Last week we were treated to a special Boston screening of Super Troopers 2 with the hilarious Broken Lizard comedy team. Parts of the film were produced locally and plenty of local crew members and cast were in attendance. As part of the press junket the Troopers had arrived in uniform to our roundtable the next day and begged our forgiveness for their costumes. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
Super Troopers 2 was partially crowd funded by an Indiegogo campaign in order to get distribution through Fox Searchlight Pictures. Broken Lizard director Jay Chandrasekhar confirmed this at the screening as the actors and writers shared more behind the scenes info about the movie including the casting of a cameo by Fred Savage and a starring role for Rob Lowe. Brian Cox and Lynda Carter also return for the sequel.
How did you get the big names involved in Super Troopers 2?
Jay Chandrasekhar: I worked with Rob Lowe on this show The Grinder which is on Fox. I shot four episodes and I said to Rob, “Hey, is there any chance you would play a part in Super Troopers 2?”
Rob said, “Anything, I don’t need to see the script, I’m in. Fred Savage is sitting there and he goes, “What about me?”
Did you guys do any ride alongs?
Paul Soter: Not by choice!
Steve Lemme: We were at a hotel in Missouri and we go to check in and there are something like 100 Missouri State Troopers there, they were having a convention. I got in the elevator late at night with a bunch of guys and one of them says, “You boys like Mexico?” I was like, “You got me,” and they said “We’re getting fucked up with us!”
They took me to the hotel room, passed around a bottle of whiskey, cut to an hour later, driving to a 7-11, drunk, in a Missouri State Trooper’s car.
Jay: He was driving!
Steve: Well, ONE of the troopers was driving!
Why did you guys pick Vermont State Troopers over any other State Troopers?
Jay: We were traveling at the Canadian border for a wedding and we noticed that there were very few cars, we started riffing on the idea of bored State Troopers.
What was the best part about filming in Boston?
Steve: The local accents! Actually the crew was tired of us at the end because all we did was make fun of Tom Brady the entire time. On the walkie talkies we’d be doing Ugg boot riffs.
Between the unconventional fundraising and managing the expectations of the second movie, what was the most difficult part of making this?
Paul: It takes a while because there were a million hard things about it. We’d done the crowdfunding and gotten money, and we still needed to raise more money. So we had to spend what we had raised through the crowdfunding so we had to film a chunk of the movie, raise money, and then go back and shoot. We’d never done anything like that and that’s a weird thing to do. Get started, be up and running, take 9 months off. So many aspects of the production and the fundraising—it was an effort.
Steve: And the big chunk we shot, the following year, it always seemed like right when we started filming, the money would drop out and we would have to find $2 million dollars by Friday or we’d have to go home and tell Rob Lowe to get on an airplane. That happened 2 or 3 times where we just had to kept keeping it going at the last second.
To conclude the Q & A for the screening, Paul pleaded for fans to spread the word on Super Troopers 2 because Broken Lizard has both Super Troopers 3 and Beerfest 2 half done, and these projects will hinge on the success of the sequel.
At the reporter’s roundtable we were able to go a little deeper with the guys, but Jay was unable to make this session. Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske were gracious to field some questions from the group, offer us cookies all the while dressed up like their onscreen counterparts, Farva, Mac, Foster and Rabbit.
What’s it like being on set with each other for the first time in a while?
Kevin Heffernan: We shoot stuff here and there and we have known each other for so long, we have been doing this for many, many years. It was kind of old hat, just a matter of growing the mustaches and putting the uniforms on. Then you are right back into it.
Paul Soter: We’ve done these characters before so it was just like slipping back into a nice comfortable slipper!
With guys like Tyler Labine and Will Sasso how much of the script makes it on film and what was improved and chaos while shooting?
Kevin: We like to shoot the script, definitely, we spend a lot of time crafting the jokes. We’ll improv in rehearsals and put lines in that way too and hopefully be fresh. When you bring the new players in, they want to have fun and that’s a good thing too. Will Sasso is one of the great improvisers around, you can’t improvise with him. That lead to the “Danny DeVito” scene in the movie which was not in the 30 drafts of the script.
FOG!: Farva has an amazing counterpart in the movie. How did you go about writing for the Canadian Mounties?
Steve Lemme: He’s an amazing character, and originally there was just a mention of that character. Then we thought, you know we should see this guy.
Paul Soter: As we have come to find over the years, everyone has got a “Farva” in their lives. It started as a little throwaway that of course in Canada they are going to have one, too. We found ourselves too intrigued and we had to show what the guy looked like, what the guy sounds like. Then Kevin met Paul Walter Hauser and it started to take off.
Kevin: Yeah, he’s the bodyguard in I, Tonya. I did an improv show with him and after it was done, I said, “I found the guy who can be Canadian Farva”. We sent him to our casting director, did the read for it and he got the part. The same casting director was casting I, Tonya, so because he did Super Troopers, he go the call for I, Tonya! It felt great to help get him in for some bigger and better things.
Steve: Also from his audition tape, we wanted to see a little more of him so then we decided that they should run into each other. That was the evolution, it went from a name on a page to one scene and then the second scene. When we got to the editing room, there was just so much there!
Super Troopers 2 is in theaters today. See it meow.