The star of That ‘70s Show wants to bring back the ‘80s. Topher Grace produced and stars in Take Me Home Tonight, a movie set in 1988 in the style of ‘80s party movies. Grace plays Matt Franklin, a Suncoast Video clerk who pretends to be a Goldman Sachs tycoon to impress a girl (Teresa Palmer). When he came around to do press for the movie, we jumped in with a few ‘80s questions of our own.
CraveOnline: Were there any great ‘80s movies that you couldn’t clear for the background of the Suncoast scene?
Topher Grace: No, we wanted Harry and the Hendersons. We thought that and that’s what’s in there. I wanted Back to the Future because it’s my favorite movie, and then the ‘80s had all these weird characters like E.T., and all these families that get weirdly close, like *batteries not included, ALF, so we thought Harry and the Hendersons would be just hilarious. You wouldn’t make that movie now, but I’d like to announce that Teresa and I are starring in a reboot of Harry and the Hendersons.
CraveOnline: How important is it to have boobies and cocaine in an ‘80s comedy?
Topher Grace: Literally imperative. It’s like air. Oxygen. It was really important to us because we wanted to go for a really hard-R, mostly because that’s what real life feels like. If you’re in your twenties, look, it’s one thing if you’re making Up and you’re experiencing it through that kid’s point of view. That’s the right rating for that movie. But for something like this, if you’re in your twenties in the mid-80s, we can’t do the Prohibition without showing people drinking. It wouldn’t be realistic.
CraveOnline: You couldn’t even have known what was happening with Goldman Sachs when you made the movie.
Topher Grace: Yes, although that joke is much funnier now. But Drexel Burnham is hilarious. I work at Drexel Burnham.
CraveOnline: In the time that it took to get the movie released, did it change at all?
Topher Grace: No, that’s what’s so great about Relativity, and we’re so thankful, is that because it’s an indie film, it’s a hard-R. We were on the cusp about having to change stuff, and I promise you I had the idea for it with my producing partner, everything is in there that we wanted. We had to put stuff back in. Some studios might not be into all that stuff. You can’t pull any punches. I mean, it’s not a documentary, it is fiction, the fact that I get with her [Palmer] is probably the most fictional element. But you do have a responsibility, the way studios probably had a problem with Dazed and Confused when they’re smoking pot, and probably with all the drinking in American Graffiti. There’s a kid who’s probably 18 now today, and he’ll be making a movie about the nineties in ten years, and everyone will be giving him sh*t about ecstasy. It’ll go forward like that forever.
CraveOnline: Can you imagine kids today staying up late at slumber parties watching this movie?
Topher Grace: I hope so, yeah. We all hope it does really well when it comes out, but the real test to a movie like this is will it have staying power of those ‘80s movies? It definitely, I think, has the cross-section. A lot of films are all raunch, and these are good films, but they’re all raunchy and geared towards one audience, or all rom-com, and good, but we want to do one of those movies they had in the eighties, those John Hughes movies, where they had everything.