Saturday, January 22, 2011

From the set of "Another Happy Day" aka (insert other names here..)

Molly in her Bridesmaid dress
Molly had a featured extra role in a film that will debut at the Sundance Film Festival this Sunday.  "Another Happy Day" written and directed by Sam Levinson, starring Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church and the one and only George Kennedy.  Molly played Samantha, the younger of two daughters of Demi Moore and Thomas Haden Church.  Not a big part by any stretch, but a nice start for her working the long afternoons and all-nighters while filming on location in Rochester and Oakland Township.

The movie is about a hot mess of a family wedding featuring a variety of flawed characters who don't like each other very much. It looks to be a pretty dark film about family but I think it will be pretty funny as well. Look for the scene where a tipsy Demi Moore in a little black dress bumps and grinds on the dance floor at the wedding reception with some dorky extra. The director actually asked Demi to redo the scene and tone it down a bit. Try not to look like you know what you're doing out there . Or the catfight scene in the ladies room with Demi and Ellen. Try not to look like you know what you're doing there either..

Sam is a likable young man.  Polite and nice to everyone and always, always on the move.  He once came up to me to apologize for all the foul language Molly had been exposed to in the script and during filming.  I was like no worries Sam, nothing she hasn't heard from her mom.  (Sam knew I was joking btw).

Adult language was present, or more correctly soaked through the script.  I saw Sam's adorable 4 year old niece Lilah (who plays the flower girl at the wedding) walk up to Sam during a break and ask him in the sweetest little voice, "Uncle Sam, why is there so much bad words in the movie?"  He got down and put his arm on her shoulder and told her "Unfortunately Lilah, thats how some people really talk to each other."  Fuckin A right they do.  I won't get into the descriptors Sam allegedly used when giving Molly tips on how she should approach a scene flirting with actor Daniel Yelsky, but safe to say, Sam drops more bombs than a B-52.  Not in anger, more just for filler.

Molly came away from the filming with some cool stories about her experience.  Like when Demi Moore first came to the set at the Rochester Chop House and sat next to Molly.  Molly introduced herself and they shook hands.  After a pause, Molly asked "So.. what's your name?" to Demi.  She had heard the name before but didn't know what Demi looked like.  I bet Demi doesn't get that reaction very often on the set.   They were pals.  Chatting it up with girl talk about school and boys and dance and what she wants to be when she grows up and Demi snapping pictures on her iPhone.  I kind of assumed Demi would be a bit distant and aloof, but not at all.  She was a real sweetheart.

And Thomas Haden Church was nice to her as well.  One evening, they practiced improvising some random scenes sitting around the house between filming.  What a cool guy to give a young actor some free impromptu training.  He was a personable guy, a storyteller, and wanted to know about her goals and aspirations.  And he liked to talk about surfing.  He only works to support the surfing habit. 

I had a few conversations around the set with Ellen Barkin, the main character and producer of the film.  She was also very nice, upbeat, and down to earth.  Good people.  Same for Ashton.  He seemed like a really smart cool guy.  He likes talking about the '85 Bears.

Molly's sister in the movie is a young lady from NYC named Lola Kirke.   Stylish, pretty, outgoing, brash, all Big Apple.  One day she got a call on the set from Paul Stanley who invited her and some of the others from the movie to be guests of KISS at their concert at DTE Theatre, an outdoor concert venue in up the road in Clarkston.  I had to ask her, "How do you know Paul Stanley?"  She said Stanley was a friend of her dad.  She went on to tell me her dad is Simon Kirke and he was a drummer in a rock band way back in the '70's called Bad Company and asked if I had heard of them.  Ha.    
Molly and Lola take a break with Sean Rogers looking on.

My impressions from watching the whole operation.. Its chaotic and tedious but it all gets done.  They like to keep a well stocked snack cart round the clock and the first meal of the day is always breakfast even at 3:00PM.   Just about everyone smokes when they get a chance and the prop lady even gives them away.  The extras get herded around and fed like cattle and they like it.  Movie stars are just regular people with really cool jobs.  And you damn sure better be quiet on the set when they yell "Rolling sound!"     

Best wishes to the cast and crew from "Another Happy Day".  I can't wait to see it.

Molly and Demi right after their picture wrap.

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