21 And Over centers around three friends trying to have a great night in order to celebrate a 21st birthday, but no drunk comedy is complete without a girl to complicate things. In Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s film, Sarah Wright plays that girl. She is more than just a love interest though, as time and time again she helps the boys get out of trouble (and inadvertently leads them into a few predicaments as well).
I was recently given the chance to chat with Sarah about the film in order to promote its Blu-Ray release. We talked about her favorite scene, the abundance of improv on the set and more.
Check out the full interview below.
We Got This Covered: What drew you to this movie and specifically the role?
Wright: I was excited to read it because it’s by the guys who wrote The Hangover, and I read the script and thought it was so funny. I thought so much of the comedy was on the page.
Typically with a movie like this there’s a female character that’s the love interest to the guy but it’s kind of a small, non-existent part. It’s kind of there, but it doesn’t really matter. But I felt like with this character there’s a lot more on the page, and she’s sort of a catalyst for Skylar (Astin)’s character to make a change in the movie. They run into her all night long. It’s something very fun for me and something I could definitely relate with her. She wanted to travel, see the world, and when I was in high school I lived in Japan, I traveled to Greece and did a lot of modeling stuff, so I felt like I could really connect to that character and bring something to it and make it a little snarky and sarcastic and fun.
We Got This Covered: How was it being the only female actor of the principle cast?
Wright: It was great. I had a blast because the boys were always with each other all the time, so when I would get to set they’d be like, “Oh, thank god. There’s a girl on set.” They were really fun. I felt like I was hanging out with my brother. They were always goofing around. All three of them are amazing at improv so we had a blast doing that during the scenes and being able to bring stuff to the material that was already there. It was great. I had a fantastic time. I’ve also done movies where it was all girls and that’s fun too, but this was a nice switch.
WGTC: You’re also one of only a handful of characters who’s relatively sober throughout the movie. Did you feel left out of getting to do the drunk scenes?
Wright: No (laughs). If there’s anything that’s not that fun to do, it’s to play drunk. I was totally fine with being just slightly tipsy for the movie and not wasted.
WGTC: What was your 21st birthday like?
Wright: It was pretty boring. I was in Kentucky and I had sushi with my parents. So it wasn’t anything that exciting. I had sort of had a 21st birthday when I was 17, 18-years-old living in Japan. I had all of that stuff sort of happen earlier for me, which happens to a lot of people. My 21st birthday was just a little boring. Not a great story.
WGTC: What was your favorite scene in the movie to shoot?
Wright: I loved shooting the scene in the bar with Skylar. The first scene where you meet me. It was our audition scene too so we had read that scene together and played around with it. By the time we actually got to shoot the part of the scene where we’re sitting there talking together it was like 4:00 in the morning. We were both delirious. Jon and Scott were just like, “Play around with it. Go off the page. Just see what happens.”
So we improvised a lot. It was a scene we had done a bunch of times and we ended up having so much fun doing it. We were laughing after every single take. It was just great. It was a really fun thing to shoot.
WGTC: The chemistry between you and Skylar was great. Did you two spend a lot of time together off set?
Wright: We all kind of did. We would go to dinner, we’d hang out. If we’d get off late at night from work and we’d all be super hungry we’d go to this 24-hour place that was open and get food.
Skylar and I had done a couple chemistry reads before I got the part, and then we did some rehearsals once we got to Seattle. We spent like four days rehearsing. We all had a good amount of time to spend together and get to know each other and by the time we got to shooting, it was super comfortable.
I think from the beginning Skylar and I kind of clicked. There was just something that worked with us. So it was really easy to work with him and hang out with him and pick on him. It made it more exciting to do that part.
Was there ever a time on set when the improv got out of control?
Wright: Yeah, there were a few times when it was late, and all of us were delirious and the improv would go nuts. Miles (Teller) was usually the biggest culprit for going way off the page with improv.
He had a really funny scene with us. It was the scene where Justin (Chon) had just been thrown off the roof and I was picking thorns out of his butt and Skylar and I were flirting. Miles is running back and forth from the window. He kept coming back from us and saying, “I come back from the window and everybody’s all sugar and underwear. It’s all bananas in pajamas.”
It was just so weird. He was saying this stuff we had never heard before. We could just not stop laughing, all of us would just break in the middle of the take. Miles could barely get through any of the improvs he was doing. That was really fun and it makes for a fun experience when everyone’s cracking up.
WGTC: Do you have anything exciting coming up that you can fill us in on?
Wright: I did a movie called Walk Of Shame with Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, and Gillian Jacobs. We just finished that movie a couple months ago. I think it comes out in March. It’s for Lakeshore. It’s another comedy, but I play a totally different character. I play Elizabeth Banks’ friend in the movie and Gillian Jacobs and Jimmy Marsden and I end up spending the whole movie chasing her down. It’s really fun, and I’m super excited to see how it all turns out.
WGTC: You’ve been on some great TV shows as well. Do you have a preference between movies and TV?
Wright: I love both. It’s different. With movies, depending on who your director is or what kind of movie you’re shooting, you kind of have more of an ability to play around with the material, go off the page, improv. It’s like we did with 21 And Over. Same thing we did in Walk Of Shame. Same thing we did in House Bunny. You have the freedom to do that. On TV sometimes you don’t. But it’s just as fun in a totally different way. I’d love to do another show and of course continue doing film. Jon and Scott did a pilot called Mixology which got picked up. They asked me to come and do this little thing in there. So I went and did that and it was just like being back on the set of 21 And Over. It was so much fun.
That concludes the interview but I’d like to thank Sarah for taking the time to talk. You can pick up 21 And Over June 18th on Blu-ray.