The high school comedy-slash-drama has become a cinematic staple ever since John Hughes defined the genre with ’80s classics like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink.
Bryan Goluboff’s Beware the Gonzo probably owes more to two of the darker films in the oeuvre, Heathers and Pump Up the Volume, both starring Christian Slater, and it’s the latest in a long line of indie filmmakers paying tribute to those great high school movies from decades past.
This one stars Ezra Miller (City Island) as Eddie “Gonzo” Gillman, a hard-nosed teen journalist always trying to get “the big scoop.” He quickly gets tired of the restrictions put upon him by editor of the school paper, so he teams with the school’s other outcasts to create their own newspaper. Along comes the super-hot too-cool-for-school Evie Wallace, played by Zoe Kravitz (last seen in X-Men: First Class), who has been angered by her constant drubbing as a “slut” by the school jocks, so she agrees to help Eddie create a website, which along with the DIY paper starts to cause controversy and tension at their school.
ComingSoon.net sat down with the two up ‘n’ coming actors last week to talk to them about the film, one of the standouts of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, which may be why it’s now being released by Tribeca Films.
Ezra’s really smart and naturally funny, something that made this interview far more fun and raucous than the ones we normally do, though we’ll apologize in advance for how fast we were talking in this one while asking questions. (We got a bit hopped up on caffeine and sugar while waiting for the talent to show up.)
Following my half-assed introduction, we talk about:
* The draw of doing high school movies for young actors
* Whether they could relate to the characters even though it’s written by an adult
* How they handled the material, being that it was based on the filmmaker’s own life
* Working with many first-time young actors playing their outcast classmates
* Talking about their own experiences with high school journalism
* Some of the themes of the movie and whether it’s a commentary on journalism
* Ezra talks about the great luck he’s had with parents in film (in this case, Amy Sedaris and Campbell Scott)
* Shooting some of the more dramatic moments
* They talk about their careers and we ask Ezra whether he’s deliberately returning to dramatic roles with “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
* Of course, we ask Zoe if she’s been in contact with Matthew Vaughn about doing more X-Men movies