Glen Powell got his grandmother a cameo in his new Netflix film 'Set It Up'
Netflix's newest original movie "Set It Up" is the romantic comedy that this summer needs.
When two over-worked executive assistants are at their wit's end, they decide to try and get their bosses together so that they can have a life outside of the office. We chatted with "Set It Up" star Glen Powell on what it was like filming in New York with a powerhouse cast.
AOL: In a few words, how would you describe "Set It Up?"
Glen: It's a movie about two assistants who are overworked and set up their bosses so they can have personal lives. Which is, I think, something a lot of assistants have actually tried to do before, based on what I've talked to about with a lot of my friends who are kind of overworked and beaten down. I think there are a lot of versions of 'how the hell do I get out of this nightmare?' that people think through, but this is the sweetest version, that's for sure.
Zoey Deutch, Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs also star in the movie. Did you learn anything from working with this cast?
God, you know what's so fun -- that's the great part about making a movie like this. These are the most fun type of movies to make, like these are the movies where nobody is dying, you don’t have to honor a true story, you don’t have to worry about facts, all you have to do is have a blast and get to work with people you admire, so it's kind of the dream. Taye and Lucy haven’t lost a bit of excitement or passion for the job, and Zoey has obviously been long time friend who’s adorable and wonderful and on her way to great things. It's just a dream gig for sure!
Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch in a scene from "Set It Up." (Courtesy Netflix)
After working on films like "Hidden Figures" and "The Expendables 3," you're no stranger to working on blockbuster sets. Did you find any major difference working on a Netflix set?
Well, there were fewer explosions than 'Expendables' in this movie! Yeah, well look "Hidden Figures" was a blast of a movie to make as well, but there's bit of pressure you put on yourself to make sure that you do a man justice and these women justice -- people that were real life heroes. And in this one, for research I was an assistant at the agency for a few days and just like answered calls and I went through there, and then I went to D.C. firms and saw how these guys, who were getting beat down, kind of operated.
It's interesting cause you know what you’re doing honored all the assistants who are beaten down across the world, and we’ve all been there, but at the same time the pressure on this movie is zero. It's just like literally, again, working with Taye and Zoey -- I wish I got to work with Lucy more -- but they’re just the dream. It's the best.
You grew up in Texas and have been living in Los Angeles for a while now. What was it like shooting this project in New York? Had you spent much time in the city before "Set It Up?"
My dad’s from Brooklyn originally, but you know I didn’t spend that much time here in New York prior to this -- just for quick work trips. Getting to actually be here and just like living the life is the greatest. Especially summertime in New York! I'm really glad we didn’t shoot this thing in the winter, because it's just like summertime in New York -- there's something kind of romantic and magical about it. It was just the dream, and I got to explore the city and fall in love with the city, so I actually feel like I know it now, whereas when you come here for a couple days it's kind of in and out and kind of a whirlwind and you don’t get to really know the personality and the people. So I feel like I’ve kind of got this place hooked up now.
I always thought of myself as a guy who would not be into New York City, because I grew up on a ranch outdoors and that's kind of more my speed, but after spending the three months that we were here, it was just the best. I could totally settle down here for a second.
Do you have a favorite memory from set or a particular moment from filming that stood out as a highlight?
I put a lot of my family in the different movies I do, but in this one, my grandma has really never come to see me on set or come to a premiere or anything like that, so we brought her down here and she got to be in the movie! Do you remember the scene where we're at Yankee Stadium and there's that guy who's kind of talking crap to me and Zoey? My grandma is his wife in that scene. So my grandma got to go through the works and got the whole makeup and the wardrobe, and she’s been a Yankees fan her whole life, so she got to get dolled up in Yankees gear and do all the cheers.
And the first take where Grammy is in it, she... could not have over-acted more in this scene. She probably went though a period of like 20 different emotions in 15 seconds. I was like "Grammy, Grammy, you've got to do less, like a little less." I'll get this piece of footage because it's priceless -- it's my grandma just really cheesing it up. And she is going to her first premiere! She’s coming down and they’re doing a whole thing. They’re going to give her an award and it's going to be one of the most special days I have with my grandma, so I'm really excited.
Wow, that sounds like an amazing big-screen debut experience for her!
I'm super excited for it. And you know I got my cousin in the movie, I got my writing partner in the movie, both my parents in the movie, my sister has a song in the movie, so it's a whole Powell thing.
After having the experience of acting as an assistant in real life and on-screen, do you think you'd make a good assistant?
If Taye Diggs was my boss? Well Taye Diggs in real life is probably a dream boss, but Taye Diggs in this movie? Not so much. I had a variety of different jobs on the fight up the ladder, and I'll say that I think I used to be a good assistant. I used to be like way more type A, but there's something about this business when you have a lot of other people pulling the weight and doing a bunch of jobs that are way more on top of things than you, you start becoming sort of a space cadet. So if I was an assistant now, things would not get done. It would be a real tragic experience and I would get fired immediately.
"Set It Up" premieres on Netflix on June 15th.
See more of Glen Powell below