"iBabe" as told by Steve Brill
Directed by: Steve Brill
Cast: Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Jack McBrayer, Aasif Mandvi
A statement from Director Steve Brill:
I'm a lot like Pete and Charlie - I loved KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE
when I was a kid. I remember seeing it playing at drive-in
theater and trying to sneak over from where my family was watching some
other movie to see it. I was a young adolescent - 15 years
old - and, to me, it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen.
There was nudity, and it was aggressive comedy. I just
thought it was like seeing something secret and special. It
sort of put me on the path to wanting to do comedy, in a lot of ways.
I loved the unstructured narrative - having the funniest shorts you
could have, and then having some weird, funny way to tie it all
together, which is what we ended up doing with MOVIE 43.
I've known the Farrellys since way back - I've known Pete forever, and
I used to play hockey with Bobby. I'd always wanted to work
with Pete, and I remember going down and meeting them on the set of
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. I remember being impressed by how they
had their own sense of comedy, and they stuck to it. It was
really fresh and unapologetic, and also sweet.
So I trusted them, when Pete and Charlie Wessler, someone I've also
known for a long time, tracked me down and pitched me the idea of doing
one of these insane shorts. We met over at Carrie Fisher's
house, and they pitched me some crazy ideas, which I thought were
impossible to do - and then I realized they had already shot some of
them. I had looked at some of the scripts and told them, "We
could never do that," and they went, "Oh, no, no - we already shot
those. We want you to pitch some new ones."
I tossed around some ideas with Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko, who are
kind of the core writers on this movie, trying to go out on the edge,
but I didn't come up with anything as good as "iBabe," which they
already had rewritten from a script Charlie had gotten.
As far as casting goes, Charlie's mandate was always to try to cast as
big a star as you could. I knew a bunch of people, but they
weren't really available. Then he said, "I know Richard
Gere," and I thought, "Well, there's no way you'll get
Richard Gere." But, as you've probably heard, Charlie knows
everybody. We actually reached out to Seth McFarlane, but his
schedule was too busy. In the meantime, Charlie got Richard -
I was floored.
Kate Bosworth was someone I had just seen in another short, a bawdy
"Funny or Die" short, and she was really funny. In
"iBabe," she plays the one person in the room who's calling this thing
what it is and standing up to the corporate lunkhead, while everybody
else is busy sucking up to him. She has this strength - she
just has to give one look, which she can just do with one roll of her
eyes. She was great.
And Jack McBrayer, who I knew from the Apatow camp. He had
just done FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, and we had hung out in
Hawaii. I always thought, "If you ever needed some small role
in something that needed to be funny, just hire Jack." He was
awesome. And it was exciting having all of these people
together in one room, on set.
What I really liked about the humor of this short was that, here,
you've got the head of this computer corporation - Richard - and I love
the fact that he never really gets what's going on. The more
you played the fact that he didn't get it, and the denser he seemed, in
front of all the facts of kids getting their fingers, and other things,
cut off - and he's someone who doesn't get the connection about what
he'd done. And Richard played it so great, so
obtuse. "Well, why would that happen? I don't
understand." And everyone else is just coddling him as the executive
who was so out of touch.
It's kind of a theme in MOVIE 43, the thing about "Why can't everybody
else see the most obvious thing?" "The Catch" has it, and so
does ours ("iBabe") and a few of the others. I love that kind
of humor - they can't see the obvious. And the more you
repeat it, it just gets funnier and funnier.
We also did some iBabe commercials - I did about three or four of them,
we used one of those, the one with people dancing around this naked
woman. That was fun - like doing a musical, only with a naked
woman standing there. I think you'll see the rest on the DVD.
I actually kind of put the film together after they had the first bunch
of shorts. We talked about lots of different ways to connect
them. Then Rocky and Jeremy wrote the cool, sort of, science
fiction wraparound with the kids in their room, surfing the internet
and going down the rabbit hole to uncover this secret MOVIE
43. I found it an intriguing idea, good and
relevant. It was kind of reverse engineering, a way to tie
the shorts together thematically, which was fun.
I think it all comes together really well, and it's the perfect time
for a movie like this, with all these different films with different
kinds of comedy. It's like going to the candy store and
looking at the different displays and seeing all these really fun,
glossy items and just moving on through it. It's coming at
you, and it's all good - and it's really fun.
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