Magnolia Pictures' "Drinking Buddies" hit theaters today and Examiner.com had the opportunity to attend the New York premiere of the film in Brooklyn at Nitehawk Cinema. You can check out our film review here and our red carpet interviews with Olivia Wilde and Director Joe Swanberg here. Guests enjoyed Revolution beer (the same brewery where the film was shot) and Kings County Whiskey at the reception and after the screening they were treated to a fun Q&A with Olivia Wilde and the director.
Before the questions actually started, the moderator of the Q&A confirmed that they had all been drinking pretty heavily. Joe said he found Revolution Brewery because "My wife owned an ice cream company in Chicago and her kitchen was right next door to there...they started as a brew pub. And she was making brownies and ice cream so she would go through the alley from her kitchen into their brewery and they would just hand her a big plastic bucket of free beer. And she was like, 'I could pay you guys for this," and they just said, "Don't worry about it.'"
The beer that we see being brewed in the movie isn't just acting. The people we see brewing beer in the film actually did brew beer that would end up being sold. When asked what the most interesting thing about beer brewing was, Olivia said: "You don't want beer splashed in your eyeballs." She didn't bring it up until three weeks later when she told Joe that when it happened she was in, "horrible, horrible pain." She said, "I almost fell backwards down a staircase," and Joe responded, "My filmmaking career almost came to an end."
Joe was the annoying beer-guy of the movie. He's a home brewer. When Olivia and Jake landed, Joe had them come right over to his house so they could brew a batch of beer together just so he could walk them through the beer brewing process. He had them taste 50 different styles of beers, so they could tell the difference and find out their styles.
Olivia and Jake had to learn the beer lingo so they could accurately play their roles (film was completely improvised). Olivia learned never to say "drinkable," with Joe saying that "drinkable" isn't something that's flattering to call beer. The first scene shot in the film with Olivia was her selling beer to an engaged couple when she still didn't know all that much about beer lingo. Beer Boot Camp: Consisted of Joe being a beer nerd and trying to make Olivia and Jake care about beer for three straight days.
When asked how drunk she was on a daily basis: "It takes a lot!" Joe: "You were a trooper." Everyone got a bit drunk during the movie. Olivia: "The one scene that I was sort of foggy on that I watched and I was like, 'What?!' it's when we're quite drunk. It's when Kate and Luke are at Luke's apartment with Jill and they're kind of having this inappropriate friend/hang night where they fall asleep in each other’s arms on the couch. That scene is a mystery to me."
When asked if Joe was drunk directing: "It depends on the day. I was really nervous the first week so I would have a beer at lunch."
Olivia has never done a fully improvised movie until this one. She's improvised during movies and on stage, but never a full movie. When asked if the alcohol helped or hurt, she said she never really thought about it. When asked if men and women could be friends, Olivia said "I absolutely do. Absolutely they can, and are."
Joe was approaching the film from where he and his wife were at before they got married six years ago. Joe's said that he knew what he wanted from the scenes, but he allowed his actors/actresses to say their own lines and had them find their own way to reach that point. Olivia was in Italy when she saw the first cut of the film. Joe sent her a Vimeo link to watch the movie and took a screenshot of a world map with Italy being the only area colored in.
The "take a knee on it" story Olivia says during the film was based on an actual experience of hers. Olivia joked, "One of the first reviews of the film said, 'One of the most pathetic stories that Kate tells in the film, a sad pathetic story of her love life and to take a knee breakup,' and all I said was, 'Oh God! It's true!"
The cabin used in the film was out in New Buffalo, Michigan. It got tricky when trying to film outside of Chicago due to certain Screen Actor Guild rules and restrictions. The entire cast and crew had to be shipped up to the cabin and this wound up being some of the best moments of the shoot. After shooting they would light bonfires and drink on the beach, allowing the cast and crew to really get to know each other.
Landmark Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston Street, New York, NY
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With reporting by Joshua Kaye.