Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg Interview: Good Boys

We interview Good Boys director Gene Stupnitsky and co-writer Lee Eisenberg about making the raunchy comedy and working with the young cast.

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The comedic writing duo of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky have another potential hit on their hands with Good Boys, which also serves as Stupnitsky’s film directorial debut. The screenwriters shared what they had in common with their mischievous protagonists in a recent interview with Screen Rant, and recalled some of the more hilarious moments on set.

Guys, one word to describe this film? Diabolical. This film's a lot of fun; I think it's the best comedy of the year. But I have to ask: a lot of the things that these kids find themselves in, it's kind of situational comedy, and they're just naive to the situation. How was it capturing that perspective of a 12-year-old for the audience to join in on?

Gene Stupnitsky: You know, Lee embedded with sixth graders for a year to really get their voices down.

Lee Eisenberg: Yup.

Gene Stupnitsky: You know, we were 12. We remember what that's like. And everyone in the audience remembers what that's like. There are certain universal things about being that age: you are very uncomfortable in your own skin, you're always trying to be cooler than you are, you're trying to rebel against authority a little bit, you’re trying to push back. So, you know, it wasn't that hard to tap into that age.

Lee Eisenberg: It was it was eerily easy for us to kind of tap back into that age. That might be saying a lot about where we are, maturity-wise, in our lives. But the memories kind of flooded back, and also tapping into that energy felt [natural].

Just out of curiosity, who's Gene most like out of all the kids?

Lee Eisenberg: Who is the most like? He's like Atticus the bully.

And what would you say about Lee?

Gene Stupnitsky: Probably…

Lee Eisenberg: Brixlee?

Gene Stupnitsky: Yeah, I was gonna say Hannah, but yeah, Brixlee.

Fair enough. How many of these situations are kind of taken from your own childhood, if any? 

Gene Stupnitsky: All of them. Every single one. All that happened to us.

I don’t know of any specific situation that was taken. It was more just that feeling, that misunderstanding the world, that getting words wrong.

Lee Eisenberg: Being on your bike for the first time and kind of venturing out without your parents knowing where you are.

Four miles, man. That’s a long distance. When you're a kid that's, like, the other side of the world. 

Lee Eisenberg: How the f*** are we gonna get four miles? I mean, that's the whole... I don't know if I’m allowed to swear, but that's what happens.

One of the funniest scenes to me is that the freeway scene, but I heard that the kids actually threw up during the scene in real life. 

Both: Yeah.

What happened?

Gene Stupnitsky: Well, one of the kids had to put in – there's this sympathetic vomiting, that I didn't know was a thing.

Lee Eisenberg: We found out about that after the fact.

Gene Stupnitsky: Certain people, when they see other people vomit, it does something to them and makes them [do it too].

It's the smell for me. If I smell vomit, I’ll vomit.

Gene Stupnitsky: Is that what it is?

Lee Einsenberg: Really? If you smell vomit, you'll vomit?

For sure, I'll throw up. That and dog poop, for some reason, I don't know.

Lee Eisenberg: If you smell dog poop, you'll poop.

No, I’ll also throw up. Yeah, I’ll poop.

Gene Stupnitsky: Yeah, so one of the kids vomited, and the other kid [did too] just –

Lee Eisenberg: Two seconds later. And then we just turned to the DP, the camera guy. And we're like, “You got that? You got that, right?” Like, that only happens once.

Now. I know you guys did some work on The Office, one of my favorite shows of all time. I was talking to Brady, and he also wants an Office reboot, but he wants to play Jim's son. So, what are the chances you guys can make this happen for me? 

Gene Stupnitsky: Zero percent.


Gene Stupnitsky: Yeah, absolutely.

Lee Eisenberg: I was going to say, like, five?

Gene Stupnitsky: I thought even when I said zero percent, that was a little high. No, we could definitely make it happen. We’ll make some calls.

Another thing that you guys did was Bad Teacher. Is the sequel still in the works, by chance?

Lee Eisenberg: I think – at this point, I think it's not. I mean, there's still a script. We wrote a script that I always really liked, but I think everyone's kind of past it. I mean, Jake Kasdan’s now doing Jumanji 6. And, you know, Justin Timberlake is on tour.

Gene Stupnitsky: I think that ship has sailed.

Well, this movie's great. I can’t wait for everyone to see it. Thank you, guys, so much for your time.

More: Good Boys Interview with Molly Gordon

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