If you need a break from all the death of Game of Thrones or the end of Phase 3 of the Marvel Universe, look no further than Lionsgate’s newest film Long Shot. Written by Dan Sterling (The Interview) and Liz Hannah (The Post), this smart, raunchy, and hilarious Cinderella story of an unlikely romance hits theaters May 3rd.
Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a gifted and free-spirited journalist with an affinity for trouble. Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is one of the most influential women in the world. Smart, sophisticated, and accomplished, she’s a powerhouse diplomat with a talent for…well, mostly everything. The two have nothing in common, except that she was his babysitter and childhood crush. When Fred unexpectedly reconnects with Charlotte, he charms her with his self-deprecating humor and his memories of her youthful idealism. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter, much to the dismay of her trusted advisors. A fish out of water on Charlotte’s elite team, Fred is unprepared for her glamorous lifestyle in the limelight. However, sparks fly as their unmistakable chemistry leads to a round-the-world romance and a series of unexpected and dangerous incidents.
We the opportunity to chat with actors Ravi Patel, June Diane Raphael, and O’Shea Jackson, to hear more about Long Shot! Check out our chat!
The Knockturnal: First off congratulations on this film. Your deadpan and comedic timing was stellar. So what is your favorite part about doing comedy?
June Diane Raphael: Oh man. I mean my favorite part about doing comedy is just making people laugh. I think there’s nothing better in the world, in life. It’s just an amazing thing. And I love doing it and I love comedy, it’s just such a fun job to have. I mean there’s no other to put it. It’s the craziest thing that one could make money doing this when so many of us would probably do it for free.
The Knockturnal: You play an advisor if you will to Charlotte. Do you have your own set of advisors or mentors that you have to turn to like that?
June Diane Raphael: Hmm. I mean I don’t. I’m looking for one. No I don’t really. I mean I guess I have people in my life who I care about who I will go to. I mean my husband is definitely somebody I’ll go to ask professional questions of and “Should I do this” or Should I do that.” There’s certainly people I lean on for support and guidance. But, I’ve definitely never had that mentor experience. You got anyone in mind? Anyone looking for a mentee?
The Knockturnal: We can post that, we can post this with that question and see what we get. What is your favorite memory from set, from Long Shot?
June Diane Raphael: Oh man. One of the scenes that I, that I was really happy with watching and also just knowing how much fun it was to do; it was the scene where Seth finds me and Tom, played by Ravi, outside of the hotel room because that was a scene that was three lines of dialogue that became this whole other thing just from doing it and finding it and the three of us had so much fun and, just could not stop laughing. That was one of the best, one of the best times on set for sure.
The Knockturnal: It seems like one of themes I’m hearing is that there are fewer lines and you guys are finding the action to tell the story in the comedy. So I love that you identified that scene in particular because so much was said with so little.
June Diane Raphael: Yes, yes.
The Knockturnal: Literally and figuratively.
June Diane Raphael: Absolutely. It was a wild, and again, they already start off with a great script so you’re starting from a great place if you just do the lines on the page it’s still going to be funny but then the way that Seth and his team work, and Jonathan, is they want to get what’s underneath there and what’s surprising and that’s what’s always the kind of magic and secret sauce to their movies.
The Knockturnal: It’s the secret sauce the seems to work. Thank you for your time.
June Diane Raphael: Thank you so much. Nice to meet you.
The Knockturnal: And I want you to know that you rock the velour blazer very well in this. You had the opportunity to play this high powered, CEO in this corner office. What do you want folks to know about the character in this film?
O’Shea Jackson: That you know he’s all for the empowerment of his friends. What I love about Lance, besides being a billionaire, what I love about Lance is that he’s so enthusiastic about his friend. And Fred Flarksy played by Seth Rogen is definitely on the other side of the spectrum as far as Lance and his career, and Fred and his. That’s my guy and I’ll go to war for him. And the more friends you have like that, I feel the more fuller life you live. So, you know, you should take some honor in being the fuel to somebody’s fire.
The Knockturnal: Is that what you take away from Lance is that kind of a motto?
O’Shea Jackson: Yeah, you got it. You know. Everybody has a flame. And they just need something to spark it and if you just add and build that fire, there’s something honorable about that. About inspiring somebody to reach their highest goals in their life.
The Knockturnal: So speaking of flames and sparks, how much of this with you and Seth was improv vs script? How much of this did you guys create in the moment here?
O’Shea Jackson: It was a lot of improv. You know, Seth wants you to find the gold. There’s so much panning for gold, looking for the funniest moments in the scene and how we can expand on them and that’s his work ethic and you can really see him searching for that. He’s got a team of writers that are throwing things at you and trying to make sure you stay on your toes as an actor, so, it was one of the best environments I’ve ever had on a set.
The Knockturnal: What is your favorite memory from set? That you can share?
O’Shea Jackson: First of all, I didn’t know Boys II Men was really going to be in the movie. And they didn’t like film it separately from me, I was really there kicking it with them. So that was cool. And Andy Serkis. I got to meet Andy Serkis and he’s King Kong. So that’s awesome.
The Knockturnal: Did you recognize him?
O’Shea Jackson: Not at first! He was in prosthetics and I was like who’s this old man walking around set so freely, like, somebody needs to check him. This weird, very very close extra. But he’s super chill, super great. Utmost professional. And if you’re an actor and you want to get engulfed in character, that’s who you need to study.
The Knockturnal: Why did you want to do this project?
O’Shea Jackson: Cause Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron was in it. And they wanted me. But then after that, the film is just so smart. The world is political but it’s not a political film. And it’s got such a strong female lead with Charlize. And, the cast is just like an all-star game. You just love it.
The Knockturnal: Seth and Charlize got to sing a duet, a couple duets in this film. If you got to sing a duet with Seth, what would it be?
O’Shea Jackson: Oooh. See these types of questions I need some time with. But me and him could kill “End of the Road.” Boys II Men, just to keep it in the realm of Long Shot. “End of the Road.” Let’s do it. Let’s get this Christmas Album, Seth.
The Knockturnal: Yeah I’m on it. I can see what I can do.
O’Shea Jackson: Yeah let’s do it!
The Knockturnal: Maybe I can just drag you in the other room, we’ll just do it live.
O’Shea Jackson: Yeah I’m down. Tell Seth to come on in.
The Knockturnal: Congratulations, first of all, on this film. It was super fun for me to watch. Was it as fun for me to watch as it was for you to be in this? Like how fun was it for you on set?
Ravi Patel: It was so fun. I mean I was in a movie with Charlize and Seth and June and O’Shea. I mean, all these people are insanely talented and fun to be around. It was cool.
The Knockturnal: I think some might know you from the documentary world first potentially and then coming into this world. What lessons, what things did you bring over from the documentary world into the narrative world?
Ravi Patel: Well the main thing I think I learned from the documentary was just how cool it feels to make something that can matter and impact other people’s live and I think creatively…I’ll tell you one thing it helped me as an actor on a very practical level was just, in a documentary you’re not acting. You have the camera there though. So after a while, you start to get the feel of what it’s like to be yourself in front of a camera if that makes sense. So I think from an acting perspective, I got better at being myself on camera. I’m not particularly myself in this movie. Yeah, that was definitely the coolest part of the documentary. As a result of doing the documentary, I think I learned how to act as myself in things which I do with more frequency now.
The Knockturnal: And how is this character different from you in person?
Ravi Patel: So first of all, in real life, I have a much better job. Right off the bat. And, I probably have a lot more confidence in real life than that guy does. And, I have a wife and a kid and, I think I just, I think in real life I’m happy. And Tom, the character I play in the movie is not happy and I don’t know that he ever will be.
The Knockturnal: That’s fair. Now that you’ve played Tom, who’s in this political world, would you ever consider going into politics?
Ravi Patel: No. Never. And that was the answer before this but it’s very much the answer after this too.
The Knockturnal: Did you do research into the role before you stepped in?
Ravi Patel: Yeah, I spoke to Tony Hale who played the same character, similar character on “VEEP.” And I read about some former body men in history. But at the end of the day I really just had to carry her satchel and anticipate whatever she wanted.
The Knockturnal: That’s what I was going to ask you was how heavy was the satchel?
Ravi Patel: You know… it was so funny because after we’d say cut there’s someone who comes and takes the satchel from me which I always felt was kind of ironic.
The Knockturnal: You had your own body man.
Ravi Patel: I had a body man, I had a body man surrounding me at all times.
The Knockturnal: Excellent. Well, body man, it was a pleasure to talk to you today. Thank you so much. Congrats on the film. It’s really really funny. And, I’ll see you guys soon.