ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL Interview: RJ Cyler Talks Starting His Career Strong

     June 12, 2015


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Based on the Jesse Andrews novel of the same name, the film revolves around a movie-obsessed high school senior (Thomas Mann) who is talked into spending time with an acquaintance classmate (Olivia Cooke) who has recently been diagnosed with cancer. The film was this year’s big winner at the Sundance Film Festival, following in the footsteps of Whiplash and Fruitvale Station by taking home both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. The film also stars RJ CylerNick OffermanJon BernthalConnie Britton and Molly Shannon. For more here’s the trailer and Adam’s review.

A few days ago I sat down with RJ Cyler for an exclusive interview. He talked about when he knew it was a special film, the movie references, getting back to L.A. after being part of such a big hit at Sundance, what he took home from set, and he even plays “Save or Kill,” too.

Here’s the interview followed by the time index. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is in theaters this weekend.


RJ Cyler:

  • 00:13 – When did he realize that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was a special movie?
  • 01:11 – The positive vibes on set.
  • 01:39 – How much did the movie change from script to screen?
  • 02:40 – How the success of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl changed things for Cyler.
  • 04:09 – Cyler plays “Save or Kill.”
  • 06:53 – On the audition process for Me and Earl.
  • 08:00 – Was Cyler familiar with all the movie references in the film?
  • 08:58 – Beatboxing with writer Jesse Andrews.
  • 09:56 – The wardrobe items he got to take home from set.


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