Interview: Jason Mewes Talks Noobz, Written by: Karen Benardello
Filming a low-budget film that focuses on a specific topic like video games may detract its appeal to some viewers who aren't familiar with the gaming sub-culture, or don't easily connect with the lifestyle specific nature of independent movies. But the new gaming comedy 'Noobz,' which is now playing in select theaters and is set to be released on VOD and DVD on January 29, doesn't solely focus on the competitive nature of gaming; it also chronicles the building and destruction of romantic relationships and the bonding of friends who embark on a journey together. Actor Jason Mewes, who stars as gamer Andy in writer-director Blake Freeman's new film, is a gamer in real life, and showcases how the sub-culture both advertently and unintentionally influences society in general.
'Noobz,' which was written and directed by Blake Freeman, follows four friends as they decide to hit the road to compete in the Cyberbowl Video Game Championship in Los Angeles. The idea for the trip comes after Cody (played by Freeman) loses his job and his wife leaves him because he can't stop gaming. His friend, game store clerk Andy (portrayed by Jason Mewes), convinces him to get their Reign Clan together, including the sexually confused Oliver (played Matt Shively) and asthmatic teen "Hollywood" (portrayed by Moises Arias). The team becomes determined to win the prize money and meet Andy's online gamer-girl crush Rickie (played by Zelda Williams).Nothing, not even a Mom armed with mace, Greg Lipstein (portrayed by Jon Gries), an arcade game champion stuck in the '80s or even Casper Van Dien will stop the unlikely team from trying to win the competition.
Mewes generously took the time to speak about 'Noobz' over the phone recently. Among other things, the actor discussed how being a gamer in real life influenced him to take on the role of Andy; how he enjoys working on independent and studio movies; and how his close working relationships with his co-stars, including Freeman, who allowed him to improv while filming, helped improve the comedy.
Question (Q): You play Andy, who convinces his friends to travel to LA to compete in the Cyberbowl Video Game Championship, in the new comedy 'Noobz.' What was it about the script and the character that convinced you to take on the role?
Jason Mewes (JM): Well, for one thing, it was definitely the whole idea of video games. I'm into playing online games, usually first person shooters. I play 'Gears of War' and 'Call of Duty' and such. So it definitely seemed like it would be fun in itself right there.
Also, the script follows these four guys who don't like the jobs they have. My character works retail, at a store, which is like how I started out. I worked at a Quik Stop when I was 17 and 18. They have a dream to go win this tournament to change their lives. There's the big reward money, and then they could get the sponsorships. So it was the fun in the road trip with the four guys, who have a dream that can change their lives. All that wrapped up in one story was good for me.
Q: Director Blake Freeman has said he had you in mind for the role of Andy when he was penning the script. How did you become involved with the film-did Blake offer you the role, or did you have to audition for it?
JM: Blake called my agent, and told him he was going to be shooting. He wanted to see if I was available on the dates of filming, and he sent me the script, and I read it. There wasn't an audition. They made me an offer, because he said he had me in mind when he wrote the character. So he contacted me, and I read the script and accepted the role.
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