I was invited as media to cover this press junket. All opinions are mine alone.
While in New York for business, I had the amazing honor to sit down with the cast of Pixels to talk about their upcoming film. Adam Sandler had me at “Billy Madison” and I’ve watched everything he’s done since. Other favorite films include “Big Daddy,” “Grown Ups” & “Grown Ups 2” and “Blended.” Rounding out the talent from Pixels is Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in “Frozen”), Michelle Monaghan (“Mission Impossible III”), Peter Dinklage (“Elf”) and Kevin James (“Hitch” “Mall Cop”). I couldn’t be more stoked to be in the presence of such amazing talent! Read on for the exclusive interview coverage.
About the film:
When aliens intercept video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack Earth, using the games as models. Knowing that he must employ a similar strategy, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) recruits his childhood pal, former video-game champ and home-theater installer Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), to lead a team of old-school arcade players (Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad) and a military specialist (Michelle Monaghan) to save the planet.
Dave & Buster’s was the perfect location to host the interviews. While waiting for the cast to arrive, myself along with 4 other bloggers got our game on with classic favorites like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Centipede.
Pixels Movie Interviews
- Director Chris Columbus
- Adam Sandler
- Kevin James
- Michelle Monaghan
- Josh Gad
When asked about working with Kevin and Adam for the first time, Josh jokes, “it was a nightmare” then follows with, “no really it was a dream come true.” He talked about Adam being his idol growing up and how much he enjoyed watching him on Saturday Night Live. He also shared that “Goonies & Gremlins were the movies that made me the national nightmare that I am today.” We all got a good laugh out of that.
We asked Michelle how she felt about playing a girl power role and her response was “it felt awesome,” mentioning that the job title and name is what got her in the film. Adding, “She’s Lt Colonel Violet Van Patten. I could not say no to that.” She described her character as, “cool, strong, and has beauty and brains.” Adam chimes in adding, “she’s confident.”
The cast was asked what classic arcade games they played in preparation for the film. Chris Columbus shared that while he was a little older when the arcade fad existed, he enjoyed playing Donkey Kong and Pac-man in college. Kevin adds he played different games like Jong Master and Jubilee. Adam shares arcades “were our whole life growing up. Around ages 10, 11, 12 the arcades were a big deal.” Adding he would take the bus downtown to an arcade called “The Electric Dream Factory” just like in the movie.
We asked how they came up with the soundtrack for the movie, adding because it’s awesome. Chris shares that Cheap Tricks “Surrender” was already in the script, and Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” is something they tried in the editing room and it just stuck. Then added “The Queens song became Brenner’s theme.”
When asked about ad libbing in the film, Adam jokes, “we’ve always believed in ad libbing, but not as much as Josh Gad.” Michelle chimed in to share that the scene between Josh and the Navy Seals “might go down as one of my favorite days ever on a film set. And it was one of the worst because I could not keep a straight face.” Adam followed with “every day Josh Gad was in a scene was bananas.”
We asked if filming included a lot of green screen, and Chris added that they built the whole Donkey Kong set and that the cast was in harnesses. Adding “we really didn’t want everything to be CGI. So we created a tangible set that these guys could perform on.” Michelle describes there were ladders and ramps and that it was “awkward because Chris would be yelling “there’s a barrel coming at you and it’s on fire” and you’re literally jumping into thin air.”
As the interview concluded, we asked Kevin if he were president in real life what would be the important things he would take care of. He joked about making mandatory “siestas everyday in the middle of the day like in Italy.” We all laughed, although that does sound really nice too!
I had the opportunity to see Pixels in an early screening before the interviews. I have to say – I was laughing the entire time, while rocking out to some of the most memorable 80’s music too. I’ll be sharing a full Pixels movie review on Friday, so definitely come back then! In the mean time, check out this Pixels trailer for more on the movie.
A huge thank you to the cast for taking time out of their day to chat with us. We are so honored!
Don’t forget Pixels is in theaters this Friday, July 24th!