Tyler James Williams, Gina Mantegna, Dyllan Christopher, and Quinn Shepard terrorize Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama in the holiday flick
What happens when five kids take over an airport - a recipe for hilarity! It's winter time, snow is falling, and families are getting together for the holidays.
But when the airport shuts down, the Unaccompanied Minors wake up; Tyler James Williams, Dyllan Christopher, Gina Mantegna, Quinn Shephard, and Brett Kelly do everything they can to escape the boredom of being alone. Wilmer Valderamma is put in charge of the kids by Lewis Black, the head of the airport; he quickly finds out, that job is not so simple.
Being intimidated was not an option during the movie, but on set, all the kids were a little afraid of Lewis, "He is the scariest man alive," Gina said. "He's terrifying." "But incredibly hilarious," Dyllan jumped in with. "Didn't know someone could be both insanely frightening and insanely funny at the same time but it's possible and he's a riot, he's great."
Quinn told us, "Well when I first met him I had no idea who he was or what character he was playing, because he was there on set but I didn't know who he was, and I remember just thinking that he seemed a little bit scary, just the whole way he talked and everything is like a little bit intimidating."
Tyler, best known for his role as the young Chris Rock on Everybody Hates Chris, was the man of reason. "In order to get a chemistry with the character, and to become more of your character, we had to interact with him, make sure that we were pushing it in the right way, that it wasn't too evil, we didn't want to be evil children. We just wanted to have some fun."
And fun they did have; but pulling practical jokes? "Oh, would we dare; he was the one pulling the jokes on us, Gina said. "Wilmer is our big brother; he's the one behind it all also. He was right there with us."
Yeah, what about Wilmer? Dyllan admits, "He's funny, he's a big kid too; the whole set, everybody was just so nice. We had so many great comedians and just nice people and it made for a really fun experience."
Ok, so the set was a blast, and it took no time for everyone to get along. Especially Quinn and Tyler, who shared their first on-screen kiss. "Yeah. I don't really remember; we were totally into our characters at that point, so we weren't really concentrating on what we were doing so much as being our characters the most," Quinn said.
And Tyler said, "I think it was one of those scenes, it was at the end of our shoot, we were almost done, we had two more weeks to go, and we had progressed as the characters. We were at this time, most of the time, no longer really Tyler or Quinn; most of the time, even when we were outside, we were Donna and Charlie doing this thing. And I think that made it easier, it wasn't one of those things where we had to really concentrate, 'Ok, now when we do this make sure there's nothing really going on there.' It was just we were having fun with it, and that was our job to do there and we did it."
All of the Unaccompanied Minors had their own little niche; Dyllan was the outsider/newcomer, Quinn was the rebel, Tyler was the smart one, and Gina was the popular one. But Gina says, in real life, she's nothing like her character. "I don't really like spas that much, or people getting their make-up done and their hair; it's nice for a little bit but, no. That's one part of Grace that I can't really identify with, but I'm sure it would be nice. I can definitely identify with her sarcasm, her sense of humor, her confidence; I think we all have a little bit of Grace in us, loving to be pampered."
Dyllan got to act out as a rockin' air guitarist, but admits he can't play the real thing. "I play a mean air guitar; that was a blast, a fun scene to film. Again, Paul (Feig), our director is a firm believer in the power of improvisation and so many scenes in there were just thought up on the spot, like we saw the prop, the guitar and Paul was thinking, 'Wouldn't that be awesome if he takes it out and start air-guitaring. I'm sure we could find a song that would go to it.' And I'm like, 'Dude, that would be awesome.'"
Quinn also says she's nothing like the character she plays in the flick. "I think when I was playing the character I was sort of just thinking exactly about where she grew up and what she was like. I was trying to put that in because it's really hard for me to act that way, because I'm totally different than that in real life, and so it was really hard to get the nerve to act that way, but hopefully I got it."
She did however get to drive around set with an airport cart. "Oh, that was very fun. The stunt coordinator gave me driving lessons around the - wherever we were, because we were never in an airport, except for one scene. They'd have me drive around special areas, so I could get used to it."
Tyler got to show off his dancing skills. "There was no real choreography in the original script. The one that I first got said a cross between Napoleon Dynamite and 'Ants in your Pants' - I'm happy that wasn't one of the first things we did. We started off and we kind of led into it, so I could kind of get more of a feel for the character as to what he would do. Coming from these older times, he would do older dance moves, and that's basically what I had to pull from. I've been dancing forever, since I remember that's what I've been doing. I've never done that kind of dance before, I've never really kind of got into it, I was more hip-hop, break, all these other kind of dances, but I think that was kind of cool that I had to take some of those new dances that are out now and kind of mold it into an older form and a goofier form."
All four kids really know how to have a good time. And you'll definitely have a good time at the movies when you go see Unaccompanied Minors; it opens in theaters December 8th, rated PG.