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[Interview] Zac Efron, Max Joseph, Emily Ratajkowski, Them Jeans (We Are Your Friends)

We Are Your Friends Interview: Part 3

On a lighter note, if each of you were DJs – I know some have stage names and personas – what would yours be? And if you had to re-name yours [Them Jeans].

ER: Ratatatata.

That was pretty good. You were waiting for that question.

ER: I have, yeah.

*chatter about the band Ratatat*

ER: Ratatatata.

ZE: You could open for them.

ER: No… no. Ratatatata is very different than Ratatat.

TJ: It’s 100% different.

ER:Ratatatata-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta.

TJ: Like Missy Elliot style?

ER: Yes!

ZE: Max and I came up with mine just based on where we shot. You know Ventura Boulevard? It’s the intersecting street between money and the Valley. We decided on Bass Ventura.

MJ: I don’t have a great answer for this…

What would he be, guys?

ER: I don’t know if I should answer this.

*everybody laughs*

ZE: Max Volume? Max… Max… something Max.

MJ: What about 2 Da Max? Mad Max, although it’s a sampled name.

ER: How about Bar Mitzvah Max? There’s this ongoing joke that Max has been celebrating his Bar Mitzvah.

TJ: DJ Bar Mitzvah DJ.

MJ: No, Bar Mitzvah will be the bar where I have my residency.

ER: Ooooh!

MJ: Why isn’t there a Bar Mitzvah, right?

TJ: That’s your next project after the film.

MJ: I’m opening a bar, Bar Mitzvah. It’s gonna be a really raging bar in LA where we do good deeds all the time and boys become men.

*everybody laughs*

Zac and Emily, how did you prepare for your roles? How broad was your experience with the world of dance music prior to this film, and what were some of the things you learned while making this film that you weren’t aware of or surprised?

ZE: I worked with [Them Jeans] on the decks for weeks prior to filming, watched a lot of videos online, started running a lot because [his character] Cole is a runner.

Did you not run before?

ZE: You know, I really was more of just a walker. It was sort of like that scene in Forrest Gump [where] the braces just came off. It was hard at times, but I got through it. On camera, it looks like I’m running really fast. It’s funny because Cole’s pace is just like an all-out sprint. I was like sprinting through the Valley.

MJ: I think it was me who watched the movie and was like, “He’s ready to run a marathon. Zac’s running really fast. Can you keep that pace up,” and they were like, “Oh yeah, 100%.”

ZE: The first day of filming was all running shots. It was like 100 degrees out.

MJ: Zac was like, “Is it going to be like this for the whole movie?”

ZE: After the whole day, I felt great, but by the end of the movie, every time there was a running shot, I was just deteriorating. […] Now I’m following a golf cart, and this was a longer shot. It was fun.

The way the trailer positions the movie, it was a movie about EDM, but I honestly thought it was a personal story about Cole. What did you set out to make: a movie about electronic music, or a movie about this person who just happens to be in that scene.

MJ: We’ve always wanted to make the movie that we made, and that’s hard to do. It’s hard to end up where you think in the beginning you want to end up. That was always the intention, to tell a coming of age story against the backdrop of electronic dance music. I think trailers can be very deceiving, or they can only show a portion of it. I actually oddly find that my favorites movies, the trailers didn’t always give a clear… I loved The Social Network, but when I saw the trailer of it, I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be. Same thing with Birdman. I saw the trailer for Birdman – I love Iñarritu, but I was like, “What is this movie?” And then I heard everybody talking about how it was good. I don’t know, trailers are funny things.

Geoff Henao is a writer/kinda photographer affiliated with the Chicago collective LOD. His interests include film, punk rock, cute girls, graphic novels, video games, and the Chicago Bulls. He’s funny sometimes.

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