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About The Production
Stingy tippers, demanding customers, incestuous gossip-mongering and ritual humiliation – anyone who's experienced the vagaries of waiting tables will relate to the behind-the-scenes antics at ShenaniganZ, the all-too-familiar chain restaurant in Lions Gate Films' WAITING… For the talented cast of Rob McKittrick's comedy, playing a group of frustrated waiters was by no means a stretch. Like too many actors, many had already experienced the drill first-hand. 

"I waited at this chi-chi restaurant in Connecticut and I hated every minute of it,” admits Justin Long, who plays Dean, a frustrated waiter who's running out of patience with his job. "I was such a terrible waiter that it's ironic I'm playing a good one in WAITING… I really can't relate to that at all.”

"When I was in college, I worked at a retirement home restaurant,” remembers Anna Faris. "I got $5.70 an hour with no tips, and I had to do weird things like clean out the buttermilk refrigerator. Those old people love their buttermilk.” 

"The only restaurant I work in is my own kitchen,” announces Luis Guzman. "I can cook anything. And I do not drop steaks on the floor and put them back on the plate.”

Faris confesses: "I once took an entire order from four people and when I got back to the kitchen, I looked at my pad and I had just written down scribbles,” she says. "I had no idea what anyone ordered, and I just broke into this cold sweat. I think I quit right after that.”

It should come as no surprise that writer/director Rob McKittrick was once just like one of his lost characters in WAITING… He worked for years in an Orlando, Florida restaurant much like ShenaniganZ, and his experience there provided the basis for the film. 

"I was 23 years old. All I had was a community college degree, and I was basically shaping up to be a loser,” remembers McKittrick. "But after working at a few different restaurants, I realized that the same types kept showing up: the hostess everyone wanted to sleep with, the asshole manager, the burnt-out waitress. I started to see the possibilities of turning that world into a script.”

Admiring films like CLERKS and DAZED AND CONFUSED, McKittrick wrote the script for WAITING… with the intention of shooting it on an ultra low budget. He partnered up with a local producer he met while waiting tables, scraped together approximately $20,000 and started planning his production. But Hollywood came calling – and McKittrick began a long process of waiting himself.

"I sent the script to anyone and everyone who would read it, and met with anyone who seemed remotely interested,” including a meeting with a local Orlando producer who had space on the Universal Orlando lot. He says the meeting "went horribly;” but on his way out of the office, his partner began flirting with the receptionist. This receptionist went to High School with Jeff Balis (Project Greenlight), so she sent him the script and got the interest of Chris Moore's production company. Eventually, McKittrick landed an agent, and his script was optioned by Artisan Entertainment. For two years, the film languished in development, only to be subsequently mired in the legal fall-out of Artisan's sale to Lions Gate Films. 

Now, seven years of waiting later, McKittrick has finally made his directorial debut with a cast that first-time directors only dream about. "This is probably the greatest cast of all time,” says Ryan Reynolds, who plays Monty, a sarcastic waiter with no ambition. "You could look at any particular cast member and say they stole the movie. It's just an amazing ensemble, with no weak link. I don't think I've ever experienced that on a movie.”

"One of the selling points of doing the movie was working with the cast that Rob got,” says Long. "It always elevates your own game when you're around people like that. It makes you better.”



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