Sony Pictures via Everett Collection
A long way from their little watched but brilliant animated MTV comedy Clone High, Phil Lord and Chris Miller have risen meteorically over the past few years, and have quickly become the brightest comedy duo in Hollywood. The two have been working together for nearly 20 years and have become masters of taking seemingly soulless adaptations and crafting smart and hilariously self-aware comedies. Only a few months after the release of The Lego Movie, the duo's latest, 22 Jump Street, is set to hit theaters on Friday. We got a chance to sit down with this symbiotic comedy writing/directing machine as they discuss the struggles of having two people and only one director's chair, how their particular college experiences made it into the film, and why the best jokes are the ones that not everyone gets.
Lord and Miller discuss the challenges of having two directors working on one film:
Phil Lord: "We’re both creative people. We both have a vision of how it should be. Things can’t always be exactly the same, and you have to have the humility to let it be the other guy’s idea sometimes."
Chris Miller: "It’s a big fear for an actor, that one of us is going to say one thing in one ear while the other is going to say the opposite in another and their brain is going to explode. We develop the scripts for a while, and we talk about the scenes a lot and we have a similar sensibility and the same goal for the movie. So when we come into a scene we’re pretty much aligned in what we want to get out of it. In the times where we have a disagreement about what we want to get out of a scene, that’s why you have multiple takes."
Lord: "It takes just as long to do another take [as] it does to argue about whether you should do another take. Just do one. And I trust this guy if he has something that he wants to do, we should just do it."
Miller: "Yeah, if one of us wants to get a sweeter version or a real wild version, you can figure it out in the editing room."
But sometimes there's trouble in paradise:
Lord: "We’ve had those moments, like, 'I’m going to lunch with someone else.'"
Miller: "We’re like brothers, where we fight and love each other and respect each other. We’ve had such a long history together. We’ve known each other for 20 years."
Lord: "Like many men, our strategy of working out our conflict is: get pissed off, walk away, and then never speak of it again."Miller: "Avoidance. It works!"
The directors discuss how they infuse their own personal brand of humor into their work, even if not everyone gets it:
Miller: "We find that we’re trying to make ourselves laugh. Some of that stuff that only a small percentage of the audience gets, it’s kind of fun if you’re one of the people that gets it. You’re part of the club, and if it goes by quickly and doesn’t sit there like it’s a big swing, then you can sort of get away with it. Sometimes we’ve tried things that are too obscure but were clearly attempts at jokes. And the audience didn’t respond, so we [took] them out ... It’s been our philosophy to not talk down to the audience."
The duo discusses their shared comedy touchstones in college:
Miller: "When we met, we had Harold and Maude, The Jerk, Billy Wilder, Young Frankenstein. We bonded over the same movies."Lord: "You don’t like Howard the Duck as much as I do."Miller: "This is true. See, there you go. We’re not exactly the same."
And how their own college hijinks inspired a party scene in the film:
Lord: "Well, we have the best pong-playing [scene] in the history of cinema. Or the most accurate, I should say. We had to teach Channing [Tatum] and Wyatt [Russell] how to play..."Miller: "Dartmouth style."Lord: "Very specific Dartmouth rules. Lob only, you gotta use paddles. None of this Beirut throwing nonsense. So we’re just off-screen playing in those shots."
Taylor Swift seems to be in a dating rut. The country-pop superstar has largely been hanging out with pals like Lorde and Karlie Kloss over the last year, leaving the relationship drama to friends (or former friends) like Ed Sheeran and Selena Gomez. There have been rumors that she was dating Zach Braff or Divergent's Theo James, but both turned out to be false. While it's probably good that Swift is spending some time without a male companion and getting to know herself better — she's still young after all — we're jonesing for the days when her dating habits were fodder for tabloids and the basis for her songs. Since we don't have anything new to talk about, we've decided to look backwards. Swift has had plenty of boyfriends over the years, but who's your favorite?
When the Jonas Brothers were first a thing and Swift was bursting onto the scene, there was a tour bus romance. While he has taken a couple of veiled shots at Swift for her habit of taking out her relationship pains out in her songs, instead of throwing her under the bus the way that he did with Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, he's largely been complimentary of his ex.
The duo had a brief fling while filming Valentine's Day, where they played a cute jock-cheerleader couple. The face of Twilight's Team Jacob is now dating The 100 star Marie Avgeropoulos, but for a brief time the Taylor-Taylor combo was adorable.
It was the coupling that was so crazy that it made sense. Mayer is 12 years older and came in with his own set of dating issues… he's the (far) less innocent male version of Swift. As with all of either singer's past relationships, the pairing was fairly brief but they both at least came away with great fodder for new lyrics.
The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy enjoyed some summer loving from Swift when he was 18 and she was 23. Like all great summer flings, it ended with the start of the school year.
Swift's other dalliance with an older man — Gyllenhaal is nine years her senior — led to exceedingly sweet paparazzi photos of the two enjoying morning walks around New York. They were together enough that she reportedly scored an introduction to Jake's epically cool sister Maggie Gyllenhaal. That alone would make the whole thing worth it to us.
Then there was Swift's other younger gentleman, the One Direction cutie. The two dated for a few months into the early part of 2013, until they broke up after a fight while taking a Caribbean holiday. While they've reportedly been polite to each other while making the party rounds, it seems that Styles might irritate Swift more than the other exes. Some were shocked when Swift appeared to mouth "Shut the f**k up" in reference to Styles talking to reporters at the 2013 MTV VMAs.
All of Swift's ex-boyfriends have a certain amount of appeal — otherwise she probably wouldn’t have dated them — but the two that stand out above the rest are the "bad boy" John Mayer and the "boy toy" Harry Styles. Vote below to tell us which ex, Mayer or Styles, you think Swift will most regret never, ever getting back together with.
Now that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning to the big screen, it's time for another Saturday morning staple to follow in their footsteps. The Power Rangers are getting a live-action film, with the possibility of a franchise, reports MTV News. The project is still in its early stages, so it hasn't been revealed whether the film will be for children, like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, or whether the rebooted Rangers will be targeting an older audience. Some are predicting that it will be a darker, grittier interpretation of the story, since the press released name-checked Lionsgate properties The Hunger Games andDivergent, but a different direction would deprive the Power Rangers of the fundamental ridiculousness...
...because Power Rangers is, at its heart, completely ridiculous. Between the awkward cuts between footage from the original Japanese shows, the terrible acting and monsters of the week that ranged from dumb to disturbing, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was filled with insanity. In honor of the movie news, and to prove that the franchise needs to be handled with a great sense of humor, we've rounded up 10 of the most insane, nonsensical or just plain stupid moments fromMighty Morphin Power Rangers. Feel free to take notes, Lionsgate.
The Gnarly Gnome One of Rita’s earliest plans involved using music to manipulate the Rangers, and so she transformed a Garden Gnome into a villain who could hypnotize people using his accordion. What better way to manipulate teenagers than with an instrument they would never listen to played by a terrifying lawn ornament they would never possibly go near?
“For Whom the Bell Trolls”There are so many strange things about this episode: Trini admitting to her high school class that she collects weird dolls, Rita stealing her evil plans from episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark, Mr. Ticklesneezer suddenly deciding he’s a good guy, Mr. Ticklesneezer himself, the weird dream cop-out ending, and a title that references Hemingway.
The Wedding of Zedd and Rita Every television show needs a big wedding, right? We’re assuming that was the logic behind a three-part episode centered on Rita marrying Zedd in the weirdest, longest, most elaborate intergalactic ceremony of all time. And they didn't even have the courtesy to invite the Rangers!
Zordon, Child Kidnapper In the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Christmas Special, Alpha 5 threw a holiday party for the Rangers, who were busy helping Santa save Christmas, so Zordon teleported a bunch of random kids into Command Central to sing carols with Alpha 5 and cheer him up. Heartwarming in theory, completely messed up in reality.
Dino Zords Are Birthed From Volcanoes The only thing cooler than giant dinosaur robots that fight alien monsters? Having those dinosaurs appear from an erupting volcano every time the Rangers transform, for no discernable reason other than the fact that the effects guys got a little over-excited one day.
The Origins of Rita RepulsaThe whole Power Rangers series kicked off after Rita Repulsa was freed from a space dumpster by two astronauts, allowing her to terrorize the rangers and attempt to take over the world. That’s right: the most fearsome villain in the universe was found in the trash and it was just readily accepted.
Alpha 5 and Dylan: BFFs Sure, Alpha 5 desperately wants to be a Ranger, but the way to go about that isn’t befriending random a random lost child in the park and then spending the entire episode just hanging out with him. Also, that kid should have been a lot more wary; Stranger Danger rules apply to robots as well.
“Power Ranger Punks” Another completely insane episode from start to finish, this one featured not only personality-changing potions (and a terrible, cheesy interpretation of punks), but also a giant toad that eats all the Rangers and a quest for a Singing Squash to create a potion antidote. Clearly Power Rangers has never heard the phrase “less is more.”
The Rangers Only Wear Their Designated Colors Either Zordon wants his Rangers to coordinate at all times, or the writers knew that the kids watching would be too hopped up on sugary cereal to bother learning the characters’ names.
Pumpkin Rapper Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had a lot of stupid villains, but the stupidest of them all might have been Pumpkin Rapper, an orange "person" with a giant Jack O’Lantern for a head that spoke in “hip hop” lyrics. This is a villain that appeared in multiple episodes.
Soul singer Robin Thicke and his actress wife Paula Patton have separated after almost nine years of marriage. The Blurred Lines hitmaker began dating Patton when he was 14 and the high school sweethearts welcomed their first child, son Julian, in April, 2010.
However, despite cuddling up for the cameras at the Grammy Awards just last month (Jan14), the couple has decided to call it quits.
A statement issued to People.com reads: "We will always love each other and be best friends, however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time."
Thicke, 36, and Patton, 38, wed in 2005.
The couple's relationship has come under scrutiny in recent months after Thicke was photographed with socialite Lana Scolaro at a post-MTV Video Music Awards party in New York last September (13).
In the shot, Thicke appeared to be cupping the blonde's backside and she subsequently went public with claims that he didn't stop there, telling Life & Style magazine the singer hit on her, while Patton watched.
At the time, Patton's representative dismissed Scolaro as "just a girl looking for attention" and insisted the actress and her husband "aren't concerned" about the cheating rumours.
Reformed Russian pop duo T.A.T.U. will perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Friday (07Feb14). Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova will sing their international hit Never Gonna Get Us as the Russian team enters the arena hosting the launch party.
The two singers were teenagers when they shot to fame in the early 2000s after representing Russia at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest.
The lipstick lesbians are an odd performance choice for organisers considering Russian officials passed anti-gay propaganda legislation last year (13). Katina and Volkova, who are both heterosexual, caused a stir at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards when they shared a kiss at the close of a girl power set.
The duo officially disbanded in 2011, but reunited a year later.
Madonna adopted Miley Cyrus' signature tongue waggle as she joined the pop star for two songs at her MTV Unplugged show in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (28Jan14). The two stars performed a mash-up of Miley's We Can't Stop and Madonna's Don't Tell while wearing matching glittery cowgirl outfits.
As Madonna left the stage after her performance, Cyrus, who playfully smacked her guest's bottom, told fans, "That was pretty f**king cool... It sounds super-lame, but as a pop star it's pretty cool performing with Madonna...Today was one of those days that it was really easy to get out of bed."
The 11-song concert featured a cover of Dolly Parton's country hit Jolene, which Cyrus also performed at Clive Davis' pre-Grammys party on Saturday night (25Jan14).
The full show will air in America on Wednesday (29Jan13).
After Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got the masses excited for the Golden Globes and made Leonardo DiCaprio blush -- not an unsubstantial feat on either count -- it's easy to feel like there's a run of strong hosts taking over the awards season. Ellen DeGeneres is back to bring sweetness to the Oscars and Neil Patrick Harris has made the Tonys relevant to viewers that have never seen a Broadway show. It wasn't that long ago, however, that the wrong host for the wrong awards show has made for an uncomfortable audience both at home and in the auditorium. In fact, it was just last year. Here's a look at the five worst hosts to grace an awards show stage.
Seth MacFarlane, Academy Awards, 2013
The Family Guy creator made many actresses squirm in their seats as he sang a ditty about seeing their breasts on screen. McFarlane was perfectly willing to poke fun at himself. In one bit, a time-traveling William Shatner warns MacFarlane he'll be dubbed the worst host ever. It's hard to argue with Captain Kirk.
David Letterman, Academy Awards, 1995
The very things that have made Letterman a fixture of late night television -- his acerbic wit and panache for slightly off-kilter humor -- led to his downfall in front of the Hollywood elite. His repeating of Uma and Oprah, ostensibly to introduce Thurman to Winfrey, was painful. It was hard to tell who was more uncomfortable, Letterman or his audience.
Reality Show Hosts, Emmys, 2008
There was already a legitimizing of reality shows by the Emmys adding a category to honor the best host of one of the shows. Having the five nominees in the category actual serve as hosts for the broadcast, as it turns out, was one step too far. Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest were so out of place and lost they could have been Amazing Race contestants.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway, Academy Awards, 2011
A studio could probably make a cute rom-com with Franco and Hathaway, even if they reportedly left their Oscar hosting night not on the best of terms. Unfortunately, there aren't multiple takes allowed to get things right on a live broadcast. Franco came across as stoned and Hathaway as over excited, and neither did young Hollywood any favors.
Chelsea Handler, MTV Video Music Awards, 2010
Handler seems like she would be the perfect fit to host what amounts to a big party, and claimed to stay sober for a week to get ready for it. The comedian, as expected, didn't straddle the line of good taste, but instead plowed through it with jokes that weren't merely off-color but downright offensive, even for the network of Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.
If you’ve been in any sort of club, house party, high school dance, or pretty much anywhere that a person would be dancing, you’ve heard LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” The song was released in 2011 as the first single off their second album, Sorry for Party Rocking, and it quickly became one of their biggest hits. It won the MTV Movie Award for Best Music after it was featured in 21 Jump Street and it was the 2012 favorite song at the Kids’ Choice Awards.
Three years after the single was released — and more than a year after LMFAO took a break from music — Rick Ross filed suit against the rap duo for copyright infringement. Ross claims that LMFAO’s hook in “Party Rock Anthem” was taken from his 2006 song “Hustlin’.”
The suit reads, "'Everyday I’m shufflin’...' in 'Party Rock Anthem' is performed in a manner to sound like 'Everyday I’m hustlin’...' in 'Hustlin’' is a prominent hook of 'Party Rock Anthem' and is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the fame and success of 'Hustlin’'."
The timing of the suit is a little strange: three years after the single was released? It makes us wonder whether Ross is either trying to capitalize on LMFAO’s success — since “Party Rock Anthem” is still a party anthem — or attempting to stay relevant. Either way, c’mon Ross, rappers sample hits from previous years all the time.
Actress/singer Victoria Justice has split from her boyfriend Ryan Rottman, according to a U.S. report. The Victorious actress began dating Rottman in 2011, but the two have now reportedly gone their separate ways and are both in new relationships.
A source tells Us Weekly magazine, "It happened a while ago. They are at different points in their life and both had been traveling. They've both moved on. Ryan is working on Happyland with MTV and Victoria just finished another show (Eye Candy) for MTV, so they're still on the same network. They are both seeing other people now."
Justice is reportedly romantically involved with actor Pierson Fode, who she starred alongside in upcoming movie Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, after the two were spotted together at a viewing party for Beyonce's The Mrs Carter Show World Tour.
A second source tells the publication, "Their PDA (public display of affection) was on a different level throughout the concert. They were super affectionate and open about it. Her arms were around him most of the night, dancing and kissing."
Pop star Miley Cyrus has sparked fresh outrage after she was snapped apparently holding an open bottle of alcohol at a Halloween party on Thursday (31Oct13). The 20-year-old singer was attending a bash hosted by Adam Lambert at nightclub Bootsy Bellows in West Hollywood, California, when she was spotted clutching what looks like a bottle of coconut rum Malibu - even though the legal of age for drinking in the U.S. is 21.
The Wrecking Ball hitmaker, who was dressed in a replica rapper Lil Kim's infamous breast-exposing purple ensemble from the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, attempted to conceal her face with her hand when the picture was snapped but failed to disguise her identity or the bottle.
Cyrus was also snapped locking lips with Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden on the same night.