- Title: USA: Stars of "30 Minutes or Less" hit the red carpet in Hollywood
- Date: 9th August 2011
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR NICK SWARDSON, SAYING: "It's dark, you know, yeah, it's treated very seriously, you know, it's like when Jesse has the bomb, it's like he's fearing for his life, and that's what really helps the movie and grounds it, that Jesse plays it so real and so intense, like if it had been more of a comedian, I don't think it would have worked as well, but you needed someone like a really great actor to ground it and like play the fear of it, you know what I mean?" RUBEN FLEISCHER POSING FOR PICTURES ON CARPET (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR JESSE EISENBERG, SAYING: "I think the movie speaks for itself, and I think that when people see it they can judge it for themselves, there's obviously a lot of hype around similarities, and so, I think when people see it they can decide for themselves how to judge it." WIDE OF CARPET (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR AZIZ ANSARI, SAYING: "If you watch the movie, you'd know it's not making light of this terrible thing that happened, it's not making light of that at all, the movie's totally different, I think it's just about two guys who are forced to rob a bank, so its similar in that regard, but I don't think anyone would try and make fun of a tragedy or anything."
- Embargoed: 24th August 2011 13:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA33AUHID9J42RB77YVNSOLCEAF
- Story Text: "30 Minutes or Less," a dark comedy about possibly the worst scenario to be caught up in, debuted Monday (August 08) to a red carpet premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
The stars of the film, Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Michael Pena, and Nick Swardson, were all on hand for the showing, as were director Ruben Fleishcher, Executive Producer Ben Stiller, and comedian Dane Cook.
The film stars Eisenberg and Ansari as a pair of nerdy friends who get mixed in a disaster cooked up by a couple of neer-do-wells. Eisenberg, a pizza boy, delivers an order and gets forced into wearing a bomb around his neck and told that he must rob a bank in order to live.
Chaos ensues, and eventually the two good friends must come up with a survival plan that involves doing the bidding of criminals.
"Kind of the comedy comes from the real world way in which they react to that, they buy ski masks, the buy toy guns and spraypaint them to look like real guns, they buy energy drinks so they can maintain their stamina, so the comedy comes from this, these very real-world guys put into this insane situation," says Jesse Eisenberg.
Aziz Ansari, best known for his role on the U.S. television show "Parks and Recreation," says that the scenario that unfolds in the film is a 180-degree difference than the type of situation he would be found in, in real life.
"I'm pretty easygoing, everything, you know, my things are like 'oh, I really want to get that sandwich,' 'oh, we're out of that sandwich,' 'Noooo,' that's like the worst thing that happens to me," says Ansari.
Ben Stiller decided the film was good enough to stamp his name on it -- he serves as the executive producer of "30 Minutes or Less."
"Well, just to be associated with something that's really good, and not have to do a lot of work, that's really the key to executive producing anything, just getting your name on it and taking whatever credit you can," says Stiller.
But the film has not been a laughing matter for all. In a bizarre incident in 2003, in Erie, Pennsylvania, a pizza delivery man strapped with a bomb, claiming he was forced to rob banks against his will, ended tragically when police were unable to diffuse the device around his neck, and it exploded, killing him instantly. Family members of the victim have spoken out in the media, claiming that the film's premise is all too similar, and the filmmakers have made light of a tragedy.
The distributor for "30 Minutes or Less," Columbia Pictures, released a statement, saying "neither the filmmakers nor the stars of '30 Minutes or Less' were aware of this crime prior to their involvement in the film," a stance that director Ruben Fleischer maintains.
"I think the movie speaks for itself, and I think that when people see it they can judge it for themselves, there's obviously a lot of hype around similarities, and so, I think when people see it they can decide for themselves how to judge it," says Ruben Fleischer.
Aziz Ansari says no one meant to hurt anyone.
"If you watch the movie, you'd know it's not making light of this terrible thing that happened, it's not making light of that at all, the movie's totally different, I think it's just about two guys who are forced to rob a bank, so its similar in that regard, but I don't think anyone would try and make fun of a tragedy or anything," says Ansari.
"30 Minutes or Less" opens in the United States on August 12, 2011.
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