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Broken Lizard Duo Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan Address Their Critics and Talk 'Super Troopers 2' and Their Latest, 'The Babymakers'

By Dema Paxton Fofang | Indiewire August 2, 2012 at 2:31PM

Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan are two-fifths of the Broken Lizard comedy team. Chandrasekhar and Heffernan first garnered mainstream attention (and some notoriety) for their second feature, "Super Troopers," which has gone on to become a cult comedy fave. Since "Super Troopers," the duo have worked on several other features and been involved with a number of television series including "Arrested Development" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm".
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"The Babymakers"
Millennium Entertainment "The Babymakers"

When you were drafting the script did the names Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider eventually come up?

Chandrasekhar: Paul and I talked about it three or four times and he wanted to make sure that this was a movie that fit in with what he's done. He's an actor's actor. He wanted to make sure that he could act in a grounded way and make me happy with what the movie could be. I wanted to make sure he could tell a joke.

Olivia interviewed us for "Attack of the Show" and we just fell for her totally. She's such a bright comic mind. We put her in the "Slammin' Salmon" and she nailed it. Then she acted in a movie that we produced called "The Freeloaders" and she nailed it. With this one it just felt like the right kind of vibe. Our audiences overlap a little bit. She is funny in the same way that I think we are. It just sort of all worked well I thought.

While "Babymakers" isn't a Broken Lizard film, it is in a similar vein. That said, films like "Beerfest" and "Super Troopers" had a fratty, absurdist approach, while "Babymakers" is set in a more adult and realistic world. Do you think that's indicative of a progression for you as filmmakers?

Chandrasekhar: I've been watching a lot of cable shows like "The Wire" and "Breaking Bad" and "Downton Abbey." I love how real the moments are. I've come to the realization that you can entertain people both through making them laugh and making them feel. You can be quiet and they can feel and you will have scored as well. I think that because this is not a Broken Lizard movie, it felt important to care about people from a feeling standpoint. If we make "Super Troopers 2," it will be in the exact tone that one was. It won't be all feeling and romance.

"If we make 'Super Troopers 2,' it will be in the exact tone that one was. It won't be all feeling and romance." -- Jay Chandrasekhar

Heffernan: All that crap! (laughs)

Chandrasekhar: You know what I mean! We're not going to do that shit in "Super Troopers 2." I love it in this movie and I'm going to do a whole lot more of it. I think romantic comedies in general are marketed towards women, and I think men are half the romance, so why not have some that are truly from a male point of view. I think Judd's movie, "Knocked Up" is somewhat like that. I think that's a great film from this male point of a view. 

While it seems like you're now moving into that more dramatic world, throughout your career you've made comedies that have been criticized for being sophomoric or overly raunchy. Is that type of criticism something you've ever responded to or considered? 

Heffernan: That never really bothered me. It was what we thought was funny. It's unfortunate that some people don't like it but comedy's subjective. The night before "Beerfest" came out, we went down to Camp Pendleton outside of San Diego and we showed "Beerfest" to hundreds of marines in a theater. It was a riot. They were going crazy and loving it and laughing. It was so exciting! The next day all the reviews came out and you get all these reviews like, "this movie sucks," or "it's not funny." And you're like, "Well I was just in a room with these guys and they thought it was hysterical." It's all subjective and you can't get too caught up in that. 

"The Babymakers"
Millennium Entertainment "The Babymakers"

Chandrasekhar: We only ever wrote jokes for each other. If I write a joke and he laughs, it's goin' in. That's all there is. I can't anticipate what somebody else who's not us thinks. We write jokes for ourselves and if other people laugh then we'll continue to make movies. 

I also have this philosophy of going exactly where the joke is. If you want to make a joke about drinking beer, part of drinking beer is burping, part of it is late night eating, part of it is avoiding drunken driving, waking up in weird places. We could make the super sanitized version that would end up on television, but we want to go where the joke is. In "First Blood" Sylvester Stalone was naked getting hosed down, and that's the scene (referenced in "Super Troopers") we were making, so the dude had to be naked. And we added powdered sugar and we ended up showing his cock. That was where the funniest part of the joke was. If that offends a reviewer, OK. I wish "Super Troopers" got reviewed better.

Heffernan: Time has shown it's a movie people like.

Chandrasekhar: "Animal House" didn't get reviewed well. "Caddy Shack" didn't get reviewed well.

This article is related to: Interviews, The Babymakers







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