Thomas Mann, Jonathan D. Brown, and Oliver Cooper stand in the midst of their raging party, the subject of director Nima Nourizadah’s newest young adult film, “Project X.”
Partying on and off the set, visiting Disneyland, and feeling hung over—just another day in the lives of the stars of the upcoming film “Project X.” Thomas Mann and Jonathan D. Brown talk about their experience during the filming of “Project X,” which chronicles the 17th birthday party of nice guy Thomas (Mann) and the hijinks that follow. Co-star Brown plays JB, a shy self-proclaimed “fat Jew.”
The Harvard Crimson: Your characters in the movie seem very close. How did you develop a relationship?
Jonathan D. Brown: Hanging out with each other.
Thomas Mann: The only preparation we did was hanging out with each other and building a history so that the chemistry works on-screen. They set up little “play dates” for us.
TM: Yeah, we went to Disneyland.
JDB: We took initiative too. We were like, “Let’s go get Chinese food!”
TM: We went to Big Bear [a mountain getaway in California] one weekend.
JDB: We bonded. We still hang out. TM: All the time. This [movie] is a big thing that ties us together.
THC: There must have been plenty of competition for a role in a movie like this. How did you end up getting cast?
TM: They did a nation-wide talent search, and a lot of people submitted…[over] 3000 videos, tape submissions, which is how this guy (points to Jonathan) got cast.
JDB: Yeah, I did an open call audition over the internet. I saw a random blog that said “casting” and I’m like “Okay.” I had no real acting experience. I was actually pursuing stand-up. It snowballed from there. Three months and nine auditions later, I got it. A brutal gauntlet of tests. I lucked out.
TM: It was an audition for me. I ended up going in seven or eight times. It was tough.
JDB: Going three weeks without hearing anything is like a punch in the gut.
TM: It was like an emotional roller coaster.