Exclusive: Jason Ritter Tells Us How He’d Rob a Bank in ‘7 Minutes’

Jason-Ritter-Headshot

Film Fad talks with “Another Period” star Jason Ritter about his film “7 Minutes!”

Film Fad had the chance to talk with “Parenthood” and “Gravity Falls” star Jason Ritter. During the conversation we talked about his role on Comedy Central’s “Another Period” and how his relationship with co-star Riki Lindholme and Director Jeremy Konner solidified the part. We also discuss his resemblance to “Boy Meets World” star Rider Strong and how fans might mistake him for the actor. We even discover that much of the popular “Drunk History” series was filmed in Jason Ritter’s mother’s house! For the bulk of the conversation we discuss his role in the bank heist film “7 Minutes” and he tells us how he would rob a bank if he was in that scenario. Take a look below at our conversation.

Film Fad:

Hi Jason, How are You?

Jason Ritter:

Good, how are you?

Film Fad:

Very well, excited to talk to you!

Jason Ritter:

(Laughs) Me too!

Film Fad:

So I have to ask you, you’ve had quite a few different projects, more recently a few popular TV series like “Parenthood,” “Gravity Falls,” and even more recently Comedy Central’s “Another Period.” You have a separate fan base for each but when a fan recognizes you, which project seems to get referenced the most?

Jason Ritter:

Probably…”Boy Meets World.” My resemblance to Rider Strong, maybe my haircut, I don’t what it is, but I’m probably mistaken for him the most. (laughs) But other than that, probably “Parenthood” actually. I always have been surprised and pleasantly so, but I forget the reach that television has. You sort of slug it out and make independent films and then go to festivals and it’s exciting and then you realize by doing television how many people watch. Including me, I watch a lot of television. It kind of has a reach that big blockbuster movies do…which I’m not usually in, (laughs).

So mostly television and I would say “Parenthood” the most…yeah.

Film Fad:

Well I’ve followed your career for quite some time but I absolutely love “Another Period.” Did you build a good report with Riki Lindholme from your appearance on “Garfunkel and Oates?”

Jason-Ritter-Another-Period

“Jeremy Konner who directs “Another Period” has been my friend since we were six years old.”

Jason Ritter:

I’ve known Riki for a little while and I think that was a big part of it but Jeremy Konner who directs “Another Period” has been my friend since we were six years old. He also does the show “Drunk History” and when he was making those initial sort of online shorts they were all filmed in my mom’s house and we’ve just been friends for years and years. I think he was the one that pitched me to Natasha [Leggero] and Riki [Lindholme]. And Riki already knew me and we already had met a bunch of times and he knew I was a huge fan of “Garfunkel and Oates.” So yeah, I think that’s how I got it. Between the two of them, they twisted Natasha’s arm and gave me the part (laughs).

Film Fad:

That’s awesome, I love that role, but moving on to your film career, more recently you did the film “7 Minutes” that involves a bank heist. From what I’ve seen, this seems very different from your more comedic and dramatic roles in the past. What challenges, if any, did you face going into a more suspenseful crime role?

Jason Ritter:

It was definitely a whole new set of challenges. It was really fun to get the opportunity to play a character that was sort of unlike other things I’ve known. I had this great meeting with the director and he took a chance on me and then it’s that moment where you go, “Oh Gosh, I’ve somehow convinced this person that I can do this part that I’m not 100% convinced that I can do myself.” But you know it was really fun, it was initially why I wanted to do this, to explore parts of myself that maybe I pushed down or pretend that are not parts of me. On the page this character was much different than I am but how are we alike? So I started there to build the character with the director from that place. It’s also so much fun to do high stakes scenes and when the characters are wanting something so bad when their lives are literally on the line. It’s fun to do things that you don’t get to do in real life.

Film Fad:

What do you think it is about crime films or particularly bank heists that continually draw audiences into the theaters?

Jason Ritter:

I think it’s part of that escapist mentality. There are two huge camps of film and television. They’re just stories. There are the stories maybe like “Parenthood” where we see ourselves in the characters. Even if we haven’t been in the exact same position, we understand what it feels like. And then there’s the kind of films that go from heist films all the way to big, crazy science fiction movies or magical movies. It’s what is not in our lives, it’s what we think about, what we fantasize about, and what we’ve decided against in the case of bank heist movies, which is a shortcut to getting money. I think there’s a part of us that asks, “Is there a shortcut?” No, it would probably go really terribly right? I think it’s exciting and you see people taking a risk and I think it’s interesting for people to watch characters that have been pushed to that point. I think that’s an element that people can recognize. Being desperate and not knowing what’s going to happen next and trying to come up with a solution. I think it’s fun to see characters that are pushed to the brink.

Jason-Ritter-7-Minutes

Photo courtesy of Starz Digital

Film Fad:

This is kind of a fun question but given what you’ve learned in your role in “7 Minutes” and the complications that arose, do you think you yourself could pull off a bank heist better than your character Mike?

Jason Ritter:

(Laughs) Absolutely not! If I were to pull a bank heist I think I would do it in a way where I then walked back into the bank and go, “Okay, so now you see the holes in your security, here’s all the money back.”

Film Fad:

(Laughs)

Jason Ritter:

I don’t think I could live with the guilt of having stolen all of that stuff. And I also don’t think I would do it with a gun. I don’t think I would involve even a shred of violence at all if I was to try to do it. Again, I don’t think I would be able to (laughs). Maybe some kind of hacking thing, that would be more my speed.

Film Fad:

(Laughs) I think me too. So speaking of Mike, he’s got some depth to him outside of the crime and suspense drama. You were mentioning that aspect of desperation which is something that is more of a necessity for them. Would you say that you pulled anything from past roles or personal experiences into your character?

Jason Ritter:

Even though I wouldn’t do a bank heist myself, I see where he is coming from and I could understand. When you have a family and you have people counting on you and you’re the bread winner, I think you can get to a point where you start to wonder what you’re going to do. And you have all of these standards for yourself when everything is going well and then all of the sudden in times of desperation you find yourself agreeing to things or going along with things you might not have originally done if you had your druthers. And so there were elements of that that I understood. I’ve definitely come to a point where I was pretty sad about money and stuff like that so I didn’t solve it by going in and robbing a bank. But I did understand that element. Mike has this whole system and he’s really messed up and he’s involved with people who have really messed it up for him. So now he’s just trying to dig himself out of a hole. And I’ve had to dig myself out of some holes as well. But usually you just start filling up the hole, digging a deeper hole is not the best idea.

Film Fad:

So this is the directorial debut of Jay Martin. He’s worked on a number of projects mainly as a storyboard artist but also directed some music videos. I have to ask you, as a seasoned actor, did you notice any differences working with someone making their debut versus a more seasoned director?

Jason Ritter:

7-minutes-Movie-Poster

7 Minutes

It’s interesting, I’ve worked with a lot of first time directors, especially in the independent film world. The interesting thing about Jay specifically is because he’s done a lot of storyboards and because he’s done a lot of music videos which are hugely based in visuals and stuff like that, he had a very close relationship with Noah, our DP [Cinematographer], and he had a very sort of visual..vision…(laughs). He knew the shots, it was more stylized than anything that I had done in the past. But what he did, and this is to his credit, and one of the hardest things to do as a first time director is when it came to the scene work and the acting, he really listened to us and listened to our input. A lot of first time directors have the tendency to say, “This is how it was in my head when I wrote it so could you say it like this or do it like that and can you stand here and you stand here.” For a person that had such an idea visually of the story he wanted to tell he also trusted us and knew that if the acting was tilted or weird or we were doing something that didn’t feel right to us then it didn’t matter how cool the visuals would look, the movie wouldn’t work. We all felt like he listened to our input and so it was a great combination of having a strong vision that he didn’t compromise and also being willing to change his mind about the look and scenes from a new perspective so I really appreciated that.

Film Fad:

What would you say you’ve learned from this role that you can carry over to other films and projects?

Jason Ritter:

One of the things that I really learned, and it’s a lesson that I continue to learn, is that there’s only so much work that you can do by yourself on the character and things like that. And then there’s a huge element of the world around the character and the people around him. So as much as I thought about Mike, there was a huge part of the movie that was getting to know Zane [Holtz] and Luke [Mitchell] and just developing a comradery that ended up being real and we didn’t have to pretend like we had been friends or brothers for our whole lives. We knew each other well enough and we knew each other’s characters and that was a really important element. Because one thing that’s hard to fake is when you’re joking around with someone. When you’ve just met them and you don’t know their sense of humor, it’s kind of hard to fake that, but when you’ve started to get to know someone it’s easier to draw elements from your relationship and include them in the movie.

Film Fad:

So speaking of other films, are there any other projects that you look forward to talking about?

Jason Ritter:

I’m really excited for the end of this season of “Gravity Falls.” The creator has really pulled out all the stops for this final bunch of episodes for this season. So I’m really excited about those being seen and then there’s a movie “The Steps” which just got into the Toronto Film Festival that I’m really excited about. I haven’t seen it yet, but it was a really funny script and it’s me and Emmanuelle Chriqui and Christine Lahti and James Brolin and it’s a lot of fun. It was a really ridiculous, silly script. So I’m excited for people to get to see that whenever they do. And of course the DVD for “7 Minutes” is coming out soon.

Film Fad:

Well Jason I have to say that I am a huge fan and I am really excited to be able to speak with you. I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing you in other things man, it was definitely a pleasure.

Jason Ritter:

Thanks a lot man. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today.

 


Overall Jason was a very personable and humble person that is continually on the rise based off of numerous projects he is working on now and in the future. He was a pleasure to speak with and definitely one of the most enjoyable interviews we have done. With his diverse roles in the realm of comedy, drama, action, horror, and more, I’m sure that we will see much more of him in the future.

“7 Minutes” is available now for rental and available for purchase through multiple outlets and VOD services including iTunes

Ryan

Author: Ryan

Ryan has been fascinated with film and pop culture since childhood. Throughout college he "played it safe" taking the more lucrative route of being a computer programmer while squeezing in film related courses where he could...but even during his post college career, he could never escape his true passion. After following one of his favorite blogs for a long time, he approached the site's Editor about writing and they reluctantly gave him a shot. He later became their Senior Writer which led to a variety of other projects, radio show appearances, features, and high profile celebrity interviews. Despite his success with blogging, he still wanted more so in order to expand his creative addiction, he merged his IT skills and blogging know-how to create FilmFad.com which has continued to grow into a creative Mecca of pop-culture fun and integrity.[email protected]   Film Fad

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