Me And Earl And The Dying Girl – Interviews with Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon & Stars Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke and RJ Cyler

This is my favorite film of 2015!  Click through for our interviews with the Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and the stars of the film Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, and RJ Cyler

There are those films that stick with you.  Might be the incredible cast, wonderfully witty script, amazing cinematography, or just an emotional connection to the plot.  I'm not fully sure why but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is totally sticking with me.  I mean in the sense that it's one of my favorite films of all-time.  Goonies, Shawshank Redemption, Usual Suspects, GoodFellas, and now Me and Earl and the Dying Girl all are those films that will always stick with me.  Basically this film had me at, "You see them Titties?".


* Fun Moment where Gadi Asks Thomas, RJ and Olivia if they did in fact get to see some Titties.

Really it's that simple.  I can't stop freaking laughing at the absurd comedy in this hilarious film.  And yet I also have now cried at the exact spots in three separate screenings.  Mind you I plan on seeing this at least twice more in the theaters just to witness all that is actually going on.  I think this short 37 second TV spot sums up ALL the craziness that is in the film.

Ok now to the interviews.  First up this talented Director Guy. 

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon on set in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL Photo by Anne Marie Fox

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon INTERVIEW:

Alfonso started the roundtable chat by explain what it was in the script that inspired him to want to make this movie.

He explained how the book's author and screenwriter, Jesse Andrews, was a comforting sight on set.  Especially since the film was shot in his home town of Pittsburgh and even his home and former high school are PIVOTAL locations to the film.

I asked specifically about shooting in Jesse's old High School.

Thomas Mann (Greg) with Alfonso.

Thomas Mann and Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon on set of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL Photo by Anne Marie Fox

But this all wouldn't have been possibly with out the greatness of RYAN MURPHY.

I asked about his bold choice of Chung-hoon Chung as his Cinematographer.

An important facet of the film is the movie spoofs that Greg and Earl create and have already made.  They are the funny connection moments that allows for Rachel's character to get to know the guys better.  In the film there are 42 films they've made and they shoot 2 during the film's action (208 days).  All of their films have funny title changes to classic films.  It is the new titles that give forth to the plots of the films that mirror there real-life counterparts to some degree.  Personally my favorite of these films is, "Grumpy Cul-De-Sacs" which is a spoof of Scorsese's Mean Streets.  But a close second is this nice tribute to Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Eyes Wide Butt

Alfonso spoke about these amazing titles and gave us his FAVORITE one!

One element of the film that needs to be pointed out is the incredible music in the movie.  Brian Eno scored the film and Alfonso talked about getting the legend to be apart of this little indie darling.

Brian Eno's The Big Ship is a major part of the most moving sequence in the film.  I won't spoil it for you but I do want you to at least listen to this amazing piece of music.

Now the film had a special experience at Sundance 2015.  Me and Earl and The Dying Girl pulled off the amazing feat of winning the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award!  I asked Alfonso about the Sundance experience and he gave us one of the best breakdowns of a festival I've ever heard.

And we talked about the incredible cast. 

Connie Britton as Greg's Mom Nick Offerman as Greg's Dad and Thomas Mann as Greg in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

Alfonso in particular talked about the adult roles played by Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, & Jon Bernthal.

I asked Alfonso about casting newcomer RJ Cyler as Earl and how did he connect so well with Thomas and Olivia?

Speaking of Me (Greg) and Earl and The Dying Girl (Rachel)

Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler on the set of ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL.

Here is the Interview with Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler:

The trio began the interview by talking about how they all just clicked immediately. 

Thomas Mann aka Greg talked about what he loves about the character.

Olivia talked about having to play the Cancer stricken girl and in particular shaving her head rather than wear a bald cap.

RJ talked about his character, Earl.

These three talented actors are perfectly matched.  I immediately thought of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and that trifecta pairing.  This scene really showcases how Thomas, RJ and Olivia were a perfect triumvirate.

They talked about getting to work with Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman and Connie Britton was an experience.

Earl and Greg in the film have made a total of 42 spoof films and in the movie they shoot one more and than make a film for Rachel.  I asked the guys about getting to work with Animators Nathan O. Marsh and Edward Bursch on these "shorts". 

This scene actually gets at the heart of Greg and Earl's filmmaking ways and the inspiration for shooting a movie for Rachel.

The Trio!


Olivia, RJ and Thomas all think these characters are the most reflective of their real personalities.  They also discuss how being able to hang out before filming helped them all connect so well.

And finally the kiddos discussed their favorite Pittsburgh restaurant.  And then they talked about the unique foods that Greg's Dad (Nick Offerman) would feed Greg and Earl!

RJ Cyler as Earl Nick Offerman as Greg's Dad and Thomas Mann as Greg in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. Photo by Anne Marie Fox.

Earl, Greg's Dad and Greg devouring Pig's feet moments after their Jewish friend Rachel walks away.  Easily one of my favorite hidden Kosher jokes in the film.  And here is that food clip from Olivia, Thomas and RJ.

Now go see the best film of 2015.  To find out where the movie is playing go, HERE.

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl!


And since Thomas Mann is a north Texas native I do want to give him one final shout out.

High as Pho Me and Earl

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