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MOVIE 43

"Truth or Dare" as told by Peter Farrelly
Truth or Dare
Directed by: Peter Farrelly
Cast: Halle Berry, Stephen Merchant, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

As told by Director Peter Farrelly:

"Truth or Dare" is another blind date, with these two people, played by Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant (from THE OFFICE), who've been through dating service dates for a long time and have had no luck with them.  They start having the usual small talk, and quickly Halle says, "This is bullshit. Let's play truth or dare," to help break the ice.  But the thing quickly sends them down a slippery slope, and they start pushing each other into places they couldn't have imagined going.

It's funny, we actually gave another script to Halle back in 2010, and she came back and said it was funny, but wanted to do something that was even crazier!  We had first given her a script for one called "Clooney,"  which was originally written for George Clooney - he ended up being pretty anxious not to do it.  It's all about how he couldn't pick up on girls at a bar.

We thought that was pretty outrageous, and we sent it to Halle, not quite sure if she'd do it, you know, she's an Oscar winner and all that, that she might be offended.  Not only was she not offended, she came back and said, "I know you guys are going to really push it -  this is too wimpy.  Let's go for it!" And we went, "Okay, well, we have another one." And we decided to get her into "Truth or Dare."

I'm a huge fan of Stephen Merchant - I think, for my money, he's one of the top five funniest men on the planet.  He kills me.  Anything he does, just walking down the street, I'm laughing.  And to put him with Halle Berry, who's never done anything remotely like this, and to see those two mix it up, was just a joy, as a director, to watch.  They're so different in so many ways, and yet they're both extremely talented actors.  They can push each other in directions that were just amazing to watch.

And it was great having Snooki in there.  She was a good sport, making fun of herself.  She knows where her bread's buttered, and she's not afraid to make fun of herself, because that's how she's made her living, and she gets that.  That's what's fun about it.  And, luckily for us, when she's reading MOBY DICK to Stephen, she was going by memory.

The truth-or-dare gags really came from the writer, a guy named Greg Pritikin.  He did several drafts, and we'd say, "No, no, push this further, push that further, try this." There weren't enough at some points, but we kept going back to him and saying, "Come up with more." And each one went up a notch from the previous one.  It's not that they're necessarily funny, it's that they're so unexpected and offensive, and that they would go that far.

I particularly liked the thing with the blind kid having the birthday party in the restaurant, with the waiters singing one of those obnoxious "Happy-happy-happy birthday!" songs.  I was a waiter for years when I was in grad school, and I had to do those birthday songs.  It was a nightmare.  You're in the middle of work, and all of a sudden, you have to be humiliated.  So we had to get that in there.

But Halle and Stephen were up for all of it.  I couldn't believe the glee with which Halle embraced the role.  There was no embarrassment.  Anything we asked her to do, she would do.  She was such a great sport, particularly with the big, fake boobs.  And Stephen, doing the bad stripper dance - it was actually uncomfortable how far we pushed it.  There's stuff that didn't make the cut because it was too much, because he was grabbing girls' butts and breasts.  They were okay with it, but we realized, "Nah, that's too much,"  and we were figuring we'd just pull back in the editing room.  But what I didn't want to do was get in the editing room and say, "You know what?  We should have gone further."

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