Danny Masterson talks about new film “Alter Egos” and Season 2 of “Men at Work”

Danny Masterson is known best for his role in TV series “That 70’s Show” and the new TBS hit series “Men at Work”.  He is also co-starring in the indie superhero film called “Alter Egos”, which is available now on VOD. Danny took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about his new film “Alter Egos” and what we can expect for season 2 of “Men at Work”.

Mike Gencarelli: With all the superhero craze this year (thanks to “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises”), how does “Alter Egos” fit in?
DM: I feel like our movie is a lot bigger than those films – no I’m kidding. This is a dark indie comedy. It was a ton of fun to shoot. It is a weird quirky story. It was shot for no money in the Hamptons, New York. Kris Lemche and Joey Kern are two of my really good friends. They are also two of my favorite actors that haven’t broke out yet. Jordan Galland had written and directed a great movie called “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead” that my wife (Bijou Phillips) was in. I fucking love that movie. He asked me to come out for a couple of days and play this asshole cop and I was down for that. Plus I had never met Brooke (Nevin) before and she was really sweet and a great actor. So that was how it came about.

MG: Tell us about your character and his ability in the film?
DM: Jimmy was written to be an angry, kind of generic cop. He is super fucking bitter because he can only turn invisible…for 2.3 seconds. It is like everyone knows that he is impotent. He hates the superheroes and just tries to fuck with them.

MG: How was it taking on that different role for you, playing the asshole?
DM: It is fun. Basically when I started working as a little kid in NY. Then I moved out to LA and started doing all the boyfriend roles in projects like “Beethoven’s 2nd” and “Cybill”. Then when I was 18, I grew my hair out, got a goatee and I just started playing the bad guy in everything. I was a street punk in “NYPD Blue” and the bad kid in and out of foster homes in “American Gothic”. So I did all of these really fun roles to show that I could play those characters. Now that I am in my 30’s, for these indie movies, I can play the bad guy or I can play the funny guy. For me it doesn’t matter. It is it all work and I enjoy comedy and drama the same. It is just a lot of fun.

MG: What can we expect from season two of TBS’ “Men at Work”? Guest stars?
DM: We just finished season two about a month ago. I just got to see a few of the finished scenes and it looks really funny. It will start airing in April 2013. It was just so much fun. The guest stars are literally insane throughout every episode. We got Seth Green, Kevin Pollock and many others. I don’t want to give it away but it is going to be awesome.

MG: Tell us about working with the show’s creator Breckin Meyer?
DM: He wrote seven out of ten episodes this season. We have a full writing staff and he still writes more than half the episodes. On “That 70’s Show”, even the creators only wrote two episodes a year. This show is literally Breckin non-stop. What is crazy is the show did so well in its first season that TBS ordered a second season and only gave us five weeks off. For actors it was perfect but for the writers it usually takes two months just to gets some scripts together. We literally had no stories when we finished season one. So they had to dive right in and start coming up with some new character arcs etc.

MG: What do you think is the reason why this show works so well?
DM: Why do you think it works so well Mike?
MG: I think it is cast. That is the first thing that James Lesure asked me as well and I told him that it was the collaboration of the guys together.
DM: We all do a good job of busting each other’s balls. We also really like each other as friends. I have known James Lesure for ten years. I hadn’t met Adam Busch before the show but we had a ton of the same friends. I also didn’t know Michael Cassidy but he is just a really great dude and also a really good golfer. Him and James play tennis twice a week. Adam and I go see rock concerts all the time. The four of us even get together and hang on Friday nights. So we just have a lot of fun hanging out. Meredith (Hagner) is also a lot of fun, who plays Amy. She is a sweetheart. It is like a big fucking family.

MG: When do you star production on “Killing Winston Jones” with Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover and Jon Heder?
DM: I am in Park City, Utah right now for Thanksgiving. I fly to Savannah to shooting Monday morning (November 26th). I haven’t met haven’t met Richard or Danny yet. I have met Jon before since he came to a taping of “That 70’s Show” back in the day. I am really excited. It is a hell of cast and a great story. We will have to chat again when it comes out!

Jordan Galland talks about his new film “Alter Egos”

Jordan Galland is the writer/director and producer of the new superhero indie film “Alter Egos”.  He is also known for his film “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead”.  Jordan took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes about the new film and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it going from vampires in “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead” to superheros in “Alter Egos”?
Jordan Galland: It’s really fun to work in such a specific genre (Superheroes, vampires) where the rules are so defined that they can have an almost biblical or religious rigidness to them, so that any impulse towards realism, or a deviation from the conventions of that genre results in finding something new, or at least a quirky, comedic take on it.

MG: How did you end up with most of the same cast from “Rosencrantz” in “Alter Egos”?
JG: I wrote the parts for those actors, having met them on the set of my first film. I really wanted to work with them again, and was betting on the fact that maybe they wanted to work with me again too, even if the budget was small and we’d all be sleeping in the same bed. I lucked out, on both accounts.

MG: Having this been your second time directing, what was the biggest challenge this time around?
JG: Biggest challenge was the action sequences, where we didn’t have the time or budget to do it the way I envisioned it. We made compromises, which work, but still. Another big challenge was trying to make the body (in the opening sequence) sink into the ocean. It kept floating back up.

MG: Tell us about the music in the film by Sean Lennon, who appears in the film as Electric Death?
JG: He did the score for Rosencrantz, and I wanted to work with him again. We met through having bands in NYC in the 90’s and ended up playing music together a lot. And in our musical collaborations we often went to film scores as a reference. So we had a certain short hand vocabulary and a familiarity with each other’s tastes… as well as both being fans of the Sci-Fi fantasy genres. Sean’s soundtrack is also out and available now on iTunes, FYI!

MG: How did Kevin Smith end up getting involved with Smodcast Pictures?
JG: Phase 4 films has a deal with Smodcast, where they look for films that they think are suitable to Kevin’s taste; often comic-book type stuff, or comedy that has a conversational naturalism like Clerks. All low-budget, a way for films to get a little extra attention in this cluttered, over-saturated market.

MG: What do you have planned next whether it is music or directing?
JG: I am currently finishing up a new solo record to be released in the late winter / early spring, being produced by Charlie Klarsfeld. And I’ve got two films in development. One’s a new take on a demon possession story. It starts where exorcism films end and is about a girl who’s recovering from demonic possession. The other one is also kind of a horror thriller… like misery Psycho meets Misery, and has an almost a reverse Misery plot where the writer takes the fans hostage. So I’ve been working on those, but not sure when they’re going to get filmed. Hopefully 2013!

Film Review “Alter Egos”

Starring: Kris Lemche, Brooke Nevin, Joey Kern, Danny Masterson, John Ventimiglia
Director: Jordan Galland
Distributor: Phase 4 Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 79 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

With a year jam-packed with superheros like “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight”, “Alter Egos” is the counter-opposite of the spectrum. It is a fun quirky indie dark comedy. It started off and write away it make me think of “The Incredibles”, when the superheros are outlawed.  But this takes its own unique approach to the superhero genre. The film itself I would say lays more on the dark side of the comedy and less of the belly laughs. But there is some good material in this film to entertain.  Overall it might not best film ever but if you got nothing else to do for 80 minutes it is worth checking out.

“Alter Egos” takes place in a variation our world in which super heroes are real but not respected. They have taken care of all crime and since then lost government funding and public support. The film focuses around the superhero, Fridge (Lemche), who is going through his own emotional crisis and leans on his friend and fellow superhero C-Thru (Kern) and a new girl to assist. Though both of them have their own issues as well to deal with.

The film is very smarty written and directed by Jordan Galland, known for his Kris Lemche (“Final Destination 3”) and Joey Kern (“Super Troopers)” plays the main superheros – Fridge and C-Thru (respectively). Both of these get some decent laughs, especially when C-Thru is standing nose to nose with a brick wall. Danny Masterson steals the show though as the asshole cop/superhero reject Jimmy, who’s ability is to turn invisible for only 2.3 secods. The film also has music from Sean Lennon, who also has a quick cameo as well. The great casting overall is one of the main reasons why this film succeeds. The film is available now on VOD, check it!