Eric Andre, an actor and comedian known for his work on “The Eric Andre Show,” took over a new creative lens this past year through his creation of the movie “Bad Trip.” Student journalists from colleges across the country had the opportunity to speak to Andre and his castmates at a round table interview hosted by Netflix.
On March 17, The Villanovan joined students from schools such as Georgetown University, University of Chicago and University of Michigan in the interview with Andre and his castmates.
“Bad Trip’ is a movie unlike any other. It looks at two best friends, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery, as they journey across the country in search of Andre’s love interest, Michaela Conlin. The twist? An unsuspecting public was used in lieu of paid extras creating raw, authentic comedy through hidden camera pranks.
In order to create this movie made up of these pranks, Andre had to consult some of comedy’s best, like Johnny Knoxville and Sascha Baron Cohen, while also staying true to his own artistic style.
“I took a ton of inspiration from those guys,” Andre said. “Those guys are like my comedy fore fathers; Johnny Knoxville and Sascha Baron Cohen and I think that I have my own brand of absurdity in my comedic point of view that I try to bring to it that differentiates it from other stuff.”
In addition to collaborating with other comedians, Andre had to learn narrative writing. This movie was unlike anything Andre has created before. His show, “The Eric Andre Show,” although scripted, is nothing close to the narrative writing knowledge Andre needed in order to make this movie into the reality he had in his head.
“I never had to deal with story, narrative writing before,” Andre said. “For the Eric Andre Show it’s just jokes. It’s just prank based. You write the funniest joke and you don’t have to worry about any storytelling principles. It’s its own art form.”
In order to educate himself, Andre attended Robert McKee’s storytelling seminars.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” Andre said. “I just had to go back to school.”
Although Andre has been partaking in hidden camera pranks since he was 20 years old, his castmates were not as familiar with this unusual way of filming.
The Villanovan asked Andre to explain how he helped castmates Michaela Conlin and Lil Rel Howery adjust to this new way of filming a movie and how one becomes more comfortable with this type of acting.
“It is trialed by fire,” Andre said. “Nothing really prepares you for it until you do it. We did bring Michaela to a mall and have her beat up my director in front of unsuspecting people just to get a feel of it. Really, it’s like learning how to swim by just throwing yourself into the water and drowning for a second. You are forced to learn really quickly.”
The pranks done throughout this movie were chaotic yet hysterical. For an unsuspecting public to watch some of these scenes occur and have no idea that they were scripted is pure comedic gold. Andre described the feelings he and his castmates felt before entering a scene.
“We’re terrified every time because you don’t know if you’re gonna get killed or not,” Andre said. “The more unbelievable the scene is, the more you have to commit. You can’t waver for a second because it is so crazy what is happening. If you don’t commit, the prank fails.”
The movie, which came out on Netflix March 26, allowed laughter during such an unusual time. So, next time you are on Netflix and don’t know what to watch, try “Bad Trip.” It will bring a smile to your face.