project x Oliver Cooper, Thomas Mann & Jonathan Daniel Brown Interview For Project X

Directed by Nima Nourizadeh and produced by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School) and Joel Silver (The Matrix), ‘Project X’ follows three seemingly anonymous high school seniors as they attempt to finally make a name for themselves by throwing the most epic 17th birthday party ever. The film documents the high school party as it gets completely out of control – COMPLETELY out of control – shot from the perspective of the digital cameras that the kids have with them. Starring newcomers Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Dax Flame, Nichole O’Connor, and Alexis Knapp, ‘Project X’ is in cinemas now.

How did you become involved in ‘Project X‘?

Oliver Cooper: I had a friend, Shaun Weiss, who was Goldberg, the goalie from the Mighty Ducks movies, and he was also in Heavyweights, and he got a hold of Judd Apatow. Shaun was my first big supporter, we did stand-up together. And he got a hold of Judd Apatow, and got me an audition for this after I heard about it. And we tried to get an audition for a couple of weeks. I had an audition, I had nine auditions for the part, and it was just crazy.

Thomas Mann: Yeah, I had done one movie prior to this one. And it was called It’s Kind of a Funny Story, with Zach Galifianakis. And so originally they told me that I had too much experience to even audition because they wanted strictly unknowns only. But anyway, after some convincing, I decided to e-mail Zach Galifianakis and ask him to put in a good word with Todd. And I ended up coming back in and reading with Todd again, and several more times, and eventually, finally, we all got cast, so it was cool.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: I just did an open call over the Internet. They saw, I don’t know, thousands of people. So I don’t know what I did that was so awesome, but I appreciate it.

What did you guys do to establish such great chemistry?

Jonathan Daniel Brown: Disneyland!

Thomas Mann: Yeah, we went to Big Bear, spent a weekend in Big Bear. Just a lot of hanging. After a while it was easy because we liked hanging out with each other.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: These are like my two best friends.

Thomas Mann: Yeah.

Oliver Cooper: Thank you.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: I just hang out with them all the time.

Thomas Mann: Yeah.

Oliver Cooper: We also had something in common where this was a big thing for all of us, including Nima, too. It felt like a big break for all of us. And we had that in common, so that really helped build the friendship, you had something to relate to.

Thomas Mann: If one of us had been an established actor, the dynamic just would have been totally off. So it was cool. So we were jumping off from the same point, like all of us.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: Deep end swimming, you know?

Oliver Cooper: Yeah.

project x image Oliver Cooper, Thomas Mann & Jonathan Daniel Brown Interview For Project X

What was it like to be on set, shooting such chaotic scenes?

Thomas Mann: Pretty much what it looks like is what it was like to be there.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: Exhilarating and exhausting.

Thomas Mann: Yeah. It was intense. We had three hundred extras there. They would bring the same ones back every night for five weeks. So we started to get to know each other. And eventually, it was like a real party mentality. It really felt like a party environment.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: We met so many cool people, so many really cool guys. And so many beautiful women with not an ounce of cellulite on them. It was crazy how you would get attention from these extras on set who made the party so great.

What were the craziest things that happened on set?

Thomas Mann: One thing I thought was so funny when we were shooting is this guy, and he’s throwing up into the toilet, and then there’s these kids who are just pissing like he’s not even there, into the toilet, past his head or onto his head.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: Too far, man. Too far.

Thomas Mann: It was so real looking and disgusting, I just couldn’t…

Oliver Cooper: I was thinking about the one that they did get in there, which was this dude hanging from the ceiling, he was hanging from the…

Thomas Mann: Chandelier?

Oliver Cooper: The chandelier. Like, this huge chandelier and he was shaking. He was a stunt guy, I think he was a stunt guy. And it was crazy to watch this dude fall and tear that thing off the wall.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: That made it into the movie, I think.

Thomas Mann: We had some really, really impressive stunt guys.

Oliver Cooper: It did. Yeah, it did.

Jonathan Daniel Brown: Yeah, the stunt guys were incredible. My stunt guy was hilarious, because there are not a lot of young stunt dudes in my body type, so it’s someone that started off doing stunts in great shape when they were younger. So my stunt guy was probably in his sixties, and he had done the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. So seeing him put on the curly hair wig and falling off the treadmill and jumping off the house was really just pretty incredible. He was hilarious.