The new NFL film "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner hit theaters yesterday on April 11, 2014 and Examiner.com had the opportunity to chat with the film's screenplay writers Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman. "Draft Day," is the duo's first screenplay. They met at NYU. Read our exclusive interview below:
Tell where did this idea come from?
RJ: Scott and I are just great big football fans, and we've always wanted to write something together and we used to sit together, drinking beers, watching football, and one day the idea just popped in our heads and we wanted to do it.
What was the collaborative writing process like?
SR: We were asked to write a script in two weeks, which we did, and we wrote it in Park Slope Brooklyn where Rajiv lives, and we just set up our computers next to each other and used the sound of the other guy typing away as the biggest motivator to get going.
Where did your passion for writing come from?
RJ: We met at NYU's graduate program for dramatic writing. But I've always loved writing and I wanted to do something. I started my own career as a playwright, I kind of moved into TV and film, and he's always been a dyed-in-the-wool screenwriter, and it was fun to work together.
Can you speak about making the transition from writing to film and what that was like?
SR: I've always been a screenwriter, and Rajiv started in screenwriting at NYU, and then drifted off into playwright-ing and it actually world out okay for him. I've always been a screenwriter, film has been my passion from the start and this is a dream come true. To have our first movie made.
Tell me why Kevin Costner is perfect for the lead character you wrote.
RJ: Kevin's a great actor and he embodies a sort of renegade masculinity that works for sports movies, and works for all movies, but really for our film, we needed a guy who was not going to back down from certain situations and is going to stick to his gut. I can't think of an actor who does that better than Kevin, with his track record, his past movies, he was definitely the perfect guy for this film.
Can you tell me why Jennifer Garner is perfect for her role?
SR: She's amazing. she's so naturally sweet and genuine and down to earth, but her character requires her to have this feminine quality, but also be able to hang with the guys. She's really like that in real life, so it translates perfectly into her character.
What was it like collaborating with Ivan Reitman?
RJ: He's the best. We met him at the very onset of this project. He said from the beginning that he wanted to be partners with us on this and we were. Unlike a lot of situations with screenwriters, we were on the set everyday, we were collaborators with him, which was a great thrill for us, because he is a legend.
SR: First of all, to have this legend be interested in the words we wrote and to take them as seriously as he did was very humbling and very flattering. But to see how seriously he takes it and what a perfectionist he is and how intense he is, it was really illuminating to see it through his eyes.
We spoke with Rajiv and Scott at a special screening of the film in New York at Landmark Sunshine. The event was hosted by Bud Light. An after-party followed at sports bar FC Gotham. Guests sipped on Bud Light, Bud Light Avion Straw-Ber-Rita’s and other Avion drinks.