5 Questions for the cast of the new film Goon

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Jay Baruchel, who star in the new film Goon, which looks at the role of enforcers in minor league hockey, and speak to them about the film, the sport of hockey, and some of their advice on breaking into the film industry.

I began by talking to actor/screenwriter Jay Baruchel, who audiences know from his roles in films like Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder, and Million Dollar Baby about how the film began and his relationship with co-writer Evan Goldberg whose known for writing films like: Superbad, Pineapple Express, and the autobiographical 50/50.

Jay, how did you get involved with Evan? Was it when you filmed Knocked Up or was it before that?  

I mean, I’ve known Goldberg since I was 18 years old.  You know, he’s known [Seth] Rogan since they were 10 and Evan went to McGill in my city, so whenever I wasn’t working in the states, I’d be home in Montreal and we became friends because he was going to school in my city.  Evan’s been one of my best friends for 12 years.

When did you start writing the script?

Five years ago or so I was home and he called and he was like, they asked me to write this Canadian hockey flick and I know sweet-fuck-all about hockey and he had read some of my horror shit that I wrote and didn’t think I was too crummy and vouched for me.  He said you know your hockey and you’re not a terribly shitty writer so maybe we could figure out something to do together. I have to say it was one of the easier mapping out processes I’ve ever been a part of because like we sort of hashed out the whole thing in an hour an a half and then I just sort of fucked off to the confines of my bedroom and banged it out in two months.  Five long, arduous years later after the movie died many deaths we found a way to keep going because we all dug what this could be.

I teach high school film and screenwriting. Do you have any advice for people who want to break into the industry?

Ahhh, I don’t think I’m in the position to give fucking advice to anyone about fucking anything but I think it’s like, what my mom said to me when I was a little kid, find something you would do for free and find a way to make a living at it.  I never get sick of watching movies, one of the things that breaks my heart is when guys I know in the film industry, the last thing they want to do is watch a flick on the weekend because they make them all week but that’s the best part about what we do.  The fact that how I am in life and how I earn a living are the same, I mean how many people can fucking say that, you know, so they should never be content with the amount of movies they’ve seen and they should never be content with the amount they have written.

The final two questions were aimed at the dueling stars of the film, Seann William Scott, who audiences know from films like American Pie, Road Trip, Dude, Where’s My Car? and Tony Award winning actor Liev Schreiber from the Scream trilogy and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

What kind of hockey background did you have before you started the film?

Sean William Scott: Yeah, uh, no background, I admit it.  My friends played, I played baseball, basketball and football and I went to the games, I remember the only reason was because all the hot girls from school would go their games.

How realistic do you think the film is?

Liev Schreiber:  I think this movie is incredibly realistic in so many ways, particularly about minor league hockey. One of the poetic licenses that I think Jay took, thank God because it was so funny, is that a guy without any skating skills what so ever could make it that far in minor league hockey, that move aside, everything else felt so spot on.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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