Exclusive Interview with Dan Beers for ‘Premature’

– by Gig Patta

Losing your virginity may or may not be the day to re-live over again and again.

In “Premature,” the story follows a young teenager who gets stuck in a time loop over his orgasms. The teen is forced to live in this “Groundhog Day”-like scenario on the important day of his college interview and losing his virginity.

John Karna (“Bindlestiffs”) stars as the title character with Craig Roberts and Katie Findlay as his best friends. Alan Tudyk is also in the film as the hilarious Georgetown admissions officer.

Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with writer-director Dan Beers on his feature directorial debut of “Premature.” He talked with us about the challenges, humor and the casting for this production.

“Premature” is in limited release in theaters today and currently available on demand.

Read our interview below.

Latino-Review: Where did you come up with the story for “Premature?”

Dan Beers: We’ve always been a fan of teen movies from the 80s and 90s. I was a teenager in the 90s and watched all those movies especially with all John Hughes movies. Obviously, [we] owe a great huge debt to “Groundhog Day.”

We were trying to come up with an idea that something we can do on a budget. Ideally, we wanted to come up with a teen film that echoed those movies. Somehow we married the concept of a “Groundhog Day” idea. So we were coming up of idea of being caught up in a loop. What’s the most interesting thing someone would go back to within a day? Then it fell down to the first time of having sex. It was doing it over and over until you get it right.

Eventually, we battled with those ideas around for a bit and that’s what we came up with.

Latino-Review: This movie is full of humor, which is very similar to the “American Pie” type of comedy. How did you bounce off ideas with your co-writer, Mathew Harawitz?

Dan Beers: Matt and I are old friends from college. We are really good friends. We’ve done a few things together now. Matt is a great writer by his own right. As far as being funny, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. We also shared the similar sensibilities in terms of our jokes. Sometimes people may accuse of taking things too far.

We always just bounce back jokes to each other. I had an idea for a scene when Rob found out he had the ability to control each day and had another scene in which he had to escape something. He was caught in a room. So we bounced off of each other from there on what’s going to happen next.

As far as jokes go, no one could up with better one-liners than Matt. It’s some of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard.

Latino-Review: [Laughter] It was a pretty funny movie. Was there a lot of improve going on?

Dan Beers: Yeah, there was. Definitely, we tried to keep that flow going. We were on a pretty tight shoot. The idea is try to come down what’s on the page first and then from there—it’s whatever the actors are comfortable with their lines and then they can rift. Fortunately, we had people on the set who were so quick witted. They were able to come up with things on the spot.

Latino-Review: Now with a movie like this which is very similar to “Groundhog Day” in repeating the scenes over and over again, how do you know when it was enough before you tire out the audience?

Dan Beers: It’s tricky. That’s the fear. Early on in the process of writing, we were thinking if we can take a day out of this movie before the audience gets too far ahead of us. We always had this in mind. Fortunately we didn’t have to. By day three, that’s when things changed.

Day one is act one that plays things out beat by beat. Day two is a faster version. Day three is a much faster version. And then by day four, once our character Rob knows that’s something is up—thing’s changed course. That’s when we had to go ahead with it.

So it’s like the idea of a [ticking] bomb. You know that the bomb is there, but when it’s going to go off. With every day, you know Rob is going to have an orgasm, but it’s only when and how.

Latino-Review: With the orgasm scenes, it’s really pushing this film to the limit especially with the humor. [Laughter] Was your actor, John Karna, actually comfortable with doing something that looked like he kept on jazzing on himself over and over again?

Dan Beers: John Karna was amazing. John was in one smaller prior to this. Thankfully, we got him for this movie. He never complained. He was willing to go the extra mile with everything.

Truthfully, one of the most important things when meeting those actors is to see if they can give us that face. It’s giving us that orgasm face over and over again without feeling embarrassed about it. John is a person who was very comfortable with his own skin. He wasn’t worried about being on a bed, in a hot room with fifty people watching him with a wet spot on his crotch.

Latino-Review: I don’t know how you can watch a teenager making an orgasm face without laughing. [Laughter] So tell me about the rest of the cast and on how you managed to pull that off?

Dan Beers: With a teen movie, we wanted to find actors who felt like they were real kids and not like actors. Once we found John, he seems like a real teenager. He is a real good kid and he hasn’t been much beforehand.

And for Craig [Roberts], I’ve seen him previously in a couple of movies and I’m a fan of his. His character is a best friend, and these best friends are often very tight. We didn’t want someone who would come in and play a Jonah Hill character—really loud and crass. Craig takes this in a different direction. Craig has a quieter personality and made it much more interesting.

I was trying to figure out on where I knew Katie [Findlay] before. She was at every bus stop I’ve sit in at New York. She was on the show called “The Killing.” So when I first saw her, I was trying to place her. Anyways, she was wonderful. That character is another best friend who is beautiful and doesn’t know it yet. It she must truly be a dork. Katie would tell you she is a total dork. She is a comic book fiend. She is that character. Once we put John and Katie in a room together and they read—it was so great. They immediately sparked with each other.

Finally, Alan [Tudyk] was in the same city shooting another movie as us when we were in prep. He just walked into the room crying and we were all on the floor. We knew right away that we found our guy.

Latino-Review: Have you ever checked out another similar movie called, “Edge of Tomorrow” with Tom Cruise?

Dan Beers: I have not watched it yet. I’ve heard that it was fantastic.

Latino-Review: It worked in the same way, but more in a sci-fi direction. For yourself, do you want to direct more feature films in the future?

Dan Beers: Absolutely. That’s the dream. I intend to have something going soon. I hope.

Latino-Review: So can you talk about some of your upcoming projects?

Dan Beers: I have a new script in which I’m writing right now with Matt. I don’t want to say too much about it except that it’s a comedy as well. This one is about people in their adult life. And I have a TV show idea I’m also working on so hopefully we’ll get everything started by the end of this summer.

Latino-Review: I appreciate this interview.

Dan Beers: Thank you so much and taking your time. Thanks!

“Premature” is in limited release in theaters today and currently available on demand.

Interviews, Film, LRM Exclusives Dan Beers, Premature