Travis Bennett & Sam Jay Talk You People, Dave Season 3 and SNL Skits
Jan 26, 2023
In Kenya Barris’ upcoming Netflix film, You People, co-writer and star Jonah Hill plays Ezra Cohen, a successful businessman in search of love. It’s when he climbs into the wrong car, mistaking it for his Uber, that Ezra meets Amira (Lauren London). Despite their alarming first encounter, the two begin dating and eventually fall in love, and Ezra’s next move is to propose.
Hoping to make Amira his wife, the couple reaches that point in their relationship when it’s no longer just the two of them. It’s time to meet the parents. In this case, Amira is introducing her white, Jewish fiancé to her Black, Muslim parents, played by Academy Award-nominee Eddie Murphy and Nia Long. Aside from Murphy’s Akbar being hesitant about Ezra marrying his daughter, cultural and generational differences threaten their bond when tensions rise between Amira’s parents Ezra’s, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. You People also stars Sam Jay as Ezra’s friend Mo, and Travis Bennett (Dave) as Amira’s brother Omar.
Before You People premieres on January 27, Collider’s Steve Weintraub sat down with Jay and Bennett to talk about the movie. During their interview, both actors discussed the opportunity of working alongside co-stars Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill, and what it was like to build a rapport with them. Jay also shares about their time working as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and Bennett teases the upcoming third season of Dave on Hulu. You can watch the interview in the video above, and read the full transcript below.
Image via Netflix
COLLIDER: I think my most important question is up first. How much does it actually cost to be in a movie with Eddie Murphy? What did you pay Netflix to say, “Let me work with Eddie.”?
SAM JAY: I promised them my firstborn child.
TRAVIS BENNETT: That was it?
JAY: Yeah, that’s all.
BENNETT: Got it. I promised them three kids, so we’ll see how that pans out. We’re just, we’re operating.
Being serious, I love Eddie, and I know you both love Eddie. And I also love Jonah [Hill]. And I’m curious, what is it like getting to work with them in a movie like this? Because Eddie is the fucking GOAT.
BENNETT: He is the fucking GOAT. It’s nerve-wracking for me specifically, because everybody on that set is so experienced, and I am the youngest and the least experienced. So I was sitting there just being, “I hope they don’t find out today is the day that I just didn’t learn how to act.” So I’m just always trying not to make mistakes.
JAY: Working across from Jonah – that’s who I was working with most of the movie – [was] overwhelming because I’m a big, big, big, big Jonah Hill fan. But it became cool because we just started to build a rapport. But initially, I was just like, “I can’t believe this is happening.” And I was walking in every day, basically what Travis is saying, just hoping I didn’t mess up. We would do cuts, and I’d be like, “Did I do enough?” And he’d be like, “You’re fine.” I’m like, “Okay.”
Well, I want to be specific. I’ve seen Jonah work on set, and he is amazing at improvising, and he is just so in the moment. You have key scenes where you’re talking in front of a mic, talking podcast, and you are talking about real issues. I’m curious, how much are you diverting from what Jonah originally wrote, and finding things in the moment, and what is that like trying to keep up with him?
JAY: It was tough. This is my first movie, and I’m playing across from Jonah Hill. And he is, he’s sharp. He’s very sharp. So the first couple of days I would go home like, “Sam, you got to step it up.” But I feel like I got there, and we ended up finding a really good rapport with one another.
Image via Netflix
I definitely want to know, for both of you, what was it like watching the film for the first time? Because there are so many cringe moments I watched, and I’m like, “Oh my God, please stop talking,” with certain characters and what they’re saying, and I’m curious what it was like for both of you.
BENNETT: I hate watching myself.
JAY: That’s what I was about to say. I don’t like watching myself.
BENNETT: As soon as I come on the screen, no matter what’s going on, I burst into a sweat, and I just sit there and melt into a chair. And then, at the end of the movie, I’m acting like everything was fine. And I’m like, “Oh, I love everything I did in that.” No matter what.
JAY: Yeah, I do not like watching myself at all. As soon as I start talking I’m like, “Shut up. What are you saying?” So I don’t even know if I have a real perspective because once I’m looking at myself, my brain is just melted.
If I’m not mistaken, you worked on [Saturday Night Live] for a while. What was the sketch that you got on the air that you were surprised you were able to get on air?
JAY: Honestly, anytime I got a sketch on, I was surprised, to be quite honest. Because it’s just such a tough job and it’s so hard to get anything on. But I don’t really have a specific one. The one we did with Eddie, the Velvet Jones one, I was like, “I don’t know if they’re going to let Velvet Jones come back.” Because nowadays, he’s a controversial character, so that was surprising, but dope.
I definitely have an individual question for you. I am a big fan of Dave.
BENNETT: Thank you.
What you can tease for a certain upcoming season that may have just finished filming?
BENNETT: April 5th it comes out. I’m not allowed to say the guests that aren’t announced. So, I’m just excited for everybody to see it. This is the most fun season to film. I had a great time.
Well, the thing about the show is, it feels like it’s been getting bigger as it’s been going on. I would imagine it was easier to get guest stars and people to appear this season now that people know it.
BENNETT: Yeah, for sure. For sure, a hundred percent. I had my first adult white woman fan out yesterday at a Bottega store. That was insane.
JAY: That’s cool.
BENNETT: She was probably mid-60s, and she turned a corner. She said, “Oh, shit.” And I was like, “Oh no, I’m going to jail.” And she was like, “I’m such a fan of the show.” I was like, “Oh, okay. Thank you. Please say that louder so nobody else is…” But, yeah, that show’s grown so much, and it’s done so much for me, so I’m so thankful for it. But I enjoyed filming this season the most.
Image via FXX
A question for both of you. I love learning about the behind-the-scenes with the making of shows, TV, everything. For You People, what do you think soon-to-be fans of the show will be surprised to learn about the making of the movie?
BENNETT: A lot of the time we weren’t making anything. We were just sitting around. All the scenes we shot, I feel like, we shot twice, and it was like, “Alright, we’re done.”
JAY: I think people might be surprised to find out how much we were all hanging. I think sometimes people think, “Yo, they shoot a movie and they just all go to their trailers and sit there until it’s time.” And I’ve been on sets like that. But this experience was like, we would hang out and talk, and forget that we were doing the movie.
BENNETT: Yeah, we forgot we were doing a movie. Hang out, and then we were like, “Oh yeah, film? All right, cool.”
JAY: And it’d be like, “Oh, yeah, we got to go shoot,” because we’ve been talking and kicking it so long.
You People premieres exclusively on Netflix beginning January 27. Check out our interview with Nia Long below:
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