Topher goes from the ’70s to 1988
After years in front of the camera, actor Topher Grace decided to try his hand at producing, starting with his own take on the classic 1980s film, “Take Me Home Tonight.”
After years in front of the camera, actor Topher Grace decided to try his hand at producing, starting with his own take on the classic 1980s film, “Take Me Home Tonight.” But being a producer came with its own set of headaches — especially when you’re also starring.
How is it to finally see the movie getting released?
I can’t believe it, but we’re probably getting a bigger release than we would’ve gotten back in the day. Movies like this are very hard to push through because they’re very low-concept. It’s not like, “What if they switched bodies magically?” It’s like, “Three friends go to a party.” But those were always my favorite movies. I grew up on, like, “Dazed and Confused.”
As a producer, how has the years-long process of getting it out been?
Well, frustrating, obviously. We wanted to make a hard-R movie. If you’re doing a movie about the mid-’80s and kids are in their mid-20s and they’re not doing cocaine, you’re lying. The original studio we were at was kind of 60-, 70-year-old people telling us, “This is what kids want. This isn’t right.” And luckily Ryan Kavanaugh [at Relativity Media], who’s like three years older than me, saw it and was like, “This is hilarious, it’s honest.” He actually brought an editor in to bring stuff back into the film that we’d been forced to cut.
What was some of the stuff you got to put back in?
Mostly cocaine. There was a little bit of nudity in the bathroom with Angie [Everhart]. A little bit of language. That was pretty much it. It wasn’t a lot. I don’t think the cocaine is irresponsible. I think it’s just enough to make people who wear suits at a studio nervous.
Anything makes them nervous.
You’re right. Sneezing makes them nervous.
It’s interesting that it’s 1988 instead of early or mid-’80s.
We wanted to be able to use more music from the ’80s, selfishly. But then also we really wanted to be at the threshold of a period of time kind of ending. “American Graffiti” is like that. They literally fly to Vietnam the next day, and that was the end of that period of time. And similarly, “Dazed and Confused” is kind of like, you realize that you are in this time that’s about to end, you know?