Director Greg Mottola has decided he’s most comfortable working behind the camera and not letting fame go to his head. After doing a small acting role in Woody Allen’s
and directing the monster hit
Superbad, Mottola decided that instead of basking in the Hollywood limelight, he’d use his pull to recreate his own childhood memories in the new coming-of-age story
Working on a movie is one thing but to direct a film that tells your life story is something different. In this case, Mottola used Adventureland as a platform to remember one hectic summer working in the world’s worst theme park and finding himself along the way. Having gotten career advice from Woody Allen and Judd Apatow certainly made things easier following up Superbad with something different. Mottola considers both men some of the best filmmakers today because of their strong work ethic and their ability to leave their egos off the set.
“I think most filmmakers would like to be left alone," Mottola tells B OXOFFICE. "But having said that I’ve gotten a lot from collaboration, certainly when you work with someone like Judd Apatow who’s very collaborative. He’s involved more than most producers although probably not as much as people think. Once we all agreed on the casting of Superbad and the script, he only came on set a couple of times. But if you have a difficult decision to make or you’re not sure, he’s a really smart person to turn to and say what do you think. Judd’s very egoless, I’ve seen other writer-directors who don’t want anyone else’s jokes in the movie, they really feel like it has to be 100% theirs. But with Woody (Allen), having watched him work, he doesn’t care if actors change the words or make it their own. You have to find a balance, you don’t want the actors to run in the wrong direction with it but also respecting the process and seeing what they do best.”
Since the movie is partially autobiographical, it’s interesting to guess what things are real and what’s exaggerated for comedic effect. Mottola feels when writing a story nothing is private but it does help to also spice up the story if the reality isn’t too exciting.
“The story is pretty fictional, the actual events of it. My summer working at that amusement park was not nearly that eventful. But there are real things, moments and relationships that I included in it and I guess I take the attitude that I don’t need to keep anything private. As a writer if you think it has a place in the story you just try not to admit it in later interviews. The stuff that might be really humiliating.”
Adventureland hits theatres on April 3.
to listen to our full interview with Greg Mottola.