Video of the entire FirstGlance Philly Film Fest cast panel (including EBR) for We Need to Talk, which was screened on Nov. 14 - I only transcribed comments by or about EBR and/or her character, Amber...
FirstGlance Film Fest- We Need To Talk Panel
FirstGlance Film Festivals Nov. 26, 2020
-- Director/writer Todd Wolfe said that Tray Chaney was the only cast member who didn't audition, which means that EBR had to audition for this movie. Wolfe later praised the cast for owning their characters in their audition tapes.
-- EBR: "Yeah, well, it's a double piggy back off, uh, Christel and Johnathan there - I don't know if you still call it piggybacking after that - but we had a blast. Like the few days that I had showed up in Philly to walk on set and pretty much light scenes on fire, which is what Amber does, um, was probably slowly the most fun experience I've had on a film set, and that's all thanks to Todd and the environment he created. And - and the people you put together in this, Todd, like you or, I don't know, you played Tetris with us in the sense that none of us had met each other and it was just like, 'whoah,' like, we just had a blast. Um, and I love a loose cannon character. I love a loose cannon and Amber is a hundred percent that. I do believe she's solely based off of someone Todd may have known in the past, but I wouldn't want to give too much away out of his, you know, personal life. Um, and - but she was a hoot and a holler. And Todd was just like, 'go with it, do whatever you want,' and, you know, so - I didn't create Arson, unfortunately, but it was, you know, in the writing."
(* I'm pretty sure that she said "arson," but I have no idea what she meant. My wild guess is that it's the name of a video game? Maybe someone who saw this movie can clarify.)
-- EBR: "I mean, it sounds like between James and Todd doing that week of shooting alone that you've been preparing for a quarantine movie since a few years ago. That's what I'm hearing."
-- Todd Wolfe said that he wrote this movie while he was in an improv group and that all of the characters' names are from improv groups that he's worked with. Wolfe: "Amber is actually Bombshell from my improv group... Yeah, Amber is from my improv group. She actually used to wear a glove to smoke cigarettes. ... So I wrote it during improv, thinking I would just shoot it with them on a whim. Um, so, with that being said, I definitely encouraged, like, extra improv, anything you want to say, just kind of throw it in there, and everybody - I mean, there - I could - I could go through every scene and there are lines that everybody plus, by just saying some extra stuff... whether it was Christel like flipping him off first thing in the morning and I was like, 'I love that,' or, you know, 'both your stupid faces' from Emily, or Johnathan saying like, 'it doesn't - it doesn't smell like sex' when he walked into the room. ... I mean, James was always adding stupid stuff. ... It made everything better. .... Everybody here elevated this to a - to a degree that I couldn't have hoped for."
-- Tray Chaney: "I wanted to say something to Emily. Emily, as soon as you stepped foot on screen, you lit the whole film up. I love it. And it was - you remind me so much of my sister Candace. I cannot wait till she sees it, because, um, she's always joking with me, she's always - I remember when me and Aisha, my wife, when we were getting ready to get married, she joked and cracked jokes all day to my wife about how terrible I was, she shouldn't be with me, I mean, but your character really, like I said, it really - I was - I loved it. You know what I'm saying? I really loved it. Um, like I said, it goes back to that scene with Christel and James - that was a real powerful scene for me because I really seen myself in that. I told - I told Todd, you know, I'm a man, but I got a little emotional, you know, men get emotional. Like, I got a little emotional in that scene because it reminded me a lot of some of the things that I've been through in the past."
-- After Johnathan Fernandez suggested that the sequel be named We Still Need to Talk, EBR: "Or how about We Talked, Now What? ... I still think We Need to Talk is still better than We Need to Text."
-- On whether he would consider making a sequel, Todd Wolfe: "Uh, I don't know if there's much else to be said, to be honest. ... I love the characters, though. I will say that I - after, you know, after all the - the - the work and effort and sweat equity that I put into this, like, I love these characters. I love what everybody put into them. And every time they pop up on screen, I'm just - I'm so - I'm so happy and - and what I like to write - I would love to probably write more for them, especially Amber, because - and I think in my initial - when I was writing, Amber showed up at the house and then just was gone. Never came back. And I was like, I miss - I miss her so much that I was like, I've got to put her back in at a certain point and - and then that's how that kind of came back. But I - I love all the characters, but I don't know if they have - I - I tried to give each one kind of a character arc, slight, so you kind of knew where they were, what they went on to do, where they were kind of going. Um, so hopefully they can all rest easy and I don't have to, uh, keep, uh, keep telling their stories."
-- On whether she participates in social media and how much she relates to that social media culture, EBR: "Well, I mean, Amber and I are obviously very much alike. Um, I think that's clear and clearly, um, I've now gone to therapy, so I feel like this movie really helped me. Um, but, I don't know, I - I shy away from social media quite a bit. Um, I take long breaks from it at all costs. But it is a tool for - for business as well. And, um, I think we, as people, crave authenticity before pretty much anything else and that can get confusing with everything that's out there. But it's a - it's very easy to stay connected. You know, we have friends all across the world now and - and stories that can be heard from different people. ... It's such a blessing to have that. And seeing how we can balance that is really the true trick of our time, because we've never had that before. We've never been people who've had this before. And there's no right way to go about it. It's just seeing what works for you. ... If there's one thing that social media's shown us is that there's so many different things you can now do in the world. You know, like, I think James is right, if things are not - if it's not serving you in a certain way, you might even be able to find something you would have never even thought of before, from just the way people share their stories on there. And just, you know, give it a try... You know, give anything a try 10 times at least."
-- In the context of a discussion about online comments by (anonymous) video gamers and online bullying, Todd Wolfe: "Well, that was always a balancing act in the edit, to make sure that it all looked like they were in on the joke. And then, you know, everybody could laugh at the situation, but not necessarily laugh at an individual, specifically... You know, Kyle - Kyle is definitely the fire starter. It was always Emily and Kyle. If I needed to push Scott into an uncomfortable place, it was always Amber or, uh, Kyle, just to kind of light that fire and - and get things out of control. But it was finding that balance to like at least let the audience know like, you know, when people would talk smack back and forth, that they'd laugh at it, that they - you know, they understood that, I think, this is just my boys and we're having fun, that I'm not like, you know, they're not damaging my psyche by telling me I have a small - having small genitalia." (He's talking about drawing a fine line between smack talk among friends and bullying.)
-- On what is the worst thing a person can say to you after saying, "we need to talk," EBR: "I'm on the same page as James, like, 'We need to talk. This child is actually yours.' Or, 'We need to talk. Go take a look at your toilet.' Or, you know, 'We need to talk. This is all just a simulation and you're in a padded room somewhere.'"
-- On where people can see this movie after the film festival, Todd Wolfe: "You should be able to see it at a, uh, streaming service near you."
-- James Maslow said that his band, Big Time Rush (or BTR), has been "writing some stuff, but nothing official at this point," and that they can't tour or play music "until it's safe” and just have to “wait it out.”
EBR: “James, if you could write me a song? Pretty soon would be nice.” Maslow: “Yeah. It would be something about, you know, fuego or burning the house down.” EBR: “Oh, my gosh, I can’t – don’t tell me. I don’t want any surprises -.” Maslow: “It’s going to be great. You’re going to love it. You’re going to love it.” EBR: “I am. Oh, my God! Make it about – make it about us.”
-- On anything upcoming for her, EBR: "I'm just hiding out in Canada for the meantime, just waiting out quarantine."