6 Things We Learned on the Set of ‘21 Jump Street’
We can’t tell you everything we found down south on the New Orleans set of the action comedy 21 Jump Street (starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum), but there are a few tidbits we just can’t keep to ourselves.
1. Don’t call it a spoof.
The first thing most people said when I headed down to New Orleans for a 21 Jump Street set visit was along these lines: “Really? (Insert groaning noise here.) Another spoof of an old TV show?” Nope. Anyone and everyone working on this reincarnation of the classic 80s television show will tell you it’s just that – a rebirth. Besides, how many big budget stunts did you see Johnny Depp’s Tom Hanson do in 1987?
2. Working with hilarious people is really hard.
21 Jump Street’s leading lady, Brie Larson, has the pleasure of sharing screen time with funny folks like Hill and supporting actor Rob Riggle, but for her and the rest of the crew, keeping quiet during the scene is nothing short of a miracle. She recalled a few times she almost ruined takes because the jokes were just too funny. “You can see everyone backstage with hands over their mouths, trying not to laugh, tears coming up. And I can’t do anything! If I laugh, I screw this up for everybody! It’s like life or death in those moments. But somehow, you find a way. And afterwards, you fall on the ground and you’re, like, a wiggle worm! You can’t stop,” she said.
3. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill know what the inside of each other’s mouths feel like.
And apparently, it’s “sweaty.” No, they weren’t making out and don’t worry – they doused their hands in Listerine first.
4. They hired real nerds to play…well, nerds.
One of the main high school nerds in the film is a local kid from New Orleans named Stanley Wong who answered a casting call for “Asian people.” The glasses he wears in the film are his actual glasses (gasp!) and he actually plays video games (double gasp!) and he is actually very awkward around girls in real life (oh my!). How’s that for realism?
5. The cast has every season of the 21 Jump Street TV show on set.
And they’ve watched them all.
6. Ice Cube is Jonah Hill’s one and only.
Well, sort of. He’s his one and only for the role as the police captain at Jump Street. Hill wanted Ice Cube from the moment he started working on the film. “We thought it would be great having the guy who wrote ‘F**k the Police’ play a police captain,” he said. So, that’s all for now folks. Check back in closer to the film’s March 2012 release for more on our little trip to Nola.