Hot Rod Poster
Hot Rod may seem like the kind of goofy comedy tailor made for Andy Samberg, but it was not. The script was originally developed for Will Ferrell in 1999. However, to update the film for the new millennium and Samberg's comedy style, he and director Akiva Schaffer added things like a Footloose dance montage.
Andy Samberg Talks Hot Rod
"Many years a go Akiva and I were just watching Footloose on cable," recalled Samberg. "I was like, ‘This scene is amazing!’ Like the idea he is so angry and furious with rage that he has to dance. Me and Akiva and Jorma Taccone we have written a bunch of other stuff together and we had that scene in a few other things before this project that never got made, but when we got to Hot Rod I was like, ‘We can do the Footloose scene!’"
One element from the original Pam Brady script is that Rod wants to beat his stepfather in a fight. "More than anything, that was Pam’s creation. The thing that hooked us on her script originally was that you’ve got this standard story of he’s a guy whose gotta grow and overcome his thing to save his stepfather, so he can kick his ass. It wasn’t just like, ‘And he’s got to save him because he loves him.’ It was like, ‘He’s got to save him because he f*ckin’ hates him.’ Just the twisted logic of that. We always like leaps of logic in terms of what’s driving the story. We think that’s a lot more interesting."
Known for digital shorts like Laser Cats and Dick in a Box, Samberg is not afraid to push the boundaries of obscure weidness. "We are definitely aware that when you do something as strange as [the] cool beans [scene] that some people are going to be like, ‘What?’ And be annoyed, ‘This isn’t taking itself seriously at all.’ Where as us, it’s like, 'This isn’t taking itself seriously at all!’ We sat in on the test screenings and stuff as well to help us in the editing and figuring out what was playing and what wasn’t. Pretty much every scene in the movie that I would describe as my favorite part and a lot of the audience would put down as their favorite part was someone’s least favorite part. I think that’s just a byproduct of being memorable. It’s definitely hard for certain people to let go of 'this is the real world and crazy things can’t happen and the fourth wall can’t be broken down.' But on a personal level that’s always my favorite thing. Anytime you make something that is encouraging ridiculousness and surrealism and taking things less seriously, is my favorite kind of comedy."
As his first leading role, Samberg can learn from his fellow SNL alumni. "All the ones we’ve liked are people who really stayed true to what they are about. There are obviously different levels of types of comedy in terms of how much you are taking to story and heart and comedy. All of our favorite movies are a lot of time people’s first movies where you can tell it’s this sort of explosion random weird crap they have been saving up their whole lives. Movies like The Jerk, Ace Ventura, Billy Madison, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, just crazy movies where you can tell they had all these ideas and they were just like ‘Screw it, let’s just do it!’ So, we wanted it to be something like that. And for us, and what we’re about, I think we did a pretty good job."
Hot Rod opens to theaters this Friday, August 3rd.
For the trailers, stills and more movie info, go to the Hot
Rod Movie Page.