About The Production (Continued)
"The men and the women tend to get polarized by the events of the
night," says the director. "It's another problem with the group. They
tend to reinforce their own opinions and it creates this illusion of knowledge.
When you think you know something and you really don't, you set the stage for
Perhaps on the other end of the spectrum are Whitney and Trent. "I think
that Trent and Whitney are looking for camaraderie," says Emily Procter who
plays Whitney, "they're looking for someone who is equally outside the
norm." Whitney, who takes care of everything and makes sure it's all okay,
is split between her life with her friends and what Procter calls a
"stylish sexuality." "She's a little bit off the beaten
path," laughs Procter. "She's not afraid of her sexuality, she
embraces it. But it's a side of herself she doesn't share with her
"He's a complete freak!" jokes Ron Livingston, the actor who dons
the golf knickers and argyle socks that are Trent. "He's got his own thing
going on. He's not really bound by any sense of public fashion or style. He's
not afraid of pretty much any stripe or shape of sex. Sometimes he can be a
pretty kinky guy."
"The real bad boy," explains
Cristofer, "is Trent, whose
behavior is completely out of control. At the same time he and Whitney seem to
have a kind of wisdom about them."
Someplace lost in between are Emma and Shawn. "Emma is strangely
detached," says Cristofer. "She drinks a little too much. But for some
reason when we were casting the film, I kept thinking she'd be the one who'd
change next. She's a little sharper, a little more intelligent and sometimes
seems strangely detached from the group as if she's taking it all in."
Sybil Temchen, who plays Emma, says she relates to all the characters.
"Emma and the rest of the cast for that matter, are in that strange place
in their life when you've left the safety of school where everything seems
mapped out for you and now you're kind of flailing in the wind. You're not sure
how to define life for yourself. I think Emma uses her drinking to anchor
herself and eventually she'll see that that's not working."
Brad Rowe was cast as Shawn Denigan, "a quiet, sweet natured, old
fashioned guy from Atlanta. He's the moral compass for the guys—at least
that's what he thinks. He always talks about courtship and romance and old
fashioned values, but when it comes down to it, after a few drinks he's as much
of a miscreant as the others," says Rowe.
Cristofer needed to show the audience the contradictions in the characters.
These are eight young people trying to figure who they are and how they fit into
the world. They present one facade to each other, another to members of the
opposite sex and even another to themselves.
In order to capture the discrepancies, Cristofer chose to take down the
fourth wall and have the characters talk directly to the camera.
"The reason I decided to use the interviews," explains the
director, "was because I thought there was a side to these people that we
weren't seeing. Watching them interact tended to feel shallow because I think
they were trapped in a pretty shallow dynamic. I wanted to go deeper and I
didn't see them sitting down and talking with each other about the deeper,
darker parts of themselves. I was trying to find a process tha
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