Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. Talk Hard-R Comedy LET’S BE COPS, Nudity, Improvising, Joe Swanberg’s DIGGING FOR FIRE, and More

     April 2, 2014


I’ll admit it: director Luke Greenfield’s Let’s Be Cops just wasn’t on my radar.  While I’m a fan of Greenfield’s The Girl Next Door, I wasn’t sure what to expect with his new comedy starring  Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson.  However, after watching the great-looking red band trailer at CinemaCon, I think we might have an early contender for box office surprise of the summer.  If you haven’t heard of the film, Let’s Be Cops stars Johnson and Wayans Jr. as two friends who impersonate police officers using rented uniforms and a car purchased on eBay, but in the midst of all their fun they run into trouble with a dangerous Russian mobster.  The film also stars Nina DobrevRob RiggleJames D’Arcy, and Keegan-Michael Key and it opens August 13th.

Shortly after presenting the trailer at CinemaCon, I landed an exclusive video interview with Johnson and Wayans Jr.  They talked about how the project came together, how much was improvised, the test screenings, how it’s a hard R-rated comedy with nudity (they say it’s like the 80s movies where it’s a big comedy, then it turns and the action happens), deleted scenes, working with Greenfield, the promotional tour for the film, and more.  In addition, Wayans Jr. talked about his upcoming standup tour and Johnson discussed about his small role in Jurassic World and how he’s about to start filming director Joe Swanberg’s next film Digging for Fire, which starts filming soon and will also star Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Brie Larson.  Hit the jump to watch.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. Time Index:

  • Wayans checked out the public reaction to the trailer: “Every race is liking the movie.”
  • 0:45 – Johnson liked the script but knew he needed a partner with good comedic chemistry to make it work.
  • 1:40 – They improvised a lot, and much of it is in the final cut.  Explanation of their improv process.
  • 3:10 – It’s a hard R with nudity.  It’s like the 80s movies where it’s a big comedy, then it turns and the action happens.
  • 4:00 – Wayans attended a test screening.  Good reactions so far.  No reshoots needed.
  • 4:50 – They mostly didn’t get to take the costumes out into the real world.  But Johnson has one story.
  • 6:30 – There are a lot of deleted scenes with improvised material.
  • 6:50 – Talk about working with Greenfield.
  • 7:30 – The promotional tour will reach pretty much every state.  They are going to a bunch of colleges.
  • 8:15 – Talk about their chemistry after working on the movie and New Girl together.
  • 9:20 – Wayans will tour as a standup during the New Girl hiatus.  Johnson has Jurassic World and he’ll do another movie with Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg called Digging for Fire.

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