Nick Jonas & Ben Schnetzer - Examining Fraternity Culture in "Goat"

September 19, 2016 - Nick Jonas & Ben Schnetzer 09/19/2016 Views: 8,727

Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer discuss their challenging roles in "Goat," a film that dramatizes the effects of hazing in college fraternities. (7:16)

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Please welcomeBen Schnetzer and Nick Jonas!

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

(whistling, whooping)

Welcome, welcome,welcome to the show, gentlemen.

-Thanks very much.-Thanks for having us.

Can I jump straight inand say...

-amazing film.-Thank you.

-Thank you so much. -Genuinely,genuinely amazing film.

I mean, you came fromsuch different walks of life.

-Mmm. -Uh, you know,on your side, Ben,

-you studied drama in the U.K.-Mmm.

Uh, Nick, we've seen you come upthrough the Disney world.

You know, both very differentbut grueling experiences.

-(laughter)-Uh...

-It's true. -When you...when you come together

to make this movie,like, what do you...

what are all the thoughtprocesses you're going through?

-Because Goat is about hazing.-Mmm.

It's all about brotherly love.

You guys seemed like brothersin the movie.

I appreciate you saying that.Yeah, I think, um,

you know, that wasat the crux of the film,

-at the crux of the story,it's about... -Yeah.

literal fraternity, um,

and-and the relationshipbetween these two brothers

and how it's testedthrough, uh, the trials

that the film kind of,you know, take... displays.

-Um... -Like the toll that it..the toll that it has

on the two brothers...I don't want to give

much of the plot away, but-butyou ta... you play brothers,

and, um... and, Nick,you're an older brother

who's-who's in college.It's funny, it sounds similar

to your story now--your-your youngest brother

-is in college now.-My youngest brother's

-just started collegeabout two weeks ago. -Yeah.

And I told him, I was like,"Listen, um, you know,

before you even thinkabout joining a fraternity

you should watch this movie."And, uh, that's what I think

we both hope comes from this,is that it becomes a tool

for people to just saythis is the worst-case scenario,

uh, of, you know,hazing culture as-as a whole.

Because, you know,fraternities, uh, there probably

are a lot of great thingsabout it. Uh, you know,

we were both theater nerds,so we didn't... we didn't

-really have the traditionalcollege experience. -Yeah.

Uh, but if we had, I think itwould have been nice to be able

to watch this movie and say,"All right, well,

-I know what to avoid."You know? -Mmm.

Uh, there are people out therewho go, "Yeah, but, guys,

-"calm down-- boys will be boys,men will be men. -Uh-huh.

"It's just a fraternity, man--so what? You run around naked,

"you grab your dicks, you doa little thing. That's what

-"a fraternity's all about.-It's like drama school, yeah.

You're trying to take,uh, the fun out of school?"

That's the...Is-is that the idea?

Is that whatyou're trying to do?

-Uh... -Well, you know,the film-- it-it's not

-an indictment of fraternities,by any means. -Yeah.

It's-it's, uh, a dramatizationof a true story,

of a guy's memoir, and, um...

Brad Land's memoirand his experience.

Um... and so it's interesting--we were chatting earlier

about how it's-it's kind ofthe only film we can think of

-about fraternitiesthat's not a comedy. -Yeah.

Um, and I thinkthere's a lot of comedic value

in that environment,

but, um, I think whenever you...

-play with power dynamics,um, and young men -Yeah.

and add a lot of boozeand take away consequences,

you can tread dangerous waters.

We-we actually have a clipfrom the film here.

Um, this is a reallypowerful clip where, uh,

I guess you see a glimpseof what you're talking about.

Let's check it out.

(birds chirping)

Let me ask you a question.What the ... happened in there?

I don't ... know, dude.

Okay, well,Dixon's looking for a reason

to kick your ... today, okay?He says I cheated for you.

-What?-That cannot happen.

Dude, I didn't ... askfor your help in there.

I didn't ask for your help.

Look, I went through thismyself, all right?

They just ... do thisto weed out the weak ones.

Show 'em you mean business.Show 'em you want to be here.

-Okay.-You got to be tougher.

You can do this, dude.

I know. I-I...

I will be.

-That's a powerful scene.Powerful scene. -Yeah.

You guys, um, really laid outa story where...

Like you say,it's an actual fraternity.

Two brothers.

-And you have brothersin the fraternity. -Yeah.

You see your brother nowfacing what you...

I guess some peoplewould consider torture.

How do you...how do you get into that?

For me, like,watching the two of yours...

Like, did you guys spend a lotof time getting into that?

Did you... did you knoweach other beforehand?

We had very limited timeto get to know each other,

and we had to build, you know,a whole lifetime

of-of relationship, you know,and-and brotherhood,

uh, within a couple days.And also, uh, you know,

it's a small budget movie

and-and a small windowof time to shoot it,

-so we were really kind of underthe gun, in that sense. -Yeah.

And I think the priorityfor-for both of us

was just to makethe best movie possible.

And that meant kind of puttingour pride aside,

putting ego aside, andjust getting in, doing the work,

and, uh, supporting each other,you know.

'Cause a lot of this,for him, at least,

was, uh, pretty treacherous.

Uh, the hazing sceneskind of played out in real time.

We had the freedomfrom the director, Andrew Neel,

-who's amazing,just to do it for real. -Yeah.

Uh, so as oneof the people hazing,

uh, it was really intense.

But I can only imagine,um, if you...

if you see the movie,you'll see they go through it,

uh, in a pretty intense way.And, uh, it was a journey.

-SCHNETZER: Yeah.-Now let me ask you this.

Coming into the story--a story about men,

a story about masculinity--you know, uh,

you see different imagesof men online.

-Mm. -You're bothin the entertainment industry.

Nick, on your side,I mean, you see images

of Nick Jonas toplessand, you know, it's like,

"Oh, his masculinity,muscles, and..."

-(laughter) -What do you mean?You act like...

-You haven't seen thosepictures? -I've never seen 'em.

-Where are these pictures?-Why? You took them.

-They were selfies.What do you mean? -(laughter)

How do you not knowabout the pictures?

-I don't know. I'm tagged.-But I mean...

But I mean, you... No. You seethese pictures, and I go...

In the story, I wonderedfrom the two of you,

what is the definitionof your masculinity? You know?

-As you say, you camefrom a drama culture. -Mm.

And there's always that, like,bullying of drama

and that whole idea in school.

But what is your definitionof masculinity

when you lookthrough the process of the film?

Well, I think,you know, for me,

that was the most interestingthing about this script

when I first read it,was this idea that, um,

you know, there's reallyan inability

to show any intimacywith-with other men.

-Yeah. -Uh, without being judgedin some sense.

And, um, you know, that itactually comes out in violence.

-Hmm. -Their carefor each other comes out

-in saying, "Oh, (bleep).-SCHNETZER: Yeah.

"Love you brother,"and all that.

And there's no...there's no care in it.

Um, you know, so I thinkusing that

as a way to tell the storyand say,

all right, these arethese amazing young men

who have the opportunityto actually do great things...

-NOAH: Yeah.-SCHNETZER: Right.

...but are so limitedby their inability

to just get realand get vulnerable, and, um...

It's, you know, kind of intense.

SCHNETZER:That's a great point.

Like, I mean,I have friends who are guys

who cannot give you a complimentwithout also insulting you.

NOAH:It's got to be backhanded.

-It's got to be backhanded.-NOAH: Yeah.

There's got to be... Uh, yeah.

Um, but I think, you know,as far as Brad,

the character, um, who I play,his journey,

you know, I think a...

He's turning...He's looking outside

for validation from others.

And I think towardthe end of the film,

he starts to realizethat the validation

that you really needis from yourself.

Um, and I think as far as beingcomfortable with intimacy,

a lot of that comes from...from your own maturity.

NOAH:I will tell you this.

-I, uh... I didn't expect itwhen I watched the film. -Mm.

You know, you don't knowwhat to expect.

And it's a beautiful moviein that it takes you

through so manydifferent emotions.

But you both dida fantastic job,

and I think you're gonna geta conversation started.

-Thanks so much. -Socongratulations to both of them.

Really wonderful.

Uh, Go is in theatresand On Demand

Friday, September 23.

I genuinely recommendyou watch it.

Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas,everyone.