Universal Pictures releases Neighbors on May 9th, 2014.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why did you decide not to have villains in Neighbors?
Nick Stoller: I don't like villains in the movies that I make and I think that all of us were on the same page because it gets boring very quickly and there's no lesson for them to learn. What's cool about the movie is if you're young, you take the side of the frat kids and if you're close to my age, you take the side of the family, so that was the goal. I think that those kids in the movie are doin what kids are supposed to do which is party constantly.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How did you cast the baby?
NS: It was very lucky that we found her. There were two of them. Their names are Zoey and Elise. As you direct more movies and get more work, you are able to be more blunt with people. I went into the trailer and I said to the parents, I was like, "Just so you know, in this film..." And the dad said, "The baby eats a condom. We're fine with it." And because we are essentially telling, I think, and maybe something is wrong with my brain, but a sweet story, I think the parents understood that. They understood what we were going for."
NYC MOVIE GURU: What inspired the party scenes?
NS: I had some practice shooting party stuff for Get Him to the Greek and so I took lessons I learned from that, both the things I liked that I did and the things I didnít and brought them to this. From the very beginning, I wanted the movie to feel like a party and to be cool. I am not cool and I donít go to parties so I did a lot of research and Seth and Evan [Goldberg] pitched the idea of a blacklight party and a hothouse party, which were both really cool visual ideas. Then I watched a lot of movies that are much cooler than the movies I make, like Enter the Void was a big visual reference for me. Then another movie that weirdly was a big influence, because thereís a dumb heist element to the movie, so I watched Oceanís 11 and I took apart that movie to see how it was put togethter. There are certain things, like you put the camera low and it makes it feel epic, you hand out cameras to a lot of extras and that makes it feel more epic."
Evan Goldberg: Brendan's wife saw some kids skateboarding outside at her house one day and she said to Brendan, "Those kids are up to no good. We should call the cops." And he said, "Did you just say those kids are up to no fuckin' good? What happened to us? We're fuckin' old!"
NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think are the basic elements that turn a comedy into a classic?
NS: There were movies that were huge when they came out and people don't watch them anymore. There are some movies that do great and people are still talking about them, so I have no idea.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What would make a good double feature with Neighbors?
EG: Neighbors with Dan Akroyd and John Belushi.
NS: The Bachelor Party. I think this would make a great double bill with Frozen!
NYC MOVIE GURU: What are some bad experiences you had with neighbors?
EG: I recently had the cops called on me by [my neighbor] because Seth [Rogen] was laughing too loud at 2 in the morning in my backyard. And there was a bunch of people but no one was being loud---it was just Seth. Then we confronted [the neighbor] and told him he should have called us instead.
NS: I was super duper cool in college and one of the cool things that my roommates and I did was blast the Star Wars films at all times of the day. Our down stairs neighbors complained all the time.
James Weaver: In college we were doing a pledge of some kind and they were shooting fireworks and that resulted in the cops coming in and us running. One of our pledges got arrested and pretty much our fraternity was on probation for the rest of the year.