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Published on June 24th, 2008 | by simeon

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Josh Peck and Director Jonathan Levine for The Wackness

Wackness Recently I got the chance to interview writer/director Jonathan Levine and Josh Peck about their new film “The Wackness” which takes a nostalgic look at early 90’s New York and the vibrant music of Hip Hop as it tells a touching and at times funny look at love and coming of age.

GVK: What attracted you to the film?
JP: I liked the fact that it was about the People Generation and beyond. I am also a big fan of early 90’s Hip-Hop and any reason not to be a waiter was fine with me.
The part jumped off the page at me and I liked that Luke had a weakness to him as well as a lot of truth and honesty to the character as well as the New York Setting.

JL: It was a favorite era of mine and as a white guy who loves Hip-Hop it really gave me a chance to look at the era in which I grew up in and the changes that were happening in New York and the world as well as include some great music and a real emotional truth to the story and characters as well as work with some great people.

GVK: What sort of preparations did you do for the film and what were some of the key moments of the times that you wished to capture?

JP: I studied the nuances and speech of the character as well as the real essence of who the cat really was. He used a lot of slang from the time such as “mad crazy” and had a real sick hair style.
JL: I looked back at the key 90’s moments such as the death of Kurt Cobain, the O.J. Trial, as well as the 90’s moments like the rise of Rap and my days in school and saw how it was a real era of change in society.

GVK: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the movie?
JP: I hope they will be entertained and laugh as well as have been inspired to think. Also I hope they remember a summer like the characters had in the film and get a sense of nostalgia.
JL: I hope they will not be bored and that they do not fall into the grid of the usual summer movie garbage, the big budget bloated films, and have a great time and enjoy the characters and music.
GVK: Final question, what do you think Luke would be like today?
JL: (Laughs), I would like to think he is a right minded well adjusted person who a bit more advanced in technology. He is not using a pager but has moved on from a Walkman to an I-Pod.
JP: I think he would be a person who still loves Hip-Hop and is a real well-adjusted weed smoker with a very hot wife and funny kids who supports Obama.


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