I'm sure I don't have to explain why Alec Baldwin didn't show up at last week's roundtables for Brooklyn Rules, the 1980s mob drama that opened Friday, in which he plays a ruthless Gambino enforcer, but most of the principal cast as well as the director were on hand to discuss the film. Rules stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as a Brooklyn bum who is trying to look out for his two best friends in the neighborhood while courting Mena Suvari's character, an uptown girl who is worried about getting close to a guy who might have mob connections. The film was shot over two and a half years ago but a bad distribution deal kept it sitting on the shelf until things could be worked out for a limited release. Thanks to an actor showing up forty-five minutes late at another junket nearby, Cinematical's intrepid reporter (me) missed the first few interviewees for Rules -- director Michael Corrente was apparently a hoot -- but I was able to sneak into the roundtable room just in time for Prinze and Suvari. Below is a sampling of the numerous questions asked by all the assembled journalists and the answers, so enjoy.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
The film depends a lot on the chemistry of the three friends -- how did you work on establishing that?
FPJ: Michael was very smart -- the director, Michael -- in the regard that, during the rehearsal process, he'd start a conversation casually. He'd start a conversation casually, and be like ... this is the way Michael talks not me ... "Who's the first broad you nailed?" So I would begin to discuss the first woman that I slept with, and you'd start talking about how horrible you were, and it was like ten seconds long and she was like 'what?' and it was really embarrassing ... and then the other guys would start to chime in, and they'd crack jokes on you. Then you'd find out that it was even less with them, and ha ha ha, and then Michael would say "Now read the scene right now!" and we'd just go right into the scene with that same type of energy and that same type of vibe. That really developed a lot of the dialogue and the pace that was required for the scenes that we were gonna do. As far as chemistry, we just lucked out.
Scott and I were confined to a trailer that, I kid you not, was smaller than this table, and he would just chain-smoke and I had a really bad habit of chewing tobacco, and so the door had to be closed because it was cold and so the smoke's in there and we'd watch that one scene in True Romance with Christopher Walken, and we'd do our Walken impressions. His was much better, but my Roger Rabbit was better. And we would watch movies, and Scott and I, we just got along. I guess some of it was that he has a father in this business, I had a father in this, and the sons coming up a chip on their shoulder and then a few years later, 'I don't have a chip on my shoulder, you can just get f*cked!' and then after that it's more like 'I have a chip but I'm dealing with it ...' We both were sort of at the same age, emotionally, so it was very easy for the two of us to bond. Jerry and Mena had the nicer half of the trailer, where they had their own rooms, and it's just hard not to get along with Jerry. I don't know anyone who doesn't like him.