If NMR told you that we got to talk to Patrick Renna of “The Sandlot” and “Big Green” (amongst a myriad of other projects) fame, you’d be envious as all get-out, right? Well, start turning green, people, because we got to chat up the icon of our collective childhoods (even if you were in your 50’s when “The Sandlot” came out, it was a part of your childhood). Renna has come to the digital sandbox that is Kickstarter to raise moola for a passion project of his: “Bad Roomies.” Teaming up with the Reckless Tortuga crew, Renna and YouTube’s hilarious (and possibly largest) comedy troupe are setting out to put the crazy/funny/raunchy back in … well, crazy/funny/raunchy.
“Bad Roomies” which pits two buddies in a bitter and comical grudge match over a girl, is the first feature-length directorial effort from Jason Schnell (his interview can be found here) and the latest in a long line of films Renna has attached himself to. I have such a boner for this guy’s canon of work, he should get a restraining order against me. Seriously though, I can make that joke (and I swear it is a joke, NSA) because Renna, in addition to being an icon of our generation, is also a hell of a nice and funny guy.
While he was far too classy and career-savvy to get explicit with details of the doubtless nasty hijinx that went down behind the scenes on some of his films, NMR knows that guy has probably seen — and done — some crazy cool stuff. Be sure to keep Renna churning out the goods — help out with their Kickstarter. Also be sure to check out some of the other projects he’s worked on with Reckless Tortuga.
Lets start this mofo off right: What’s your best, craziest “Sandlot” story?
Patrick Renna: I mean that’s a really tough one. The whole thing was pretty wild. Nine dudes out of town playing baseball for a summer and getting paid for it? WTF?
I think we all got a little wacked out though when Marley Shelton showed up for the first day. Then we all starting being dicks to each other. Shit got crazy then!
Where does “Bad Roomies” come from? Is it a script you guys found? Is it something you developed out of a real situation?
The concept was that Justin Mooney would write, Jason Schnell would direct, Tommy Savas and I would produce and act. We would meet often to come up with a great story that we were all pumped about. When we finally had it, Mooney got to work and wrote what I think is a funny-ass script.
I’m going to be honest — we will cover the shit out of “Bad Roomies,” but we need some golden Patrick Renna/“Sandlot” stories … you were pretty much the most badass kid ever when we were growing up. Did you ever have a chance offscreen with Wendy Pfeffercorn? Did any of us?
Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I am from the East Coast and I like to think that is where any badass-ness started! I did not have a shot with Wendy offscreen. However, there are some deleted Ham/Wendy hookup scenes that didn’t make the final edit. I believe that for the 25th Anniversary they are making the director’s cut. Everyone just felt my chiseled abs were a bit distracting from the whole baseball theme.
Were there any movie roles that you turned down that you now regret not doing?
I didn’t pass on it but I did go out for “Turtle” on “Entourage” and that would have been pretty cool to get. Such a great show.
Did you ever have that moment where you were totally strung out on blow and hitting rock bottom, screaming at everyone, or have you mostly stayed pretty clean?
Funny you should ask something like that ’cause I just saw “Wolf of Wall Street” on Christmas day (which by the way is not a very Christmassy movie). Lots of hookers and blow. I will say that I was definitely not ever close to that level, but at the same time didn’t lead a G-rated late teens/early twenties and got into my fair share of trouble.
How much of a difference is there between the worlds of YouTube and feature films?
There’s definitely a big difference. Both are fun. YouTube is run and gun and you gotta be ready to roll. Not a lot of time and not a lot of takes. With feature films you have a lot more time, lot more rehearsing. We had fun with our web series. It was a loose prequel to the movie so it was nice to dive into some of the characters and concepts we’ll be working with during filming.