ComingSoon caught up with The Umbrella Academy star Emmy Raver-Lampman to discuss XYZ Films’ comedy film Gatlopp, which is out June 23 on digital and on demand. Lampman discussed what drove her to the project, having to do scenes where another character was inhabiting her body, and more.
“A group of old friends reunites for a nostalgic evening of fun and games after a decade apart,” says the synopsis. “After one too many, they decide to play a drinking game, but it’s quickly revealed that this game comes with supernatural stakes. Mischief leads to mayhem, and the group realizes that if they can’t come together to win the game by sunrise, they will be forced to play for eternity – in hell.”
Tyler Treese: This movie’s so fun with the Jumanji-style cursed board. What really stood out for this project and made you want to get involved?
Emmy Raver-Lampman: I think the script is so awesome. I love the relationship between the four friends, and I’m a huge board game fanatic. I wasn’t really allowed to watch a ton of television growing up. So I grew up running around, outside making mud pies, and then also playing a ton of board games. When I was allowed to watch movies, Jumanji was one of my favorites, so I was immediately drawn to this because there’s so much connective tissue for that and my childhood and movies that I love. So, yeah, I think it had all the makings of something wild and wacky and exciting.
You have some really great scenes with Sarunas Jackson here, and there’s a moment where you two switch bodies. What was your approach to that from an acting perspective? Did you try to incorporate some of his mannerisms?
We shot the whole movie in about 12 days, which was crazy, and we shot that specific scene on day four or five. And I didn’t know Sarunas before. So right on day one, I just was like, “Hey, I just want to let you know, if you catch me staring at you randomly throughout the day, it’s just because I’m trying to pick up on your mannerisms and your body language. Just so that when we do get to this scene where we do switch bodies, I can add some of that to the moment to kind of physicalize you,” and he also was doing the same, and we kind of were on that journey together. But yeah, I just tried to get an idea of how he carries himself and how he tends to sit and just his … he’s got incredible charisma and energy. And then I tried to replicate that as much as I could, for sure.
Being such a short shoot, I was really impressed with how much great chemistry you all have since you didn’t have a ton of time to be around each other. Can you just speak to that cast and clicking instantly?
When I was approached by Alberto [Belli, director of Gatlopp] and Jim [Mahoney, writer of Gatlopp and actor for Paul] to do the movie, once I signed on, I knew that they were kind of circling, um, Jon [Bass] for Cliff. Then we had a couple of chemistry reads for the Troy part and the moment that Sarunas came up on the Zoom screen because this was very much in the middle of COVID, the end of the summer of 2020 … I don’t know, he kind of jumped out of the screen and had incredible energy and all of us could kind of feel it. And then when we all got to set, the four of us just clicked immediately. I’ve never laughed so much on a set. To this day, the four of us are still really, really close, and we go get dinner all the time and we have a constant Gatlopp group text chain. We’re all still really close and still hang out and love each other. Going through something like that, when we made this movie in 2020, I think it is a group of people and a memory that I’ll never forget.
The film has some really hilarious sequences, especially the jazzercise scene. How was recording for that?
Oh, it was madness! I think we learned the dance the night before and then had a two-hour rehearsal the day of, while they were setting up the location and the stage, and then we went for it. And I have a dance background coming from theater, but Jim, Sarunas, and Jon do not. So they just hunkered down and learned it as quickly as possible. I’m truly so proud of them, that we were able to pull off that ridiculous moment, and it turned out so well, and it’s so funny, and the costumes are absurd. I got to live my best jazzercise, Whitney Houston dreams.
You’ve been staying busy with voice acting, films, TV, and theater. How important is it for you to have that mixture in your work, and jumping between types?
I think it’s so important. The reason I transitioned from theater into TV and film is because I wanted to grow and learn as an actor. I’m constantly trying to learn new things and stretch myself and challenge myself, and adding voice work and movies. Umbrella Academy, we’re doing stunt work and wired work and working on green screens and then doing a small indie film like Gatlopp where it’s the complete opposite at the end of the scale. And there’s so much to learn from that as well. And voiceover work is just so exciting, and it reminds me so much of theater. So I’m just constantly wanting to learn more and learn more about myself as an artist, but also learn more about different ways that I can be an actor and be a performer and then use my talent and my gift in as many ways as possible.