Thomas Mann‘s new role in Project X is “game changing,” just like the epic house party that his character throws… Many things about Project X are game changing actually. The movie is shot in a documentary style and some footage was actually shot with iPhone cameras from partygoers in the movie themselves! Project X stars were even able to apply for roles by answering fun questions online. Thomas, 20, plays a high school nerd named Thomas (main characters used their real names) who decides to throw a big house party to impress the ladies.
The title “Project X” was used because producer Todd Phillips, the man behind The Hangover movies, Old School, Due Date and more, initially wanted the film to be top secret. Phillips was only interested in casting unknowns.
Thomas, along with his co-stars, had to undergo a grueling audition process where they each had 10 meetings on average before they were told they got the job. Suddenly at the center of attention, Thomas’ effort has clearly paid off. He plays a very convincing lead character in this fast-paced raunchy comedy known as Project X, aka this generation’s Animal House! We met up with Thomas at the Project X junket in Hollywood last week to ask him about one of the year’s most talked about new movies!
How did you come to this project and what attracted you to your character?
Thomas: It was nice doing a movie! It’s not like they approached us with a script. We all kind of got involved in different ways. They did a big tape submission thing searching for unknowns and that’s how they found JB.
Do you think any audience members will think this is real?
Thomas: I think the most insane thing and the thing that makes it so tremendous is that it happens so spontaneously over the course of a whole night. It happens over 24 hours. I think what makes it so cool is that it happens spontaneously.
How do you relate to your character?
Thomas: We all play versions of ourselves. I play a much shier version of myself [than] how I was in high school. We also used our own names in the movie. We wanted it to feel authentic. We didn’t want it to seem like we were doing characters. We wanted it to feel like real kids that people could hopefully relate to. I think we all stayed in our roles. We fine tuned it.
What particular scenes were memorable for you?
Thomas: The roof scene for me was really really cool. Talking to the helicopter. We did a bunch of takes and it was just different things I was shouting at the helicopter.
Do you think that Project X teaches young people to be responsible or to throw parties of their own?
Thomas: It’s the experience. If you’re looking to take any moral lessons out of it… I know the trailer says “Celebration of bad behavior,” which is sort of accurate because these guys are such losers, they’ve never really experienced anything like this before. It really is a victory for them by the end of the night.
We’ll be posting Part II of our exclusive on Friday. Project X opens in theaters the same day, this Friday, March 2nd! It’s good y’all.