Mar 17, 2011
We started our work Friday morning, and came upon an enormous line for my panel with Rainn Wilson. Someone later told me it was the longest line for any film panel at SXSW, but I’m not sure if that’s true.
Whatever the case, we turned many away from the 700 or so seat room. Because the room was so full, Rainn suggested we sit on the backs of our seats so that the people in the back could see us. It seemed to work.
The panel was moderated by Drew McWeeny of HitFix.com, who did an amazing job.
We talked for an hour or so about SUPER, making a movie with a big cast for almost no money, and how social networking was important to our careers. It was a fun panel, and a great way to kick off the festival.
Rainn and I went on to do a day’s worth of press, and then went to a do Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies podcast, with fellow guest Simon Pegg. Simon is a great guy who I met five or six years ago at Lucy Davis’s wedding. Twitter is such a strange phenomena, because that’s how we’ve primarily touched base over the past couple years. I’m actually quite excited to see his movie, Paul. I’m a big fan of the director, Greg Mottola, who has directed only three films – The Daytrippers, Superbad, and Adventureland, all of which I love.
Rainn, Simon, and I faced off in The Leonard Maltin game, where you have to guess the name of a movie based on a year, a category, a Leonard Maltin quote or two, and part of the cast list. I am very, very ashamed to say that, although I kicked Rainn’s ass, I lost to Simon. See the above photo of him gloating like an asshole. Thanks a lot, Shaun of the Dead. But, in my defense, I got Super Troopers right and Simon beat me on Twister. So that whole cultural-superiority-of-the-British thing was simultaneously demolished forever.
I’ll try to let you know when the podcast goes up.
After Doug Loves Movies, we met up with Ellen Page and made our way over to the SUPER U.S. Premiere at the Paramount Theater.
This line was absolutely enormous, circling all the way around the block.
This time, I was told it was the longest line for any film EVER at SXSW, which is a pretty cool thing for an unrated, dark as hell, ultraviolent, tonally shifting, ultra low budget flick.
I showed off my incredible modeling abilities on the red carpet.
Ellen looked beautiful, as always. She’s so demure and sweet and soft-spoken in real life it’s hard to imagine her as the same person who plays Libby, the utterly sociopathic lunatic in SUPER.
On the way through the lobby, I ran into Dallas native Greg Ingram, who plays one of Kevin Bacon’s thugs alongside Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, and Stephen Blackehart. Greg looks like one of the biggest badasses out there (he also played a street fighter in Robert Rodiguez’s Machete), but is actually a big pussycat. We hired him for one day on SUPER, and liked him so much we kept having him back!
For some reason, I can’t find any photos of me and Mia on the red carpet – if anyone has one please let me know. But, as you can see here, she was stunning in her white dress.
I gave a quick introduction before the 2,000 folks in the theater. Honestly, I try to frame the film for them, just a little. SUPER is not an EASY film. Sometimes people are shellshocked by it – they expect some lighthearted indie farce and get something much sadder and darker and more violent and more risky tonally. The thing people say to me most after a screening is, “Wow. That isn’t what I expected at all!”
But once we started screening the film, I knew we had a great crowd. Despite the insanity and darkness of the film, we lost a good ten lines of dialogue due to the laughter. I went to the projectionist twice to turn up the sound, but it still wasn’t enough to hear everything! The screening was up there with the screenings in Toronto and Italy – just a great time, with a great audience, at a great festival.
After the screening, we did a Q & A with me, Rainn, and Ellen. Rainn was mean bastard, as usual, and mercifully mocked someone who asked him, “If you had superpowers, what superpower would you have?” This is something we were asked by 75% of interviewers over the course of the weekend, and it gets a little old. Rainn gets a little more irritated by it than I do. I just answer something different every time to help keep myself entertained.
Someone asked me to do the tongue wagging thing I do in the film, while playing my character Demonswill, the Satanic arch enemy of Nathan Fillion’s Holy Avenger. You can see me complying above.
Afterward, we all attended the SUPER after party, thrown by IFC.
They had a photo booth there where you could stand in the right spot and insert your face in the Crimson Bolt’s mask. Because my girlfriend is so midgety (she’s 4’9″) I had to hold her up, which made placing her face difficult. The above is the rather awkward result.
Speaking of putting your face in the SUPER poster, you can now do it online to yourself, and add whatever text you want in the word balloon, by going to our Facebook Your-Face-in-the-Poster App HERE. Please do it and use it as your Facebook and Twitter avatar – help to spread the Boltastic word!
The day after the premiere Rainn, Ellen, and I had an even more harrowing press schedule, from morning till night. Above you can watch Rainn and I being interviewed on Facebook Live by Randi Zuckerberg. It may be hard to tell, but we were both exhausted.
That Monday night we had one final SUPER screening, at the Arbor theater in the suburbs of Austin. Again, we had a line around the theater and had to turn most of the folks away. I’m sorry to all of you who showed up and couldn’t make it in!
And now I’m back home in L.A. I have a mellow couple days until the madness starts up again – Sunday USC screening, Monday press and LA premiere with the whole cast, Tuesday appearances on Attack of the Show and more press, Wednesday Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are hosting a special screening, and then trips to San Francisco, Boston, New York, St. Louis, and more!! Whew. I’ve already done more press than I did for my whole run on Slither, and we’ve barely even started.
I’ll do my best to keep you guys updated here, on Twitter, and Facebook. But, as usual, please help to spread the word of SUPER. Our marketing budget is almost nothing so we rely completely on you, our friends and fans, to help out. So thank you ahead of time!
SHUT UP, CRIME!
Is SUPER playing in your town? Check out the list of U.S. playdates HERE.
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© 2011, James Gunn. All rights reserved.