'That Awkward Moment,' When We Interviewed Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, and Zac Efron

‘That Awkward Moment,’ When We Interviewed Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, and Zac Efron

Image by Karen Roe

Nicole Rivelli / FilmDistrict

To a large majority of the female population, a couple of weeks ago I lived the ultimate dream: I was in a deluxe hotel room in Manhattan with Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller, to talk about their new romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment.”

These are about the hottest young guys in the world right now, and I’m not just referring to the insane amount of attractiveness floating around that room, with each one of them about to embark in some really crazy, potentially world conquering projects — Jordan is set to star in the “Rocky” spin-off “Creed,” where he’ll play Apollo Creed’s son who gets trained by Rocky Balboa; Teller is set to appear in “Divergent,” based on the best-selling young adult series; and Efron will co-star with Seth Rogen in “Neighbors,” a movie whose trailer seemed to single-handedly break the Internet.

Not that being in a room with these guys, who in “That Awkward Moment” play three best friends who vow to stay single until the formerly married member of the group (Jordan) has time to heal from his divorce, wasn’t a little intimidating. But once Teller asked if I wanted coffee or eggs or anything and then began yelling to the small room adjacent to where we were chatting (where all the publicists, handlers, and posse were crammed) “Ethel!?!? Ethel!?!?! Can we get some eggs in here?” my worried soul was set at ease.

There’s this great sense of friendship that you can really feel in the movie but I’m assuming you guys didn’t know each other that well. How did you establish that?

Miles Teller: They went on a trip…

Zac Efron: Well, we had met a few times.

Michael B. Jordan: Yeah, we have some mutual friends back in LA but we had never hung out or had any bonding moments.

Efron: There’s that thing that you get when you know somebody and instantly connect. We got along from the day we met. The wildcard was Miles…

Teller: That’s actually my nickname.

Efron: …We were so nervous to meet him. Remember we went to drink a bunch of tequila?

Jordan: Yeah, we went to this Mexican place. And we had never met him.

Efron: And it was the day before filming! And instantly, instantly, we became best friends.

Jordan: Well, actually we started to talk sh*t. Because it was one of those things where you hear so many good things about somebody. Like, when somebody tells you, “Ah, it’s the best movie ever!”

And you say, “That movie’s not that good.” Everyone was telling me such great things about this guy that when I met him, I just said, “I don’t like you… But I do now.” But it was perfect.

Efron: And we had a couple of good nights out.

Jordan: Yeah, sometimes it just takes a really good night.

Teller: It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had filming a movie.

Did any of your own personal romantic philosophies made it into the movie, and just how alike are you to your characters?

Jordan: I try to make things work. I am a good guy. I don’t like to entertain too many women at one time. So… I leave that to… [starts laughing]

Efron: Let me just get this out of the way because I’ve finally figured out how to answer it. Jason is a bit more of a player than I am. I am not as cavalier or as suave. I am not so much of a smooth player. But I know that guy. I know that guy really well. And I have had moments where I have dipped into him in real life and wake up from that and say, “Wow, that was a different guy.” I’ve had moments like Jason, and kind of made that character out of those experiences and people I knew and made him. I think the most similar thing about us is what happens at the end — that he learns that being there for your friends when it’s most important is what makes a friend.

Teller: I’ll just say that the preproduction for this movie was just me going out and having a good time. It fit this role.

Did you guys hang out a lot during shooting, or did you part ways when filming was done?

Teller: Yeah, we would get dinner together. We were on the set for the most part at the same time. But other than that we’d eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, and Mike would play video games and I’d kill him. He’d lose his per diem to me! In “NBA2K”!

Jordan: I lost a week’s worth of per diems. Yes.

Teller [to Jordan]: I remember you got pissed off at me because I was talking trash, and you were like “Seriously, stop. Stop.”

Jordan: You’d lose friends over it.

Teller: Mike will.

Efron: I’m getting into it now, too. So get ready. “NBA2K14.”

What are your favorite romantic comedies? Because, shooting in New York, it obviously draws a lot of parallels to Woody Allen movies…

Teller: I’ve never seen a Woody Allen film. I’ve watched so little film, and it embarrasses me when I talk to people because I do love actors and I do love filmmakers but I’ve never seen a Woody Allen film. I do love the movie where Patrick Dempsey is riding a lawn mower…

Can’t Buy Me Love“!

Teller: “Can’t Buy Me Love.” I love that movie.

Jordan: “Coming to America,” best romantic comedy ever.

Teller: “Lars and the Real Girl“? Well, I guess that’s more of a drama… because that movie’s awesome. [To Jordan] Have you seen that?

Efron: I like a lot of Judd Apatow’s comedies.

I want to ask about everyone’s upcoming projects — what’s going on with “Neighbors”?

Efron: “Neighbors” is going to be insane. I have seen a rough cut and I’ve never really seen a movie like it. I don’t really know what to say. It’s just crazy.

Teller: Tell that story with Seth. When he said, “I hated you.”

Efron: Yeah, so, years ago, when I had just done “High School Musical,” I had always looked up to Seth and gotten his sense of humor. And I was at Sunset Tower — there was some party that I had been invited to — and he walked by and I just stopped him and shook his hand and said, “Hey, I just have to meet you, man. My name’s Zac. I’m an actor.” He said, “Yeah, I know who you are.” So I said, “I would forever regret this moment if I didn’t tell you what a huge fan I was and I love and respect your work.” And he goes, “Really?” And I said, “Yeah.” And he goes, “I kind of hate everything about you. I wasn’t really expecting you to be cool.” I said, “No, I mean it, from the bottom of my heart.” He said, “I’m confused. Thank you. Thanks a lot.” I said, “I’d love to work with you.” And he goes, “Yeah… uh, me too… sure, why not?”

But he was surprised that I was actually genuine. This was 5, 6 years ago. So cut to when we started making this movie; it was a dream come true. And he still has no idea how much I look up to him. The way that the movie started and the way that it ended up was largely different and something that was pretty cool. Everybody’s stoked on it. We just had a day of additional photography and it was so fun to get back to those guys. It’s going to be really cool.

What’s going on with “Creed”?

Jordan: “Creed” is a project that’s in the process. Ryan is still writing the script. So we’re waiting for the script to come in and where in 2014 we’re going to get it done. But Sly is on board, ready to do it, coming back as Rocky Balboa. It’s f*cking awesome. I can’t f*cking wait. I am really ready to get in there and start training.

Teller: It’s going to be crazy when you’re calling Sylvester Stallone “Rocky.”

Jordan: Woooo!

So Rocky is training your character?

Jordan: I can’t really talk about the nuances of it. But he’s going to be there, in the ring. It’s going to be good.

And what about “Divergent.” That’s going to be huge.

Teller: You can’t predict box office or anything. As many films that try to be in that “Hunger Games” or that “Twilight” mold there are a ton of films that didn’t really do the business they thought. But I was more than happy to work with Shailene [Woodley] and Kate Winslet and Neil Burger and do something that plays in Europe, because I haven’t had something they call “international value” attached to my name. But if that first one does well I’ll be shooting the sequel this summer.

“That Awkward Moment” hits theaters Friday, January 31.

The Moviefone Blog

'That Awkward Moment' Review: 10 Things to Know About the R-Rated Bro Comedy

‘That Awkward Moment’ Review: 10 Things to Know About the R-Rated Bro Comedy

Image by Karen Roe


It’s the dog days of winter, a time when the temperature barely crests above the single digits and all hope seems to have been frozen, like the pipes running into your bathroom. So, it seems like a good time of year to unleash a fuzzy, dudes-on-the-town romantic comedy exercise, full of R-rated ribbing and ribald sight gags. Wouldn’t you say?

Well, that’s what you’re going to get with “That Awkward Moment.” The film, written and directed by Tom Gormican, follows three dudes who are also BFFs (played by Sundance sensation Miles Teller, former Disney heartthrob Zac Efron, and serious contender Michael B. Jordan). The trio gets really close after Jordan’s wife leaves him (for her lawyer, who is also overseeing the divorce), but also causes them to conceal parts of their lives from each other. This leads to hilariously catastrophic consequences. Or something. There are also a few women in the cast (including the always amazing Imogen Poots).

Of course, is “That Awkward Moment” enough to get you to brave the polar vortexes to get to the theater. Or is this one better watched in a half decade, playing on TNT with all the swears replaced by weirdly similar words that still sound totally out of place? Read on to find out.

1. The Dudes’ Chemistry Is Great
The hardest part of any of these types of movies is getting the right group of actors together to successfully convey the kind of camaraderie that suggests years (if not decades) of loyal friendship. At some point in the movie, Efron describes Jordan and Teller as his “college buddies,” which suggests at least a half-decade of good bro hangs. And it’s a testament to the commitment of the actors and the naturalness of their performances, that you totally, 100% believe that these guys are best buds. And, surprisingly, it’s the quieter moments, the ones where they just kind of share space, where their bro chemistry (bro-chem?) really comes across.

2. Imogen Poots’s Bangs Are Too Short
In my notes for the movie, there’s one word that is scrawled into the page (I even circled it). That word is BANGS. For some reason Poots, a talented actress who has turned in memorable performances in everything from Neil Marshall’s period war movie “Centurion” to the underrated horror remake “Fright Night” to the quiet Michael Douglas comedic drama “Solitary Man,” has been saddled with quite possibly the worst bangs in a major motion picture. They’re too short and do a disservice to the rest of her face, which is a shame considering her almost radioactive levels of adorableness. This is a weird thing to fixate on, but it must be mentioned. For the good of mankind.

3. It’s Not Very Rude
The movie is being sold as a rowdy, R-rated comedy. Except the R-rating is mostly for the amount of F-bombs dropped — there’s very little sex (all of it coy and workmanlike), no nudity, and the harshest drug consumed on screen is a Viagra. Quite frankly, the title sequence of “The Wolf of Wall Street” is naughtier. And yes, I know there was no title sequence in “Wolf of Wall Street.” That was a joke. The point is, it could have stood to be a little bit spicier. Especially since everyone is so cute.

4. There Is Staggeringly Little Conflict
Sometimes a movie coasts by on the barest of dramaturgical convictions. “That Awkward Moment” is one of those movies. There’s very little conflict. There isn’t a whole lot of drama. Strife seems to be almost completely removed. Everyone is more or less happy and attractive and stress-free, which is amazing, considering they are all young people living in Manhattan (not even Brooklyn or Queens), which is the most expensive place on the planet and pushes you to obscene, panic-attack-like levels when rent is due on your 50-square foot apartment.

5. Even the Mechanics of the ‘Bet’ Are Poorly Laid Out
The main thrust of the movie, as much as there is one (and, yes, pun very much intended), involves Jordan’s character getting dumped by his wife and left for another man. The trio then hatch a kind of gentlemen’s agreement that they’ll all stay single with Jordan, remaining unattached for however long it takes him to get back on his feet again. Then, later in the movie, one of them mentions that they are, in fact, taking part in a “bet.” A bet? When did this become so competitive and macho? I mean the guys are kind of doofuses (more on that in a minute), but what did they wager? None of this is explained and the movie is worse for it.

6. Manhattan Looks Great
As shot by wonderful cinematographer Brandon Trost (Rob Zombie‘s “Lords of Salem,” the upcoming “Neighbors”), New York in wintertime looks fabulous. Much of the movie takes place in lower Manhattan, with the city taking on that kind of otherworldly shine that it somehow appropriates around the holidays. Of course, part of why it looks so amazing is because it is also totally unattainable. No way could these dudes, two of which work in nebulous art director jobs designing book covers (book covers? In 2014?), afford such swank accommodations. But still, it’s totally lovely to look at.

7. An Actor From ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘ Makes an Appearance
D.B. Woodside, who played Principle Robin Wood in the uneven final season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is in one scene in “That Awkward Moment.” He plays the lawyer who Michael B. Jordan’s wife is running away with, and for the rest of the movie is referred to as looking a lot like Morris Chestnut (he really does). It’s nice to see Woodside, even if it is for one scene, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have any dialogue. This also makes me think of one of the proposed “Buffy” spin-offs that involved Faith, Principle Wood, and Spike’s otherworldly ghost. That would have been cool. Also, I miss “Buffy.” Like, a lot.

8. The Movie’s Depiction of Women is Problematic
So there are three main female characters in the movie: the love interests of all three of the guys. Each of the female characters is barely fleshed out — Poots works in publishing (or something), Mackenzie Davis says that she works for Sotheby’s, although what she does is unclear since none of the male characters seem all that interested in her job, and Jordan’s wife (Jessica Lucas) isn’t given a profession as much as she is assigned a host of loathsome traits and grievous dialogue. None of the women ever talk to each other (breaking one of the tenants of the movie successfully passing the Bechdel Test) and, more often than not, you get the sensation that the women merely serve as incredibly shallow plot devices. For a movie with so much downtime in the plot, it would have been nice to give the ladies something to do.

9. There Is a Fairly Lengthy Sequence Featuring a Prosthetic Penis
This movie, as I’ve mentioned earlier, is oddly chaste and prudish about sex, with one exception: There is a super-lengthy sequence in which Zac Efron goes to a dinner party wearing a comically large prosthetic penis. Too bad this sequence is preceded by one in which he visits a sex shop with Miles Teller, and the filmmakers have to titter at all the perverts who actually, you know, explore their sexuality in a comfortable way. How dare they! The perverts!

10. There Is No Reason for a Sequel
It would be very easy to see this as being the first in a series of comedies — the next “Hangover” or even “American Pie” franchise. But this feels very much like a one-and-done scenario. I’ve certainly had enough of the bro shenanigans for a while. Let’s see if America feels the same way.

“That Awkward Moment” hits theaters Friday, January 31.

The Moviefone Blog

John Travolta as Bond baddie? 'I would love that'

John Travolta as Bond baddie? ‘I would love that’

Image by Karen Roe

© AP / John Travolta

John Travolta as Bond baddie? ‘I would love that’

Feb. 9, 2014, 6:48 PM EST

By Todd Cunningham

John Travolta would say yes to playing the next Dr. No.

The “Saturday Night Fever” and “Pulp Fiction” star said being a baddie in a 007 film is a dream that he’d like to see become reality, and would let him “close the chapter” on playing villains.

“I would love that,” he said in an interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph. “They’re going a different way with their villain in this next film but I’ve spoken to (Bond movie producer) Barbara Broccoli about it and she loves the idea, so that would be great.”

Also from TheWrap: John Travolta Reunites With Kirstie Alley on Her TV Land Sitcom

Travolta will next be seen in the heist movie “The Forger,” then as John Gotti Sr. in a 2015 biopic about the mobster, “Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father.”

He offered his thoughts on a number of subjects in the interview:

On hearing the BeeGees’ “Night Fever” in a bar: “Of course it makes me smile,” he says. “And it makes me feel very validated. But I also have this fear that people are going to expect me to get up and dance.”

On the 2009 death of 16-year-old son Jett, whom Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston lost after he suffered a seizure: ”I’m probably less terrified of death than your average fellow now, because people so near to me have suffered before their time and I just feel that if they can do it, so can I. The edge – the panic that most people feel – has been taken off death for me. I almost feel like it’s disrespectful to fear it when others have been able to do it.”

On the value of Scientology during those difficult times: “I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had the support of Scientology. I don’t think I could have got through it. They were with me every day after Jett died. They even traveled with me when I needed to get away. And for a solid two years it was like that. It was only in the second year that I started to take a break of a day or two just to see how I was doing on my own.”

“I don’t love the idea of turning 60, so I had hoped to keep it under the radar.”

The post John Travolta as Bond Baddie? ‘I Would Love That’ appeared first on TheWrap.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Lego Movie’ Builds Into Box-Office Smash

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Overcrowded Project Slate – Separating Fact From Fiction

Jamie Lee Curtis Opens Up About Addiction After Philip Seymour Hoffman Death

MSN Movies: News

Watch: The Schmoes Review 'That Awkward Moment' and Jason Reitman's 'Labor Day'

Watch: The Schmoes Review ‘That Awkward Moment’ and Jason Reitman’s 'Labor Day’

Image by Gary Hayes

The Schmoes, Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis, not only have their Schmoes Know Movie Show on Movies.com—they’re reviewing movies for us too. You can watch more of their reviews here.

That Awkward Moment

Labor Day

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