Yesterday, fans everywhere got treated to the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the latest film from the Broken Lizard comedy troop, The Slammin’ Salmon. The team had previously brought films like Super Troopers, BeerFest, and Club Dread into the “greatest hits” lists of college kids everywhere.
We recently got a chance to sit down with one of the members of the team, Kevin Heffernan, who is best known as “Farva” from 2001’s Super Troopers. Kevin also makes his directorial debut with Salmon, and he discussed some of the perils of being a first time director.
The Flickcast: So for those who weren’t able to catch the limited theatrical run of Slammin’ Salmon, what can you tell us about the flick?
Kevin Heffernan: It’s kind of a “down the middle” comedy. We return to the Super Troopers roots that we had, and made an independent film that we tried to pack as many laughs into as we could. I can’t give you a laugh per second quotient, but I think we got a lot of good laughs in there and we’re pretty happy with it.
Just to give you an overview of it, we play waiters in a restaurant, which is owned by a crazy former Heavyweight Champion of the World, kind of like a Mike Tyson guy (played by Michael Clarke Duncan). He sets up a contest over the course of one night, and says that he’ll give the top selling waiter $10,000, and the lowest selling waiter gets the crap kicked out of him.
We tried to pack as many jokes into that thing as we could.
TF: Normally, your writing and on-screen partner Jay Chandrasekhar usually directs the Broken Lizard films, but you stepped behind the camera this time. Was it a different experience for you?
KH: It was definitely a different thing. When we made our previous movies, Jay would be directing, and we would just give him a lot of crap and make fun of him. You didn’t appreciate that when you’re sitting there, you actually have seven or eight things in your mind at the time, and as the scenes are going on you’re trying to make sure the lights are in the right place, that wardrobe is proper, that people are remember their lines, etc. I had an appreciation for Jay on all the things he had to keep in his head at the same time, so that was kind of fun.
It wasn’t so bad because it was the same cast and crew that we always use, so it wasn’t like I was thrown to the wolves or anything. There was a comfortable environment there for to be able to do it, which was great.
TF: Now that you’ve gotten to sit in the director’s chair once, do you think you’d be interested in doing it again in the future?
KH: I’d love to. Something that we talked about is in order to keep pushing projects forward, it’s good to have different guys running different things and then we can keep more plates spinning in the air. I think everyone is happy with how I did and how the movie turned out and I think everyone is confident that I’ll get to do it again. So I hope that I’ll get the chance to do it again in the future, yea.
TF: You recently came off of a country-wide tour with the rest of Broken Lizard where you guys did some stand up and improv. Is there a plan for another tour?
KH: I think so. We have a couple more shows this Spring, as we kind of wind it down. Last month, we shot a live show for Comedy Central as a concert movie, and so it’ll air on their in September, and then there will be a DVD version of it. Then again next Fall we’re talking about mounting a new show, with new material, and head back out there.
That live show is something we’ve never done before. We all started out doing clubs in New York City, but we had never done big lives shows like these, and it ended up being a blast. We did stuff that we hadn’t done in forever, like stand up and things like that. I think everyone got the “live bug”, so we’d be happy to get out there again.
TF: I know you have a couple of other things coming up, but what’s up in the immediate future for you and the gang?
KH: Right now we’re writing a movie for Universal called Rogue Scholars and it’s a movie where we play college professors. We kind of wanted to do a spin on Animal House, so we play the professors who screw around with the students, play pranks, and stuff like that. So we thought that would be a funny twist on the Animal House type scenario.
We’re also working on Super Troopers 2 right now. We’ve written a couple of drafts of the script, and we’re trying to push that one forward and hopefully make that one, too.
TF: Speaking of Super Troopers 2, what can we expect for the sequel. Is everybody coming back, even though it’s been 10 years?
KH: You know, we’d love to get everyone back. The story we’re working on now picks up in the narrative right where we left off. It would make sense to try to get everyone back, it’s just a matter of working out everyone’s schedules.
Be sure to pick up Slammin’ Salmon on DVD and Blu-Ray, available now.