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MOVIE 43

"iBabe" as told by Steve Brill
iBabe
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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