’ve never seen in any comedy before. By the way, I had this really strong martini earlier, and I wasn’t expecting it to be this strong.

Q: Are you guys pursuing acting now or going to school?

OC: Not going to school, for sure. I dropped out a long time ago.

JB: I dropped out of community college, but don’t take my advice. I live with my parents.

OC: I live with my aunt and four dogs.

TM: I’d say we’re all pursuing acting.

Read more here: http://www.tuftsdaily.com/unkown-stars-talk-about-landing-breakout-comedy-roles-recount-filming-favorite-scenes-in-project-x-1.2710116#.T1JN83lUniQ
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