Feature: Jeremy Piven and Neal Brennan Talk "The Goods"
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 07:56:33
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The Goods' Don Ready is easily Jeremy Piven's most rock n' roll role.
Ready has got style, swagger and savoir faire to spare. The used car "mover" has never met a stripper he didn't like, and he could sell ice to an Eskimo. It's a role that only the enigmatic Piven could truly do justice to. Plus, Ready lives hard, touring the country saving dealerships. He is the rock star salesman. Given that fact, it's no surprise that music has a special place in the actor's heart.
"My first show was Kiss when I was in fifth grade," says Piven with a wide smile. "They came down in cages, and I swear it never got any better than that [Laughs]."
Sitting inside Lucy's El Adobe Café in Hollywood, Piven exudes the charisma that he's known for onscreen. At the same time, he's completely affable, approachable and just plain friendly. Don Ready is like the cool uncle everyone wishes that they had, and Piven plays him perfectly. "As long as he's cool not creepy," he laughs as chips are delivered to the table.
Ready's bound to be one of the most memorable screen characters this summer. He ignites laughs left and right, and he brings the party wherever he goes—even on the plane. In the film, Selleck Motors in Temecula hires him to save their dying dealership during 4th of July weekend because, as the title says, he's got The Goods.
Also kicking back at Lucy's is Goods director Neal Brennan. Donning a Metallica shirt, he's obviously got rock in his blood too. The filmmaker has made the definitive car salesman comedy, showing reverence to the classics while creating a new kind of monster. Brennan explains, "I wanted this to have the feel of a '70s comedy, like The Bad News Bears."
Mission accomplished. The Goods works so well because Brennan encourages the actors to immerse themselves in this world, and the characters stand out as a result. He continues, "I really love every performance in the film—from Ken Jeong to Ving Rhames. Everyone blew me away. However, I knew I needed Charles Napier and Alan Thicke for this movie [Laughs]."
Napier and Thicke round out the knockout ensemble and give it a little old school vibe. As Brennan puts it, "There's also a hilarious cameo by some guy named Will Ferrell too."
You'll have to see it to believe it though.
As for the rock n' roll vibe, there are some sidesplitting karaoke moments on screen. None were inspired by Brennan's first concert though. "My first show was actually George Michael at The Spectrum in Philadelphia [Laughs]." George didn't inspire anything, but Rage Against the Machine may have—subconsciously. Piven laughs, "Rage is my favorite live band by far. There's no one with that much energy."
As Ready, Piven unleashes a flurry of one-liners that could rival Tom Morello's fretwork. How cool is that? Are you READY for one of the year's funniest comedies?