Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Courtney Parchman, Jacob Artist and Johanna Braddy
Getting Together with the cast of The Get Together
By Kayla Marra
We have all seen the classic coming-of-age movie: American Pie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and essentially any of the Brat Pack movies starring Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy.
Director Will Bakke and writer Michael B. Allen wanted to take their own spin on a coming-of-age movie with The Get Together, starring Courtney Parchman, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Jacob Artist, and Johanna Braddy.
The film pinpoints one night in the lives of a group of recent college graduates whose stories intertwine at a college bash in their hometown of Austin, Texas. While the characters collide at the same small house party, their experiences that night could not be more different.
The Get Together is broken down into four parts. One is for August (Courtney Parchman’s character), a recent college graduate struggling to find her footing in the real world. One for Caleb (Alejandro Rose-Garcia’s character), a struggling musician who is seemingly stuck in his hometown as well as stuck on an ex-girlfriend. One for Betsy (Johanna Braddy’s character), a recent college graduate who moved to New York, leaving her hometown, friends, and ex-boyfriend behind. One part for Damien (Jacob Artist’s character). Damien is planning on proposing to his girlfriend, Betsy, but life and other people to continue getting in the way.
We sat down with Alejandro, Courtney, Johanna, and Jacob to discuss their upcoming coming-of-age film, similar post-college experiences, and how they have been dealing with the pandemic.
You are all starring in The Get Together alongside such a talented cast. Could you tell us a bit about the film?
Jacob Artist: This movie is about four people who all intersect on one night at a big get-together party in Austin, Texas. They’re all going through similar emotional experiences but under totally different circumstances. They’re in their twenties and there’s lots of drinking. It’s funny.
Courtney Parchman: The Get Together is a little coming-of-age comedy. It falls on four different people at different points of their life dealing with the bigger growing pains of their life experience so far. It pinpoints those [experiences]. They all intertwine, and it follows different people.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: It’s like a party Pulp Fiction. You see how different people’s paths cross each other. All of our silly decisions have some sort of lasting effects.
To put it simply, this film is very chaotic. Lots of crazy things were happening all at once. How fun was it working together and making this film?
Johanna Braddy: It was so fun. It was just like the best group of people. Everyone was so passionate about the film. We were working all night shoots so you’re a bit loopy and kooky anyway because your whole biological clock is off. It was the best time. It was so much fun.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: It was a lot of fun. It was all night shoots. It happened super-fast. We stayed up late and it was like a lock-in slumber party with no sleeping.
Tell us a bit about each of your characters.
Courtney Parchman: August is a little cutie girl who is really trying to find herself. It’s weird because I think of her as a different person but I’m like, “Oh, it is me!”
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I love that you were so hard on her when you read the script, too.
Courtney Parchman: The first time I read the script I called Chad [Werner], who’s a producer. I was like, “Okay, August is so annoying. She needs to grow up!” Chad was like, “What? Why don’t you like her?” Then I sat down with a coach and went through it and I was like, “Oh, no I hate her because she is me.” I just had related to her so much – like her insecurities – but she’s more vocal about it. It just pinpointed these deep fears I hadn’t worked through yet. Seeing it play out on someone else I was like, “I am not her.” Then I realized I was. Then it was very therapeutic. She’s a twenty-two-year-old figuring herself out and dealing with the anxiety of “everyone hates me.”
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: He’s just trapped in the town that he’s been in. [He] feels like life has moved past him a little bit. That terrifying reality when you realize that your ex that yanks at your heartstrings the most has escaped the town that you were still trapped in, thus leaving you behind. That’s exactly where he is. I think me and August, or Caleb and August, share a lot of fear about being left behind and not being able to keep up.
Can you relate to your characters in any sense?
Johanna Braddy: There have definitely been moments in my life that I had similar questions that Betsy has. She’s from this town. She’s moved to New York. She’s met this amazing guy Damien, and she’s bringing him back for what seems like the first time. I think just reintroducing herself to her old friends starts making her second guess “who I really am.” “Was I more myself when I was here with these friends or am I more myself in New York. Can the two marry together?” So, the whole night is really a journey of self-reflection and trying to figure out who she is and where she wants her life to go.
Jacob Artist: I can relate to him. At the end of the day, he’s just a guy that wants everything to go well. Do the right thing and make everybody happy. I think that transcends, even in his proposal circumstance. I have those qualities in myself, too. I totally, completely relate.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: In all sorts [of ways]. Always looking back through your life. You maybe see the split in the road where it’s like, man, if I had gone this way things would be really different. Even if you’re happy with where you are, I’m sure that there are things you think back on and wonder. So in that sense, yeah. There are choices that I can definitely look back on and be like, man, I stayed right where I was, huh?
How did you each prepare for your role since every character has so much personality and such a back story?
Johanna Braddy: You build that back story on your own. We got to Austin a few days early, so we all got to rehearse with Will [Bakke] a lot, our director. Really go in-depth and question him about our characters’ backstories and what his vision was, what our vision was, and how to get what he was going for.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: We just jumped right in. We put our costumes on and stayed up all night on the first night. We went crazy and let the cameras do the trick.
Have you had any similar experiences in your post-college life or any similar experiences at parties? Hopefully not falling into a pool (like in the movie).
Jacob Artist: Yeah, I think we’ve probably both been to those big house parties where there are tons of people there having a good time. The music is probably too loud, too. Will probably modeled this off of a lot of experiences he had growing up or living in Austin. I feel like you feel Austin in this movie as well. But yeah, I’ve definitely been to one- or two-house parties in my day.
The film is broken down into different parts, one for August, one for Damien, one for Caleb, and one for Betsy. If you could play another role in this movie, who would it be and why? Can you relate to another character more than your own?
Johanna Braddy: That’s a good question.
Jacob Artist: I’d maybe play Lucas, who is played by Chad Werner. He’s so fantastic and so funny. I have a lot of scenes with him in the movie. He’s hilarious. I would probably play Lucas. I think that would be really fun.
Johanna Braddy: I think if I could, I’d play Alejandro’s role. I’d probably play Caleb just because he’s the polar opposite of Betsy; he’s stayed, he’s continued on the same path. So just to play with that completely different perspective would be fun.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I’d play August.
Courtney Parchman: Really? August was so fun to play, and I think at the time of filming it I really hated this girl. Since 2019, I would probably relate more to Betsy now, which is weird when again, I thought Betsy’s character was petty and all that stuff. Now I’m seeing where she’s coming from and I have a lot more love. I’m just a judgmental bitch! (Laughs) I just think I’ve grown up, so now I’m dealing with a different character’s problems and brain stuff, and I feel like it’s kind of interesting.
With all the funny antics in the film, who was the first person on set to crack up when they weren’t supposed to?
Johanna Braddy: I feel like we [Johanna and Jacob] probably laughed the most.
Jacob Artist: I was going to say probably me, that sounds about right.
Johanna Braddy: The first scene we shot together was with Chad. It was in the restaurant with Lucas and he’s just so funny. He’s just so funny it’s hard not to laugh all the time.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: It’s got to be her [Courtney] one hundred percent!
Courtney Parchman: Whether it was because I was laughing or just because it was a nervous laugh, I would probably [laugh the most].
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: We were totally loopy.
What was your favorite coming of age film when you were younger?
Jacob Artist: I can’t think of one from when I was younger, but I saw Ladybird for the first time a few months ago. That was really great, and I love the story. I love Saoirse Ronan, so I’ll say that was pretty fantastic.
Johanna Braddy: For me, maybe The Spectacular Now with Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. I’ll tell you, that was a really good coming-of-age movie that hit home.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: In a different vein, I always loved Stand by Me, which is a little bit more of a classic. It’s not a party movie but it’s still a little gang of friends that set out to go find a dead body like we all do. (Laughs)
Yeah, it’s a universal post-college experience, I guess!
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I grew up with the American Pie movies. They came on the other day and I watched them. They go all the way up like there’s the fourth one that’s American Reunion where they all go back and they’re too old for everything. I saw that with my friends, and we were like, “Are we old?” It had the effect; it had the right effect. Hopefully, this movie will have the same effect on somebody.
Courtney Parchman: I would say mine right now is Booksmart. My favorite movie is The Truman Show, but I think that’s not coming-of-age? It deals with a lot of “what is life’s purpose?” Yeah, it’s kind of coming-of-age.
I assume this project was filmed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. What are some major differences between filming pre-pandemic and mid-pandemic?
Jacob Artist: We actually filmed it pre-pandemic. It was before everything was really bad. We were saying earlier that it’s so weird to see the movie and look back on the experience because it was before this hurricane of the last year with COVID.
That’s awesome you got to wrap the film before the pandemic. Have you picked up any new hobbies or skills during this time?
Jacob Artist: Does yoga count? (Laughs) Some Shavasana!
Johanna Braddy: I started fostering little dogs!
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I play music, so I’ve been able to do that, except not live. I record myself a lot. I’ve branched out and have started to teach myself video editing, which is something that I’ve always loved but just haven’t had the time to do. I’ve been working more in visual mediums which have been really fun.
Courtney Parchman: We got so lucky. Our careers were able to continue at home. I’ve just been making more videos, trying to be funnier, learning how to write, learning my comedic voice. That kind of fun stuff.
Do you think that you learned anything about yourself in making this movie?
Courtney Parchman: I can’t tell you how therapeutic playing some of these scenes have been. Like sitting in the car with Caleb and him talking to her felt like [a conversation with] a big brother. Then the fight scene with McCall [Luxy Banner], it was so many of the things I wanted to get off my chest, but I didn’t have someone to say all those things to. It was truly therapeutic.
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I agree. I still live in the town I grew up in. I escaped and made it back. I’ve had all these feelings where I have definitely done stuff with exes where I blame them for all sorts of dumb things that I’ve done in life. Going through all of that and looking back at it was cathartic, too. That’s one of the most enjoyable things about acting in general. You get opportunities to play weird versions that no matter what you do, you end up drawing from your own experience. Even if you played a squid-alien or something like that, you know deep down “I do feel kind of slimy and I can identify with Syllabtopus,” or whatever its name is.
What are you looking forward to doing most once the pandemic is “over”?
Jacob Artist: I got vaccinated so I’m excited to not have to worry about it. You know what I mean? I’m excited for bars to open back up, and for everything to be back to normal, to be honest.
Johanna Braddy: I’m excited to go to the movies. I haven’t been to the movies yet. I’m vaccinated as well but I just haven’t taken the plunge yet. I’m looking forward to it.
What is one thing you hope people take away from The Get Together?
Johanna Braddy: I’m just hoping that it starts conversations. That people relate to one – if not all – of these characters and reflect on their own lives and where they’re at.
Jacob Artist: I agree with Jo. Just seeing where they are at in their life in each of those characters and being like, “Oh, I remember that moment!” Maybe it felt really awkward at the moment, then when you see it up there, you’re like, “Oh, it probably wasn’t as bad as I thought.”
Alejandro Rose-Garcia: I hope that they’re pleasantly surprised about it having a heart and a message. More than just a flat-out party comedy.
Courtney Parchman: A lot of comfort. I think it taps into every age… not every age, but a lot of the little insecurities you deal with throughout your twenties. I hope that people can just watch it and be like, “Oh yeah, I felt that, too.”
Make sure to check out The Get Together available to stream on May 14th!
Copyright ©2021 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: May 12, 2021.
Photo #1 ©2021 Kayla Marra. All rights reserved.
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