Topher Grace and Teresa Palmer are all about the 80s in TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

Set during the summer of 1988, Take Me Home Tonight is a raunchy comedy about three friends (Topher Grace, Dan Fogler and Anna Faris) that have one of the craziest nights of their lives complete with stolen cars, cocaine and sex. This movie is one of the most enjoyable comedies this year that does not take make fun of the 1980s like last year’s comedy that was set in the 80s, Hot Tub Time Machine.

I was able to sit down with Topher Grace, who is the star, writer and producer of the movie, and his beautiful Australian co-star Teresa Palmer at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a 2-on-1 interview to talk about the film

Hialeah Movie Examiner: Topher, what inspired to create the story for this film?

Topher Grace: I was so bummed that I missed the John Hughes era of the 1980s. It was a great time for actors and those kind of films with young cast ensembles to be able to work with each other before they became big movie stars. I love working with huge movie stars. I have done that a couple of times and it is a great way to apprentice someone who are masters of their craft. For me personally, I also wanted to work with someone like Anna, who I have known for many years and Dan, who I saw on Broadway. I wanted to bring one of those kind of groups together for a movie. My producer partner (Gordon Kaywin) said “American Graffiti was shot in the 70s and set in the 50s and Dazed and Confused was shot in the 90s and set in the 70s. We can do that for the 80s”. We wanted to make the first movie about the 80s that wasn’t a spoof of the era. It is very hard to not make fun of the 80s. I have see movies and TV shows where someone would say “Cell phone…they can’t get any smaller” or “They will be hovercars in the year 2000”.

HME: Did you planned to be the one of the producers for this film?

Grace: I had this idea with my friend who is now my producing partner and he is the one who said what if we look back 20 years like Dazed and Confused. We did not want to spoof the 80s like other films and have “Rock Me Amadeus” or songs like that were obviously from the 80s. We went with songs that stood the test of time like Duran Duran. We went to Ron Howard, who was in American Graffiti, and Brian Grazer to produce the film. They liked the idea and then we hired writers to write the screenplay. By that point, I was already a full-time producer for the film.

HME: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Teresa Palmer: To shoot together? I think it would have to be the sex scene. I found it to be very traumatic. What was the most difficult scene to shoot?

Grace: Yes, the sex scene. Shooting that scene with her was a little difficult to do compare to other scenes I had to do.

Palmer: After finished wrapping up that scene, we ended up partying a lot that night. I had fun shooting this movie every day I was on set. I had one of the best times during the making of this movie. I was very lucky to be part of it.  

HME: I read that this movie was shot in 2007 and it took four year to release the film. Did Anna, Dan or Teresa ever run into you after shooting and asked you about when it was getting released?

Palmer: We all became friends after we shot this movie.

Grace: We remained very close. What happened was we screened the movie two years ago and it went very well. However, the original studio that was going to release the movie had a real problem with how much cocaine was in it and how much cocaine Dan was doing. Our feeling was that if you do a movie about Prohibition, you have to show alcohol. If they are kids partying in Beverly Hill in the 80s, there is going to be cocaine. We were really lucky to have Ron and Brian as our producers.

Palmer: They are the best producers of our time.

Grace: They said “Why don’t you just chill and we will find another studio to put this movie out for what it is”. I was so nervous about it because I was afraid they we had to cut the cocaine scenes out. It would be weird if Dan was acting strange for no reason. Ron and Brian showed the movie to Ryan Kavanaugh (CEO of Relativity Media) and we were lucky to get a bigger release then what we originally had thanks to Ryan. He was not one of those studio executives who are their 60s or 70s. He was actually three years older than me. He said he thought it was great and didn’t feel we had change a thing.

Palmer: He definitely saved the project from being neutered.

Grace: I am so glad that I am getting to talk to you because I was with this movie since its inception and it is exactly what we wanted to put out.

Take Me Home Tonight is in theaters everywhere starting today.


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