Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard and Crista Flanagan Talk BEST NIGHT EVER, Working with Friedberg & Seltzer, and More

     January 31, 2014


In Best Night Ever, the raunchy comedy from directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer and Blumhouse Productions, a bachelorette party turns out to be way more than anyone bargained for.  Bride-to-be Claire (Desiree Hall), her sister Leslie (Samantha Colburn), the fun-loving Zoe (Eddie Ritchard) and quirky new friend Janet (Crista Flanagan) have a series of unexpected adventures during what quickly turns into the wildest night in bachelorette party history, all caught on tape.

At the film’s press day, co-stars Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard and Crista Flanagan talked about how they got involved with Best Night Ever, what drew them to this project, when they realized they all got along, how difficult it was to get through some of the scenes without laughing, all of the intense nudity, how far they’re really to go in the name of comedy, what Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer were like as directors, and the most fun scene they shot.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

best-night-ever-posterCollider:  How did this come about for you guys?  Did you know what you were getting yourself into, going in?

DESIREE HALL:  It was funny because I had been on a very long string of auditioning for things where I had played a bride, and I had just gotten married.  So, it just seemed like it was meant to be, when I got this audition to play the bride.   

EDDIE RITCHARD:  It came about in the old-fashioned way.  The script came out, I got a phone call saying, “Please audition,” did the audition, and then waited to see if they liked me.  

SAMANTHA COLBURN:  Not of us had met before.  There were no chemistry reads. 

RITCHARD:  Crista had worked with the guys before, so it was a little bit different experience for Crista.  

Did you just really hope that you’d all get along then?

RITCHARD:  Particularly because we were in such a small space, yes.  

HALL:  I gave that no thought before.  

COLBURN:  I didn’t worry about, “What if I hate them all?”  It’s a job.  You go into it thinking, “Okay, this is my job.”  But then, we ended up having a blast.  It was just such an added blessing that we really did bond and had a great time.  We bonded so much that now I live right next door to Crista.  I just couldn’t get enough of her.  I make her put the wig on, sometimes. 

Did you get to spend any time together before you started shooting, or were you just thrown into the deep end together?

RITCHARD:  We had a week of rehearsal, but the first scene we did was the rave, which was a great way to break the ice, in terms of getting to know each other.  All it was, was just fun.

CRISTA FLANAGAN:  There were no scenes.  It was just, “Dance at a rave.”  

RITCHARD:  It was great!  We got nice and close and intimate, and broke some friendship barriers that it can take 20 years for someone else to do, but we did it in 30 seconds.  It was great stuff.  

What was the appeal of this project for you?  Were you given a full script for this, or was it more of an outline of ideas?

COLBURN:  It was fully scripted.  We did end up improvising some things, on the day, and adding scenes later, but we did have a full script to look at.  One of the things that really attracted me was that it’s a strong female ensemble movie.  Although that’s becoming more frequent, it is a rarity, at least for me and what I audition for.  So, to go in and meet these really strong women, and everyone’s hilarious, and to work together, every day, with everyone in almost every scene, it was so hands on and so intense.  It just sounded awesome.  How could I say no? 

best-night-ever-1HALL:  It was a unique opportunity that I don’t think is presented very often.  I remember reading the sides and thinking that it was just really funny.  I just really wanted to do it. 

COLBURN:  There were definitely scenes that I read where I was like, “How are they gonna do that?!”  I still didn’t know until I saw the movie and was like, “Oh, that’s how we shot that?  Okay, cool!”  

How difficult was it to get through some of these scenes without just laughing hysterically?

RITCHARD:  Oh, my god, it was so funny!  The job would be to not laugh because you needed to get the take.  You had to do your job.  

HALL:  I don’t know why, but when we went through the drive-thru, for some reason, that struck me, and all of us, as hilarious.  And Aaron [Seltzer] and Jason [Friedberg] were sitting in the back of the van while we were trying not to smile, and they were like, “Don’t laugh!,” ‘cause we had to go through the drive-thru again. 

COLBURN:  They wanted us just to make it quick through the drive-thru.  It wasn’t scripted, and it was the real guy working there.  They guaranteed me that I could order a salad, and I tried.  There was no salad on that restaurant’s menu, but they were like, “No, they’ll do it for you.”  So, I tried to order a salad, but they didn’t have it.  I tried to order something else and shut it down, but he kept asking me questions and it just became a huge scene because they wouldn’t let me order a salad. 

HALL:  It became a 15-minute long bit, when it should have been five minutes.  

RITCHARD:  And we were trying not to laugh because we had been given instructions that it needed to fit the film.  It’s fast and it moves, but there we were, laboring about a salad.  

COLBURN:  I think I ended up ordering melted cheese on lettuce, in the end.  I’m not sure how that happened.  

FLANAGAN:  I was lucky because, in the strip scene, [Desiree] was getting humped so aggressively and I’m just laughing my face off, not in character.  I just thought it was hilarious that that was happening.  It didn’t really matter for me.  I could just laugh, and I did.  

best-night-ever-2HALL:  We filmed that for a good couple of hours.  It took awhile, and it just kept going.  After they called, “Cut!,” the first time, Crista was like, “I’m not acting!,” and I was like, “Yeah, I noticed!”  It was actually hard for me not to laugh during that, but I’m glad I didn’t ‘cause I would have had to do it again.

RITCHARD:  It’s worth not laughing to get it done.  

How was it to shoot that scene with the two naked people chasing after you down the hotel hallway?

COLBURN:  That was intense! 

RITCHARD:  It’s meant to be scary, with the fire alarm going off and these other things happening at once.  And you don’t want to put the other actors through it again because you laugh.  That’s unfortunate for them because they’re putting themselves out there.  But the thing is, it’s funny.  

COLBURN:  I was traumatized, during that scene.  I was crying, and I wasn’t even in character.  But we couldn’t do that, if the other actors hadn’t been so brave.  

HALL:  They were great, though.  She was wonderful. 

Is there anything that you guys won’t do for comedy, if you know it will get the laugh?

FLANAGAN:  If I don’t think it’s funny, I probably won’t do it.  They didn’t really give me anything that I didn’t think would work.  Pooping on somebody, I can see where that’s funny.  I was like, “Okay, I think I can make that work.”  

RITCHARD:  I think Crista was the most challenged, in terms of the aggressive jokes.  I think she got the more extreme of being in a bra and undies, being jello wrestled, being let out on the street from an ambulance, and the pooping thing.  They trusted that she could do it.  

COLBURN:  Aaron and Jason had worked with Crista before, so they knew what they could get away with, with her.  I think they were a little afraid that we were going to put the shut down.  For me, it comes down to how much trust I have in my team and my directors.  If I trust them, I’ll go for it.  

best-night-ever-2FLANAGAN:  The idea was that Janet was messed up on drugs and just wanted to pee on this guy.  But, she’s on drugs and she has a shakey tummy, so it’s an accidental poo.  They wrote it and before they showed it to anybody, they called me and they were like, “We need you to read this, and then give us a call back and we’ll have a chat.”  So, I read it and was like, “Okay, I have a shakey tummy.”  I got excited because I was like, “I think I can make this work!”  

RITCHARD:  The great thing about this script is that most of it is actually realistically justified.  Janet tries to shame him many other ways first, and then one thing leads to another.  We are in an inebriated place, and it’s that thing that happens.  I think that’s the entire feeling of this film.  It’s like, “Oh, god, really?  That happened?!”  But, it comes from a realistic place . 

HALL:  I agree that, as long as I think it will read as funny, I’m usually pretty much willing to do it. 

FLANAGAN:  Anything super offensive or would be really hurtful to people or would shame me, in a deep way, which would take a lot, is not going to be funny to me.  But, pooping and farting is always funny.  Poop is not funny for everybody, but I’m a-okay with it.  

What were Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer like, as directors?

HALL:  They were very specific.  They really run a nice set.  They are very kind, and they’re also both hilarious, which makes working with them super fun.  They have great senses of humor. 

RITCHARD:  They work together really well.  They never contradict each other.  

HALL:  If one of them is asking for something, the other one knows what he means and how to help convey that. 

FLANAGAN:  They make a lot of movies with really big budgets.  This is my fifth movie with these guys, and they have it down.  People always say, “How do you have two directors?,” but they’re like one.  One of them talks to you, and it’s not the same one, all the time.  They talk to each other, and then it’s designated, how they’re going to handle it.  

best-night-ever-4RITCHARD:  I do have to share that we were in the car a lot and, because we were shooting guerilla style, they had to lie down in the back seat.  They were extremely intimate back there, with the DoP.  The three of them were bonding like there was no tomorrow.  We were in close quarters, but they were even closer.  Clearly, they get along.  

FLANAGAN:  It was really three grown men, laying on top of each other.  

COLBURN:  We all got to know each other, really well. 

What was the most fun scene for you, on set?

FLANAGAN:  I liked the jello wresting scene, for me.  The most fun was when all four of us were together, running around.  It was the stuff where we were just having fun.  

HALL:  The day that we shot the strip club stuff, we had to be at this weird strip club where every surface in the strip club was fabric and so gross.  We had to be there at 4 am to get our day started, and it took awhile to set things up, so we were just joking around.  I don’t know what we were doing, but I just remember laughing my head off, when we were sitting there at the bar.  And the guys that were the dancers didn’t know how to dance . 

FLANAGAN:  They didn’t hire strippers.  They just hired dudes.  It was pretty funny.  

COLBURN:  They had some new moves.  You can’t see any of that in the end product, but on the day, it was hilarious.  

HALL:  And then, there was the infamous lap dance scene.  The first half of that day was awesome.  It wasn’t the worst, but it was just so something.  I don’t know what.  

COLBURN:  My best day was the rave.  It was the first day we shot, and it was the first day we were doing guerilla.  We were in a real rave that was packed, in downtown L.A.  No one knew we were shooting, to see the people really interact with us.  And then, we were dressed like our characters and acting like our characters, to see how society would interact and treat them.  It just seemed so personal because no one knew we were shooting a movie.  I really was Leslie with a stick up my ass, dressed in business casual at a rave.  That was my favorite day. 

Best Night Ever opens in theaters on January 31st.

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