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Interview: ‘Bros’ Filmmaker Nicholas Stoller on Crafting a Great Comedy

For years, Nicholas Stoller has been a voice in comedy that doesn’t quite get the attention that he deserves. Just look at some of the titles he’s written/co-writing, directed, or did double duty on: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Muppets, The Five Year Engagement, Muppets Most Wanted, Neighbors, and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. A veteran of the Judd Apatow world of comedy, Stoller is a consistent presence in some of the most enjoyable, as well as successful, comedies of the last fifteen years. Now, he adds another one to his belt with Bros, which again is Apatow produced, with Stoller directing, as well as co-writing with star Billy Eichner. In the lead-up to the film coming out on Friday, I recently spoke to Stoller about his movies, the newest one included. Today, you get to see our chat.

In my review of Bros back at the Toronto International Film Festival (found here), I had this to say:

Co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller (having written the script with Eichner) knows how to make an Apatow rom-com, and he once again pulls it off with Bros. Running under two hours, the pacing is never an issue, and the jokes almost exclusively land. Eichner and Stoller are also successful in the more serious moments, as issues are brought up that we rarely hear or see depicted on film. There’s a sense that everyone involved is turning the genre on its ear a bit, while also just making a great rom-com.

Below, you can see my conversation with Stoller. We met over Zoom to talk Bros, though I worked in some chatter about both Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Five Year Engagement. I was especially interested in how he figures out exactly what works in a comedy. That leads to discussions of editing, deleted scenes, and more. He’s a super nice guy, in addition to being a talented filmmaker. As mentioned above, I enjoyed this one a lot at TIFF, so it’s well worth checking out when it opens this weekend…

Here now is my interview with Bros co-writer and director Nicholas Stoller. Enjoy:

Bros is in theaters everywhere this weekend!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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