Roundtable Interview Excerpt
Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Director
Gabriel Basso & Moises Arias, stars
“The Kings of Summer”
Dallas, Texas, April 11, 2013
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: This is my first time doing a big roundtable like
Presbyterian Outlook: So which one spoiled Eden, the snake or the woman?
JVR: What’s the difference? (everyone laughs)
JVR: Ah, uh, the woman, absolutely. 100% (laughs) Uh, now
we’re getting all biblical about this.
PO: I have to, I’m required….but you don’t have to answer it!
JVR: Uh, speaking as a lapsed Jew, I mean, if we want to get real about
it, didn’t God technically spoil it by giving them free will, and therefore
giving them the choice?
I don’t know, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten into….I’m not in
high school any more, so I’m not really into debating religion and things
PO: So how about here?
JVR: In the case of this story?
JVR: I think they spoiled it for themselves. It’s not bringing
the woman into the situation, that’s not what screwed it up. Bringing
the snake into the situation, that’s not what screwed it up. You know,
we’re never really doing it. I love the scene where they gut the
rabbit. No one goes into the movie, like, “You know what I want to
see? A little kid cut a rabbit open.” (Everyone laughs.) No one wants
to see that. But by the time you get there, ideally, it’s earned it,
and it’s warranted enough, and that’s the reality of what they’ve been
talking about this entire time. The movie is “Stand By Me” for a
video game generation. And like, they spoil it for themselves by not
doing it properly, and the simultaneous wonder and despair of living in your
own world. You know, like there are high highs and low lows associated
with that. So, to create your own world, you obviously get to live
however you want, but that’s not the reality. He set himself up for
failure….At the end of the day, they didn’t have any real reason to run
PO: Moises, did you ever think of yourself as a kind of boy Friday to
the other guys’ Robinson Crusoe?
Moses Arias: I don’t get that reference.
JVR: You guys need to understand. Nothing will make you feel older
in your life than spending a summer with a bunch of 18-year-old kids. At
one point, I’m playing Super Nintendo Street Fighter, which is probably the
most influential thing in my childhood, period, and I hand them the
controller, and their response is “How do I do this?” Careful with your
references. You might date yourself, as I did, many times, on the shoot.
PO: Gabe, one of my teenage awkward moments was kissing a girl on stage
in a middle school play. How comfortable for you was that scene with
JVR: Yeah, speaking of laughing on set, I think I had to pull him aside
and say, “That’s not how you kiss a girl.” (Everyone laughs.)
Gabe Basso: No, no, the first time it happened, the mustache and facial
hair was fake, and that made it uncomfortable, because they’d say “Cut!”
and we’d pull apart and she’d have these little hairs in her mouth.
(Laughs) Yeah, it was weird. But it’s always uncomfortable, you
know? Kisses in nature are supposed to be intimate. And to share
that with people in general, it’s uncomfortable in its own way, but it’s
never like “I can’t do this.”
JVR: In that scene where they kiss, I’m using every single take,
because after every cut they just start laughing, and so I’m using right
into the last frame before they just burst into laughter.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving,