[IMG:L]What happens when an entire town comes together to make a porno movie? Comedy, of course.
The Amateurs follows a group of lovable losers as they rally around their friend Andy to film their first dirty movie. The crew hopes to find fame and fortune, but with each major misstep, they soon find they’re in way over their heads.
Leading the cast is Jeff Bridges as the down-and-out Andy, alongside Ted Danson as a closeted gay guy named Moose, Isaiah Washington as a potential porn star and Tim Blake as Andy’s best friend.
“I’d done all my research for this already, before I came to the movie. I was ready!” jokes Bridges.
Hollywood.com sat down exclusively with both Bridges and Danson to find out more about what it takes to make a keeping a dirty movie clean.
[IMG:R]Ted Danson on why the film is so innocent:
“It’s just a great concept, to make a really clean movie, about an adult making an adult film. You could almost take your grandparents to see it, it has such sweet heart to it. The fact that the first time they get someone to finally be in their porno that everyone turns their backs to give them for privacy. [Laughs]”
Jeff Bridges on similarities between him and his character Andy:
“Well, I love to get ideas like that, I’m kind of an idea guy. I have a small group of good friends that go back to high school. Then my oldest friend, John Goodman, we go back to the 4th grade together probably. He wrote quite a few songs in the movie. I don’t think I go through those deep depressions like Andy, not lately anyway.[Laughs]”
Ted Danson on his first nude scene:
“Did I go to the gym? Did I lose weight? No, I did none of the above. But it was funny! It seemed like such a good idea at the time. I think it was funny. I think if I had to do that, and it wasn’t supposed to be funny, I would die a thousand deaths. It just seemed very, very funny, this sad sap, funny, gay fellow who is in such denial that he’s going to prove it by having heterosexual sex on camera with Valerie Perrine, and bless his heart. He can’t manage to get his equipment working. It’s so sad and frustrating. [Laughs]”
[IMG:L]Jeff Bridges on his hesitation to take the role:
“I’m apprehensive about…most projects because I know once I engage there is going to be a whole slew of things I am not going to be able to do. I don’t even know what those are yet. Also, I know the work that it entails. It has been a process that I kind of resist doing things, until the point where I am so intrigued, and there is an element to it that I just can’t turn down. This particular script had one of the things that really attracted me, which is something that’s unique, and something I haven’t seen before. This certainly fits that. I wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to pull this off. We had a first time director Mike Traeger, who also wrote the script, and had never directed a film before. This film, while it was unique, to pull it off well he was going to have to hit a very small target because this movie could easily not work. We have these salacious elements, porn and that kind of thing, married with the sweetness of Frank Capra…I thought, ‘Well, lets have a reading of the script and see how it works.’ It really came to life, we had the actors sitting around the table and saying these lines that really worked well, so I jumped aboard.”
Ted Danson on his wife Mary Steenburgen recommending him for the part:
“I want to know why she didn't recommend me for a Chuck Norris part. That she recommended me for the gay guy…I know the answer. The hormone count in my family is like a real delicate balance. I can talk fabric with the best of you guys, ladies.
Jeff Bridges on bonding with the cast:
“One of the things I thought was important for all of us to do was, to give the illusion that we were friends, and that we had grown up together. We spent a couple of days down at my parent’s beach house. We had a sleep over down there. We all got to hang out and party, and of course we talked about porn, and every other subject. In the final making of it the only real nudity that you see in the film is Ted Danson, who turns out has a beautiful ass. Who’d a thunk it? [laughs] That was kind of fun. He did it very professionally. God, he pulls off his butt so well.”
[IMG:L]Ted Danson on the cast’s beach getaway:
“Jeff's family has had a house on the beach, I guess, for years. Jeff invited the cast of idiots, all the buddies, to his home. Look at me, I’m stretching (points to photo of himself). I’m also wearing a hat so that my dyed hair doesn’t turn copper. So, they hung out for three days. I live not far from here, so I didn’t spend the night, but they hung out for a couple of days. They just got to know each other before shooting. This was actually kind of rehearsing the first scene. You could see the set kind of drawn into the sand…I think this is the first time that the waitress and the two guys with very little penis’s [Laughs]…the Softie Freeze scene.”
Jeff Bridges on keeping to the script:
“Its like every good movie, where you feel like the dialogue could be improvised, but very little was. The Big Lebowski was like that, people would say ‘That sounds so natural.’ But you always go back and get every ‘man’ and every ellipses in there, the way those guys write it. Not only is it saying what Mike wants the character to say, but the way that they all speak kind of creates this tone. It’s not exactly real…I think that everybody tried their best to stay truthful and faithful to the script.”
[IMG:R]Ted Danson on meeting the Bridges family:
“I loved [Jeff’s] father Lloyd Bridges. After working with them, Lloyd, Dororthy, Jeff, Beau, and the girls, they were all so sweet to me. They used to invite my family over for business parties. They were just always so sweet. They really are like a family in the theatre. They really are this incredible, acting, theatrical family. We went to Lloyd’s memorial service and it was just one of those transforming moments. The love for their father, the family unit, their history was beautiful. Lloyd was acting in the 40’s in New York, and in LA in films, in the 50’s and 60’s. Their friends, their family, were just this huge part of Hollywood and Hollywood films. Not necessarily the silly part of Hollywood. They were so sweet to me always and I will always love them hugely. Jeff to me is one the best actors period. He has such integrity when he works. If you go to a film that Jeff Bridges is in then you know it’s a really worth while piece.”