ComingSoon has caught up The Umbrella Academy Star Emmy Raver-Lampman to talk about the comedy film from XYZ Films Gatlop, which will be available digitally and on-demand on June 23. Lampman discussed what drove her to the project, having to do scenes where another character inhabited her body, and more.
“A group of old friends reunite after a decade apart for a nostalgic evening of fun and games,” the synopsis reads. “After one too many, they decide to play a drinking game, but it quickly turns out that the game involves supernatural stakes. Mischief leads to chaos, and the group realizes they will be forced to play for eternity – hell if they can’t get together by sunrise to win the game.”
Tyler Treese: This movie is so much fun with the Jumanji style curse board. What did you particularly like about this project and what prompted you to get involved?
Emmy Raver-Lampman: I think the screenplay is so brilliant. I love the relationship between the four friends and am a big board game fanatic. Growing up, I wasn’t really allowed to watch much TV. So I grew up running around baking mud cakes outside and then playing a lot of board games too. When I was allowed to watch films jumanji was one of my favorites so I was immediately drawn to it because there is so much connective tissue to it and my childhood and movies I love. So yeah I think it had all the makings of something wild, crazy and exciting.
You’ve got some really great scenes here with Sarunas Jackson, and there’s a moment where you both switch bodies. How did you approach that from an acting point of view? Have you tried incorporating some of his mannerisms?
We shot the whole movie in about 12 days, which was crazy, and we shot that particular scene on the fourth or fifth day. And I didn’t know Sarunas before. So right from day one I was like, “Hey, I just want you to know if you catch me staring at you randomly all day, it’s just because I’m trying to pick up your mannerisms and body language. Just so when we get to that scene where we’re switching bodies, I can add some of that to the moment to kind of embody you,” and he did the same, and we were kind of on that journey together. But yeah, I was just trying to get an idea of how he carries himself and how he tends to sit and just his… he has incredible vibrancy and energy. And then of course I tried to replicate that as best as I could.
Since it was such a short shoot I was really impressed by how much great chemistry you all have since you didn’t have much time to be together. Can you just talk to this cast and click right away?
When I was approached by Alberto [Belli, director of Gatlopp] and Jim [Mahoney, writer of Gatlopp and actor for Paul] To make the film, I knew when I signed up that they were kind of revolving around Jon [Bass] for cliff. Then we had some chemistry readings for the Troy part and the moment Sarunas popped up on the zoom screen because this was pretty much in the middle of COVID, late summer 2020… I don’t know he kind of jumped off the screen and a had incredible energy that we could all kind of feel. And when we were all done, the four of us clicked straight away. I’ve never laughed so much on a set. To this day, the four of us are still very, very close and we eat out all the time and we have one constant Gatlop Group text chain. We are all still very close and still connected and love each other. When we made this film in 2020 I think it’s a group of people and a memory that I will never forget.
The movie has some really hilarious sequences, especially the jazzercise scene. How was the recording for that?
Ah, that was madness! I think we learned the dance the night before and then rehearsed two hours a day while they set up the venue and stage and then we got going. And I have a dance background that comes from theater, but Jim, Sarunas and Jon don’t. So they just sat down and learned it as fast as they could. I’m really so proud of her that we were able to pull off this ridiculous moment and it turned out so well and it’s so funny and the costumes are absurd. Gotta live my best jazzercise, Whitney Houston Dreams.
You have been involved in voice acting, films, television and theatre. How important is it for you to have this mix in your work and to switch between the types?
I think it’s that important. The reason I moved from theater to television and film is because I wanted to grow and learn as an actor. I’m constantly trying to learn new things and to expand and challenge myself, adding language work and films. Umbrella Academywe do stunts and cable work and work on green screens and then do a little indie film like Gatlop where at the end of the scale it’s the complete opposite. And you can learn so much from that too. And the voiceover work is just so exciting and reminds me so much of theater. So I’m constantly looking to learn more and learn more about myself as an artist, but also learn more about different ways I can be an actor and performer and then use my talent and gift in as many ways as possible.