Brie Larson "I didn't realize Johnny Depp was there!"
22 year-old Brie Larson played Kate, the sassy rebellious teen daughter on the TV series “The United States of Tara” and played rocker Envy Adams, former flame of Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. Now she is a quirky high schooler who Jonah Hill’s character is crushin’ on in the hilarious film 21 Jump Street.
Brie never had a “normal” high school experience and was home-schooled because she always marched to a different drummer “My inner artist was always trying to speak out”. So playing a girl in a “regular” high school was a bit of a challenge for her. Meeting Johnny Depp in an odd way really freaked her out. Check it out!
TeenHollywood: Hey Brie, thanks for talking with us. Are you on a break from some set somewhere?
Brie: I’m doing a pilot for CBS right now. Not sure it’ll get picked up but I hope so. It’s a comedy that Nick Stoller [Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek] is writing and directing.
TeenHollywood: Sounds great. How did you get involved in 21 Jump Street?
Brie: I was doing the table read for Nick Stoller’s movie Five Year Engagement and I met Jonah (Hill) at the table read and he asked if he could introduce me to his friends so I met these two young guys and we riffed for a second. As I was leaving, we all said “Best friends forever”. And I was like “I’m never gonna see these people again”.
A week later I got an appointment to meet for 21 Jump Street and I looked up the directors [Chris Miller and Phil Lord] online and couldn’t remember why they looked familiar until I walked into the room and they were like “Brie!... You totally forgot about us, didn’t you?” I auditioned with Jonah and we all got along so well.
TeenHollywood: So weird and funny. How are you like your teen character Molly and how different?
Brie: I’m different than Molly mainly because I didn’t go to high school. A lot of that was because I did not fit in at school. I was more of a free spirit. The cool thing about Molly is that she’s so different than everyone else at the school but she’s actually very accepting of others and herself so I feel very similar to her in that way.
TeenHollywood: Tell me about the days on set with Johnny Depp. Everybody knows now that he does a cameo in the film but we won’t reveal when he appears.
Brie: That day, everyone was on their best behavior. It was our 2nd or 3rd day of shooting when he came. We hadn’t gotten our sea legs yet. He was on set for about an hour before I realized he was there, because his make-up was so good. He looked so unlike himself. I saw this [strange] guy in the corner and he, at one point, mumbled something and introduced himself and I was like “Excuse me?” “Hi, I’m Johnny”. I was like “Oh my gosh Oh hi!. How’s it going?” He was great. It was really fun. Apparently he stayed in his make-up and walked around the streets of New Orleans.
TeenHollywood: Had you ever seen the original “21 Jump Street” T.V. series that Johnny starred in?
Brie: Yeah, I had. I had seen it on TV before the movie in re-runs. It came out the year I was born so I got the second wave of it.
TeenHollywood: What most surprised you about working with heartthrob Channing Tatum?
Brie: Channing, it was so surprising to see how hilarious he is and also how creative he is. He has art spewing out of him. He’s constantly wanting to make things. We actually were sitting next to each other on the plane to New Orleans and had just met each other and by the time that flight was over we had decided that we were gonna find a warehouse in New Orleans and start an art gallery while we were there and we were going to whittle walking sticks for the directors. He’s just awesome.
TeenHollywood: I’ll bet! Did you get to ad-lib a lot of the comedy? I know Jonah just blurts out several jokes for every situation and they take the best one. Channing told me he doesn’t know how Jonah does that.
Brie: Yeah, there was a lot of ad-libbing and that’s what made it so fun and freeing. The whole time, we were able to meander and figure out what the scene was.
TeenHollywood: Was it hard to keep it together in some of the funnier scenes?
Brie: Oh yeah. The phone call scene and hearing Jonah on the other end was hard. We were both in our rooms shooting that. It was so funny hearing his end of the phone call. Also, Jonah getting stabbed in the shoulder at the party was really funny.
TeenHollywood: You do a lot of really funny physical comedy in the movie. Are you comfortable with that kind of acting?
Brie: I love physical comedy. That’s the basis of old Hollywood silent films. I think it’s classic and timeless. Good physical comedy is the best.
TeenHollywood: Was it refreshing after serious roles like yours in Rampart?
Brie: Yeah. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s like dating. You have a boyfriend that is maybe serious and kind of moody and you love that about him but once you break up you are like “Ugh, I do not want to date another serious and moody guy. All I want is somebody who makes me laugh”. Then you date someone funny and the second that’s done you are “Now all I want is someone dark and moody”. You just go back and forth in between two extremes. So, after Rampart, I really needed something different.
TeenHollywood: Speaking of guys, when you were a teen did you go for the super smart kind of nerdy guys or the not very bright jock types or… none of the above?
Brie: I was too insecure to think about anybody who was obtainable. I was too busy drooling over the lead singer of Razorlight [Johnny Borrell].
TeenHollywood: Are you still doing your music?
TeenHollywood: Do you miss it?
Brie: I love music but I don’t necessarily miss it. I still play music almost every day but it’s not something I’m interested in sharing publicly.
TeenHollywood: Had you ever been in a musical like “Peter Pan” in the film?
Brie: I did “Alice in Wonderland” in the 4th grade if that counts.
TeenHollywood: Ever at a party that got busted when somebody’s parents got home?
Brie: No I wasn’t but I’ve had times when security has come to my hotel room but I never got busted by parents.
TeenHollywood: You did a few things for the Disney Channel back in the day, a TV movie at least. Was there a point at which you had to make a very conscious decision to not go in that direction with your career?
Brie: I just don’t think that's who I am and my innate nature lends well to that type of material. It’s just the way the cards fell. You attract like people and the type of acting I do and the tones I’m interested in just don’t match those kinds of films. I could audition for them every day but I wasn’t going to get them. I’m not that type of actor.
TeenHollywood: What else are you up to besides the TV pilot?
Brie: I wrote and directed a short film with my two best friends that got into Sundance and won a jury prize.
TeenHollywood: So cool! Women can branch out and do anything.
Brie: So right!