"Happy Birthday" as told by John Penotti
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Cast: Gerard Butler, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott
As told by producer John Penotti:
As I recall it, (Charlie) Wessler screamed to me to his imaginary
assistant ..."Get (Brett) Ratner on the phone! He's the only
guy who's able to do this!" And so it was to be. Brett immediately dove
in, honing the script, and then hand picking his cast. Seann
William Scott and Johnny Knoxville perfectly fit as on- screen
roommates - being that off screen they have long been great friends.
Each of them fully immersed themselves in the twisted tale.
Most fun was to decide who would be the brave soul willing to be shrunk
into a tiny leprechaun. Gerard Butler casually agreed, "Sure, sounds
like fun. But I'll need an accent coach. I'm a Scotsman and this little
fucker has an Irish accent."
This was our longest and most complicated shoot. The body of
the little leprechaun you see in the chair during the entire film is a
little person actor named Gabriel Pimentel. (Stunt work was
done by another expert little person named Martin Klebba). He
was amazing and frankly very small. So Johnny and Seann spent two days
acting out their scenes with this guy. But on the last day of the
shoot, Butler was brought in to sit in front of a green screen to act
out and match every body movement that Gabriel had done in the two days
earlier. Brett would tell Gerard to move a little to your left and,
"When you say the word 'balls' shake your head a little." Highly
detailed work but necessary to be able to get the performance perfectly
Pete, Charlie and John are extremely grateful for all the
actors' contribution, and even more for Brett's tireless pursuit of
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