If you're a fan of 'Gossip Girl,' you know Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, the guy-next-door. In smart teen flick 'Easy A,' he's not that far off. He plays nice guy Todd (otherwise known as high-school mascot Woodchuck Todd), who is the failed-first-kiss of Emma Stone's character Olive. While he doesn't get much screen time, Badgley manages to bring a comedic zing to the film that we weren't expecting.
Moviefone caught up with Badgley at the Toronto Film Festival – and all we can say is thank goodness for tinted glass; otherwise we would have had legions of screaming girls on our hands. He spoke about being part of 'Easy A,' what it was like working with Emma Stone, and whether or not the mascot outfit smelled like...well, pee.
If you're a fan of 'Gossip Girl,' you know Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, the guy-next-door. In smart teen flick 'Easy A,' he's not that far off. He plays nice guy Todd (otherwise known as high-school mascot Woodchuck Todd), who is the failed-first-kiss of Emma Stone's character, Olive. While he doesn't get much screen time, Badgley manages to bring a comedic zing to the film that we weren't expecting.
Moviefone caught up with Badgley at the Toronto Film Festival -- and all we can say is thank goodness for tinted glass; otherwise we would have had legions of screaming girls on our hands. He spoke about being part of 'Easy A,' what it was like working with Emma Stone, and whether or not the mascot outfit smelled like...well, pee.
This was different than your average "teen" film. It seemed smarter.
Thanks, man. Not that I don't have faith in my own projects, but I'm still shocked at how broad the audience seems to be, or at least the kinds of people giving it a great response. I'm pleasantly surprised.
How was it on set?
It was a blast for me. I think I only did about eight days, and I was flying back and forth for 'Gossip Girl.' But for me, it was a nice departure from what I've normally done. It was off-beat, a little strange ... especially with the mascot stuff.
What was it like wearing that costume?
There were points where it was kind of awful.
Did it smell like pee? I hope not. You know how those things smell.
[Laughs] I think that's only after a lot of use. Thankfully, mine was clean. It probably didn't smell very good after I wore it, though, since I was wearing full body paint underneath the costume. I shot the mascot stuff all in one day, so the paint was dripping. Man, it was a mess.
You didn't do your own stunts, did you?
I wanted to, but of course couldn't. One thing that I wanted to do was the belly flop from the trampoline. It doesn't sound that bad, but the stunt double broke two ribs doing it. Well, he broke one rib, didn't say anything, and then did it again in another take, where he broke another rib. They really give their bodies to it. It's a matter of pride for them. It's crazy.
Were there any pranks or anything on set? It seems like a cast of funny people.
I bet you there were between Emma [Stone] and Will [Gluck, the director]. But, as I said, I wasn't on set for very long, so I don't know.
Emma Stone is hilarious in this movie. What was it like working with her?
Emma is great. She's super-talented. I hope she gets all the attention she deserves from this film. I hope she goes to the top. She's able to deadpan.
And Amanda Bynes playing the far-right religious wingnut -- that was great.
Seeing her play that role, since she normally plays the "straight" girl, was fantastic to see. I know for her it was lot of fun. She basically got to play a total bitch!
Who is your favorite character in the movie, besides yourself?
Hmm ... every single one of my mascots. [Laughs] I would say Stanley Tucci's and Patricia Clarkson's characters. Olive's parents together are so good. To me, they just elevate the movie to a whole other level. They are astounding.
What was your high school experience like? You were acting from a young age.
I was. I tried to avoid having set tutors ... rather than having to do the requisite three hours a day on set, I took the general proficiency and then took college courses at Santa Monica. So I guess I never really had a high school experience. I went for about a month, and on the first day one of my friends got punched in the eye. It was Southern California Public High School. Needless to say, I wasn't there for long.
Teenagers in the audience were cracking up at this movie.
That's good. I'm glad. I feel a bit awkward about 'Gossip Girl' sometimes, though, when young teens come up to me to talk about the show. Sometimes I just want to ask them, "Why are you watching?" I feel that maybe they're too young. I mean, don't get me wrong, I appreciate that they spend their time watching what we do, but I feel in some cases it may be too much for them.
Maybe they don't get 100 percent of it.
Oh, I think they get it, man. That's the bad part. I don't think anything is going over their heads.
Any 'Gossip Girl' tidbits for the fans?
I really can't. There's a baby. That's all I can say. Someone has a brush with death and we're in Paris. That's it.
What's next for you after this film is released?
I have another movie that'll hopefully come out next year. It's the most adult thing I've done. I'm by far the youngest person in it. It's about the financial collapse, called 'Margin Call.' It's got an amazing cast – Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Demi Moore. I'm very glad to be a part of it.
'Easy A' opens on Sept. 17.