‘The Gutter’s Cast Is Having Way Too Much Fun Promoting Their Comedy


The Big Picture

  • Shameik Moore, Susan Sarandon, D’Arcy Carden and Paul Reiser keep making each other laugh while talking about The Gutter.
  • The directors of the project, Yassier and Isaiah Lester, were praised for their energy and partnership, making the filming experience enjoyable for the cast.
  • The Gutter che cast discuss the very funny script, working on set, their favorite scenes, and shared their all-time favorite TV shows.



Director Isaiah and Yassier Lester‘s outrageous comedy, The Gutter, world premiered at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Starring Shameik Moore (Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse), Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise), D’Arcy Carden (Barry), and Paul Reiser (Whiplash), The Gutter is about a frequently fired man named Walt (Moore) who finally finds a job tending bar and de-roaching shoes at his local bowling alley. When the alley is threatened by money problems, Walt teams up with a former pro-bowler and current champion drinker (Carden) to use his incredible bowling skills and in-your-face style on the pro tour. But as his dominant play threatens the records of bowling-legend Linda “The Crusher” Curson (Sarandon), Walt title opportunity might be in jeopardy.


Before the world premiere, Isaiah and Yassier Lester, Moore, Sarandon, Carden and Reiser stopped by the Crumpa studio to talk with our own Steven Weintraub. During the interview, the cast discussed the very funny script, working on set, their favorite scenes, shared their all-time favorite TV shows, and expressed gratitude to the cast and crew for their support during production. D’arcy Carden told us:

“You know it is rare to read a script where you’re laughing out loud throughout it. I was laughing. I was saying « Oh my God. » I would read passages of it, passages like it’s the Bible, in a way it is. I would read parts to my husband out loud. I just loved the script so much that I felt, you know, lucky to even have it sent my way. It’s insane, it’s the craziest script I’ve ever read. I’m scared of it, but it was so, you know, it was.”

While we offer two ways to get the interview, this is one of those that’s better if you watch the video. If you’d like to read conversation it’s below.


The Gutter (2024)

Walt lands work at bowling alley AlleyCatz, he’s pressured to embrace his bowling talent, sparking backlash from detractors seeking to undermine his sudden pro success.

Release Date
March 12, 2024

Director
Isaiah Lester , Yassir Lester

Runtime
89 Minutes

Main Genre
Comedy

Writers
Yassir Lester

Crumpa: I really want to start by saying you guys made me laugh a lot, and thank you, because there’s just not enough comedies in the world. The other thing is, and this will make sense after you’ve seen the movie, thank you for wearing a shirt to the interview. [Directed at Shameik Moore]

SHAMEIK MOORE: Walt Licker, everybody. Walt Licker.

Most people will not have seen the movie yet who are watching this. Who wants to bite the bullet and tell everyone what it’s about?

YASSIR LESTER: It’s a quintessential fish out of water story of a young black dude who takes over the world of bowling. If you know anything about bowling, there’s, now there’s like a black dude bowling. But like, when we made this, there wasn’t. Yeah, there wasn’t. So in the six months of making the movie–


D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah. God damn it. I mean good for him. God damn it.

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah, it’s just, it’s about a young black dude taking over the world of bowling with his amazing coach Skunk [points to D’Arcy Carden] and trying to defeat and tarnish, in her eyes, [points to Susan Sarandon] the legacy of the best bowling champion in the world, Linda Kersen. Dear Paul Reiser here plays Angelo Powers, the Marv Albert of the bowling world. Who, yeah–

ISAIAH LESTER: He’s a biter yeah. Yeah. [laughs]

SUSAN SARANDON: But with his own hair.

YASSIR LESTER: But with his own hair.

PAUL RISER: Does that give you a sense, everybody? Do you get a clear picture of what you’re watching? It’s like Oppenheimer, but with more bowling.

ISAIAH LESTER: Yes.

I actually was thinking the same thing. It’s a very astute statement about the film. I really wanna start with the opening of the movie really made me laugh hard with the way that Walt quits jobs. Talk a little bit about the opening because this is not a spoiler, I think, if it’s in the first five minutes of a movie.


ISAIAH LESTER: We were trying to paint Alleycats as this place that is kind of a safe haven for weirdos. You see Walt at all these seemingly normal jobs. He doesn’t quit, he just gets fired. He is kicked out of what is, you know, the normal working world, and then he finds Alleycats and he almost doesn’t even make it there. No, and then he gets brought into the fold, you know. It becomes this home for him that he feels so deeply attached to that he just has to save it.

For all four of you, what was it about the project specifically that said, « I want to be a part of this »?

D’ARCY CARDEN: For me, it was–

YASSIR LESTER: The paycheck. [D’Arcy Carden snorts]

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, that’s it. That’s the same for all of us. [Yassir Lester laughs] It was because we–

SUSAN SARANDON: Because all of us together make one paycheck. [D’Arcy Carden laughs]

D’ARCY CARDEN: Almost, almost.

YASSIR LESTER: They all needed to have one lunch.


D’ARCY CARDEN: That’s right. You know it is rare to read a script where you’re laughing out loud throughout it. I was Laughing. I was saying « Oh my God. » I would read passages of it, passages like it’s the Bible [Yassir Lester laughs]

ISAIAH LESTER: It is!

D’ARCY CARDEN: In a way it is. I would read parts to my husband out loud. I just loved the script so much that I felt, you know, lucky to even have it sent my way. It’s insane, it’s the craziest script I’ve ever read. I’m scared of it, but it was so, you know, it was.

Well it did come from God.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, that’s right. I’m scared of him.

PAUL RISER: I would actually read it and also call her husband, which, and I didn’t even know the guy.

D’ARCY CARDEN: You just dialed–

PAUL RISER: Let me just bounce off–

D’ARCY CARDEN: And then it felt like, because that happened, it was

PAUL RISER: Felt right.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah.

PAUL RISER: [Looking at Susan Sarandon] But you always had a dream to do this type of movie.


SUSAN SARANDON: 50 years in the business. I’ve been looking for a bowling.. I did do a ping pong, I did do baseball, a couple of baseballs, but I had never found that one bowling movie.

You did a baseball movie? I’m joking.

SUSAN SARANDON: Yeah, I did a couple. I did a ping pong movie. So for me, this was very important, part of my legacy. And yeah, Shameik.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Ditto, yeah.

PAUL RISER: 50 years in the business?

D’ARCY CARDEN: 50 years in the business.

SHAMEIK MOORE: 50 years, 50 years. No, I am… the question one more time was how amazing was this experience? It was fun–

SUSAN SARANDON: Why did you want to do it?

What was it about the script?

SHAMEIK MOORE: I thought it was fun.

D’ARCY CARDEN. It was an amazing experience. [Yassir Lester and Isaiah Lester laugh] How amazing was this experience? Yes or no.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Yes, three times.

One of the many things I liked is how there’s just like a random throwaway lines that come out of left field. I’m gonna quote one and let me know if that’s okay, but it’s « Just like racism in America, this is over. »


SAIAH LESTER: I did write that joke, yeah. [Yassir Lester and Isaiah Lester laugh]

But there’s a lot of those in the movie that I’m just like, « Wait what? »

SUSAN SARANDON: That’s why you have to see it more than once because it’s funny; but then you’re laughing so hard that you miss the next few really subtle things because we played it seriously since it meant so much to us.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Right. [Cast laughs]

PAUL RISER: But truly, part of what makes this particular type of comedy work so well is that nobody is going for the laughs. They’re saying these are just all really flawed characters saying stuff that, my character would just say stuff that’s tremendously wrong and just does not realize in any way that it’s wrong. You hear these things, and I remember reading it going, what did they just write? Oh my god, and it’s so funny. You do have to see it twice.


I don’t know how much is scripted, but when you’re doing some of that announcing, how much is that you? I’m always curious about this with comedians, how much is it like the night before you’re going to film something, you see what’s on the page, and you’re thinking about alts before you get there the next day? How much is in the actual moment you’re saying these things, and then you’re like, « Oh, I have another version »?

PAUL RISER: You’re giving me way too much credit. [Points to Yassir Lester and Isaiah Lester] These guys wrote really funny shit, and I would say it, and that was my process. [Cast laughs]

Got it. [Cast laughs] There we go.

PAUL RISER: There was not a lot of improvising, I remember. As I said, the script was really funny, and it was funny because, in my case, Angelo does not know that there’s anything wrong with what he’s saying or anything funny about it. That, to me, is what was funny about it. The more straight I could play it and stick to what they wrote, the funnier it was. I, like America, have not seen the movie. As we sit here today, I have not seen it.


I don’t actually know when the premiere–

D’ARCY CARDEN: Tomorrow morning.

Oh, there we go.

PAUL RISER: Am I in it?

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, you’re in it.

PAUL RISER: Okay. Whew. This would be awkward.

You have a pretty big part.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I–

Oh, sorry. No, you go.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I felt it was such a… hmm, what’s the word? It starts with a C, we’re coming together. Collaborative! Collaborative, it was such a collaborative set where we would stick to the script, but then you guys would throw out [touches Paul Riser’s shoulder] sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. The suede is so soft, my god.

ISAIAH LESTER: I’ve been wanting to touch it.

D’ARCY CARDEN: You should, take a little feel. [Isaiah touches Paul Riser’s jacket] There you go.

ISAIAH LESTER: It’s expensive.


D’ARCY CARDEN: You know, you guys would throw out alts, and they would crack us up, or we would be like, « Shit, should we really say that? » I mean, a lot of things that you guys would be like, « Just say it, just trust us, » and we’re like, « Okay, we trust you. » Also, I remember Susan, do you remember there was a take where she’s talking to some guys, she’s talking to some guys on the back wall, this is, and you were just like, « Say whatever. » Whatever Susan said made us laugh so hard, fully improvised, not in the script.

YASSIR LESTER: The joke starts with her asking if they’ve seen– [Isaiah Lester holds the mic for Yassir Lester]

ISAIAH LESTER: I got it, bro.

D’ARCY CARDEN: No, I got it, bro. [Yassir Lester makes a gesture like he’s about to swallow the mic] OK, Elvis.


YASSIR LESTER: The joke starts with Susan asking the guys against the wall, have they seen the movie Are We There Yet with Ice Cube? Then she just keeps asking them more questions, and we were just dying. So we just let it go. There’s a scene with Susan and Skunk talking to one another against that same wall that, I will say to, again, so much credit to Isaiah, I think that sometime… This is the markings of a true director versus just an idiot who happens to be there. I would always be like, « Okay, that was a line, great. » And Isaiah’s like, « What? Just let them go. Let them go. You are gonna find something. » Every single time we did that, so much of that stuff made it in the final cut. Truly all credit goes to him, and I’m so glad that we did it that way because–

SUSAN SARANDON: The joy of a film for me is always collaboration. That only happens when you can trust that everybody that you’re working with is stable enough and aware enough and kind of game enough to go with it. Because otherwise, part of your brain is looking out for them which is, you know, doesn’t work as well. It was very clear that everybody could roll with whatever was coming down. So the dance that happened was really fun. But the lines were so funny in themselves that you didn’t have to yuck it up at all. That’s why you have to see it twice, because we’re throwing away a lot of really funny stuff that you’ll notice later. So, yeah.


PAUL RISER: But you know what? Also, it’s so true that the collaboration is always the fun part. Having said that, this was so clearly their baby that if they wrote something really crazy, we’d go, « It’s their career.” [Cast laughs]

D’ARCY CARDEN: It won’t affect us at all.

PAUL RISER: I just work here.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, yeah.

YASSIR LESTER: Well, to that end, sorry, just real quick, sorry. To that end, one of my favorite memories is we’re filming a scene with Susan by the pool, and we’re like, « Hey, you have to say this thing. » And she was like, « What?! » We’re like, « Yeah, you have to say this. » She was like, « Why? » We were like, it’s not even a big joke, but we just were explaining it to her, and she goes, « I literally don’t get that at all, but I’ll say it. » We were like, « Okay. » It is truly one of the funniest lines in the movie now.


PAUL RISER: It’s sort of like putting a party hat on a dog. It’s like, you don’t think it’s funny, but trust us. Everybody’s going to find–

D’ARCY CARDEN: It’s going to work. It’s going to work.

I am fascinated by the editing process because it’s where it all comes together. You have a rough cut. You seem pretty happy with it. Who did you show it to for like honest, brutal feedback? What did they say that made you look at the film in maybe a new way that only helped make the film better?

SUSAN SARANDON: Interesting question.

ISAIAH LESTER: Me and Yassir, we’ve worked in television in some capacity for a very long time. We’ve got a lot of friends who do the same kind of things that we do and know our senses of humor and our sensibilities. We showed it to them. I showed it to my pastor. He said not to even put it out.

YASSIR LESTER: Oh, okay, yeah, yeah. But he’s also a criminal, so yeah

ISAIAH LESTER: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He breaks me off, so I don’t really. [Yassir Lester laughs]


D’ARCY CARDEN: This is the thing, all of us are kind of sitting here going like, « Is that true? I don’t think that’s true. » [Cast laughs]

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah, we do improv that’s just slightly believable. That’s our very funny.

ISAIAH LESTER: But no, I think we just have friends and family, some reps, I guess. Mostly, it’s funny because it’s usually one or the other like when we’re on separate separate stuff we send stuff to each other. We edit like that, but doing it I think it was mostly me and you and a handful of our friends really, our close trusted friends, yeah.

Did you get anything that was useful that you…

YASSIR LESTER: I mean honestly, because we did we did a screening in New York while Isaiah was in New York. We did an early screening there and an early here. One of the dudes in the movie Langston Kerman, who’s a phenomenal actor-comedian-everything. He and our producer Liz [Destro] had the exact same note where they’re like, « We actually think you should start the movie this way. » So we did it, and that’s what is in the final. There was other jokes that people said went too far, and we were just like, « Okay. »


PAUL RISER: So your producer said something that was actually very helpful.

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah yeah

PAUL RISER: See I have not had that experience.

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah yeah yeah. No it is rare. Yeah, the rest is texts she sent me though. It’s just me giving a thumbs down emoji.


The Gutter Cast Share Their Favorite TV Shows

Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser in Mad About You

If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what TV show would it be and why?

D’ARCY CARDEN: Mad About You because of Helen Hunt. [Cast laughs]

PAUL RISER: You know I was in that?

D’ARCY CARDEN: No I have to rewatch. [Laughs]

PAUL RISER: That is awkward.

Great joke.

PAUL RISER: Oh It’s too late, too late. Just stop, just stop. What show would I watch? For the rest of my life, I would watch the original Superman because then I could feel like I was nine, and I just like milk and cookies, and I would just be very happy.


The one with…

PAUL RISER: George Reeves.

Yeah, I was gonna say I couldn’t remember George Reeves’ name. I think that might be a show that switched to color as it went. I could be wrong.

SUSAN SARANDON: I think maybe The Sopranos because of family values. I really celebrated that show, which I actually hadn’t watched until lockdown.

For real?

SUSAN SARANDON: I’d only watched a few because I don’t have a TV, but then I could actually binge it, and I just was very moved by the loyalty in that family.

And then you understood why it won a few awards.

SUSAN SARANDON: Yeah. Yeah, and also I had worked worked with Jimmy Gandolfini right before he passed. I wish I had seen it before I worked with him because I had just watched like the two first episodes, and I don’t know. You know, if you don’t have a TV, then you have to plan to watch things. You can’t just like, « I’m bored. Let me turn it on. Oh, look what’s happening. » You have to actually know it’s Tuesday. « Oh, what’s on today? » I’ve missed a lot of things. Covid was very helpful for me that way. I got to binge all these shows. I’m now more hip on what’s happening.


D’ARCY CARDEN: I feel like you can afford a television.

YASSIR LESTER: Right. And also, that show is 20 years old.

SUSAN SARANDON: I know, but at least I have a cultural reference. [Cast laughs]

ISAIAH LESTER: It’s an excellent show. Yeah. Shemeik?

SHAMEIK MOORE: My answer might be underwhelming, but I like this show called Static Shock growing up. And I feel like I could watch that for a long, long, long, long time.

SUSAN SARANDON: What is it?

SHAMEIK MOORE: Technically well, he’s a superhero. He has dreads. He controls electricity and yeah–

Michael B. Jordan I think was developing it or–

SHAMEIK MOORE: Who? What? What did you say?

Oh, I thought you playing. No, I think they’re developing it as a live-action movie.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Are they? Interesting.

Wait, are you involved in that at all? Or am I being–

SHAMEIK MOORE: Me? What do you mean? [laughs]

I could be wrong about who’s attached to that movie, but I heard they’re developing it.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Planting seeds.


SHAMEIK MOORE: Currently, I play a character with electric superpowers, and so I’m being politically correct. I do know Michael B., and that is a chess-playing guy right there. Static Shock is a dream role, just like Miles Morales is. So we’ll see which one, which side of the fence it plays out with. Yeah, Static Shock is a show I will watch for the rest of my life.

YASSIR LESTER: Wait, what’s yours?

ISAIAH LESTER: What’s mine? Mine’s The Wonder Years. The Wonder Years is the show that made me want to make TV and write and be an expressive. It was like a show that explained how I felt at that age. I would do The Wonder Years‘, for sure.

YASSIR LESTER: How awesome. Yeah. God, one TV show? Fox News coverage of the insurrection. Just watch that for just, you know, just a little loop and be like, « Okay. »

ISAIAH LESTER: They get in every time.


YASSIR LESTER: Yeah, like, « That’s Pelosi’s office. He’s wearing the horns. » No, so weird and stupid. If I had to watch one show forever, it’s like such a weird answer, but it’s really weird talking about it the other day, I think it would be HBO’s Watchmen series. I just like truly thought they did such a good job. Even though you know all the surprises, it’s just so beautifully done.

We were talking about the flashback episode in particular. Yeah, the nostalgia one. You’re just like, « Oh, it was just like a brilliant… »

SHAMEIK MOORE: I take that and I raise you Peaky Blinders.

ISAIAH LESTER: Oh, OK.

YASSIR LESTER: I haven’t seen it. Yeah, I’ve never seen it.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Mic drop.

I’m going to say that Peaky Blinders is very good. Watchmen is a masterpiece. It’s because also Watchmen is only eight or nine episodes. Cord Jefferson, who just did American Fiction, worked on it. Damon Lindelof did it. It doesn’t make sense how amazing that show is. It’s also brought to the light the Tulsa Massacre, which no one was talking about. It was only after Watchmen that all of a sudden, all these people started talking about it. That’s another reason to…


PAUL RISER: How many episodes? Was it just one season?

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah, just one season. It only lived for one year.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Peaky Blinders has three. [Cast laughs]

ISAIAH LESTER: I see your one season.

I think Peaky Blinders might even have six or seven seasons.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Exactly. Tommy! Tom.

YASSIR LESTER: Can I say my backup is?

ISAIAH LESTER: You have one answer. Nope, you can’t say your backup.

YASSIR LESTER: Love is Blind! Everyone should be watching Love is Blind on Netflix.

The Gutter Cast Speak More On Their Favorite Scenes From the Film

D'Arcy Carden as Janet in The Good Place
Image via NBC

Jumping back into why I get to talk to you guys: your movie. You see the schedule, and you know what’s in front of you. For each of you, what day did you have circled in terms of « I cannot wait to film this »? What was circled in terms of, « How the eff are we gonna film this? »


SHAMEIK MOORE: I had the day circled where I was supposed to be making out with two girls at [laughs]

D’ARCY CARDEN: You definitely had that one circled.

That’s a very raw and honest answer.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Yeah, that was a circled day.

D’ARCY CARDEN: That sure was.

Cool.

SUSAN SARANDON: Mic drop. [Cast laughs]

ISAIAH LESTER: Yeah, that’s all you really need to say.

SUSAN SARANDON: I was looking forward to that day, too.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, we all were in a way. Susan and I had a scene, this is such a comedy-comedy, hard comedy. But like you were saying, we play it all grounded, and that was all by design. There’s a scene that Susan and I had. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t. It was more, you know, a little bit more emotional and with plenty of comedy. I was really looking forward to that day, and I worship Susan Sarandon. She’s an amazing actor. I’ve been, you know, we love her, don’t we? She really delivers. Looking into her eyes while acting is something that I’ll never forget. Yeah, yeah, I love her, I love her. [Directed at Susan Sarandon] I can’t stop looking at you. I think you’re the most beautiful person on the planet. Have you guys found that when she talks, you’re just kind of like goo goo gaga? I gotta get out of here.


I don’t know what your husband’s gonna say once he sees this interview.

D’ARCY CARDEN: He knows.

Well, okay, so it’s okay. Yeah, got it.

SHAMEIK MOORE: As long as he knows.

PAUL RISER: What’s the question? I don’t remember.

What day did you have circled in terms of you can’t wait to film something or circled because « How the F are we going to film this »?

PAUL RISER: Well the challenge was there was one day where I was shooting all the pre-recorded, me sitting all my announcement stuff. I remember looking at that… I once did a movie with Peter Falk. I had written all these long scenes for him, and the day before we shot, he goes, « I got a problem. » I said, « What’s that? » He goes, « I can’t learn all these fucking words. » [Cast laughs] I went, « Yeah, this is my day. » This is a lot of words in a row with nobody to cut to.

D’ARCY CARDEN: And he nailed it!

PAUL RISER: Oh, one take.

SHAMEIK MOORE: And he nailed it.


What’s really funny is I could never do what you guys do. I’ve tried learning dialogue, and I get like five words in. I’m like, « That’s it. » I respect and understand Marlon Brando in The Godfather with cue cards, because that would be me, or like an earpiece. Just give me the lines.

PAUL RISER: But you’re very good at what you do.

I’m not learning dialogue. You see what I mean?

YASSIR LESTER: Having a dialogue, which is much different.

Yeah, sort of something.

YASSIR LESTER: You Venmo me $10,000, please.

Can we lower that to five? If we can do that at five, I can agree to it.

D’ARCY CARDEN: And as far as how are we going to shoot this, I will just say there were many jokes in this movie that when I read them, I was like, « Well, surely we won’t actually say this. Surely we’ll cut this before we get to the day. » My friends, we did not.

I’m actually going to say, what is something that you, if you can remember, and I don’t want to spoil anything, but what’s a line that you couldn’t believe you got to say?


YASSIR LESTER: I mean, you can say it, it’s not in there.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I know, I know, I mean, feel free to not put this in. I guess we were talking with Jackée [Harry] and I was comparing Walt’s inability to read.

YASSIR LESTER: No, he said, yeah, he says that, oh no, no, no, sorry, you’re gonna tell the joke. The setup is that he says, if I’m not good at something immediately, I give up. That’s why I can’t read. And then D’Arcy says…

D’ARCY CARDEN: I want you to say it cause you’ll know it exactly. But it was like–

YASSIR LESTER: She says, this is so crazy. She says, she goes, « Never give up. Last time I went to the doctor, he said, no one should have that many abortions. But a little voice in my head said, keep going. Was that little voice one of those unborn children? I don’t know. »

D’ARCY CARDEN: We’ll never know. We don’t know science.

YASSIR LESTER: And that got cut!


D’ARCY CARDEN: But now you may remember that’s not in there–

YASSIR LESTER: That’s crazy–

Was that a producer note, or was that–

ISAIAH LESTER: It was a studio note. [Cast laughs]

D’ARCY CARDEN: But we had fun. It informed the character, and I’m glad we did it.

ISAIAH LESTER: Definitely does that. No matter what got cut, we said it all in the moment. And that’s sometimes.. what we’re going to say, Susan?

SUSAN SARANDON: Is « Relax, he’s just sucking my toes » still in there?

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. In a different way.

I am so curious if you will ever release some of these boundary-pushing clips on like a Blu-ray.

PAUL RISER: Betamax.

YASSIR LESTER: Screw social. A place where real comedy lives [Cast laughs]

SUSAN SARANDON: Could it be a graphic novel? Go backwards?

YASSIR LESTER & D’ARCY CARDEN: Yes!

SUSAN SARANDON: Put the not very graphic he says

ISAIAH LESTER: It could be an NFT thing. [Cast laughs]

YASSIR LESTER: That’s good.


ISAIAH LESTER: Right, I feel like the people who like those jokes also get NFTs.

You’re a 100% right.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I just gonna say there was a lot of trust on this set, and Yassir and Isaiah we believed in them. We trusted them, and we read the script, and we loved it. I know we’re making jokes about it. But when… “Bull lives matter.” I mean there’s so many things in there that where it was kind of like « Are we.. we’re gonna do this? We’re gonna say this? You want us to say this? »

PAUL RISER: The cushion was it’s their career.

You know, there’s a bunch. I was watching the credits, and I always like seeing who people get who people thank. You guys in the credits thanked [Judd] Appatow, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Maya Rudolph. There’s like a lot of names. Were these mentioned just because? Did they help at all or did they because–

D’ARCY CARDEN: They were on set every day.

Right, exactly.


YASSIR LESTER: Well, honestly, there were some that were direct. We lightly know Maya. And so it was.

ISAIAH LESTER: He does. He lightly knows Maya. I don’t lightly know Maya.

YASSIR LESTER: I mean, I worked on a show that she was also on. The bigger point is that so many of those… Judd watched it. Paul Thomas Anderson, truly, I know you’re going to, you’ve seen it, and you’re going to be like, « What are you talking about? » But he influenced so much of this movie. He influenced the way D’Arcy plays her character, the color palette we used with our DP, Veronica. That was an Isaiah thing. Isaiah was like, « This should be brown and orange, just like Boogie Nights. » And it is. The rest of them, again, just comedically, have just informed us our entire lives.

SUSAN SARANDON: I really hope they’ll hire me, then, if they saw all these other legitimate directors. [Cast laughs] Making the big bucks movie. That’s great. Didn’t know that they saw it. Fabulous.


No, I kind of assumed a little bit some of these people are just because they’ve influenced your career or inspired you in your comedy. And it’s sort of like, « Hey, thank you. »

ISAIAH LESTER: Yeah, there’s definitely that.

YASSIR LESTER: Yeah, yeah because they are going to go on IMDB, and see a special thanks. They’re gonna be like « Who? » Yeah, yeah, yeah.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I saw Dune 2 the other day, and Tim Blake Nelson is in the thank you’s.

He got cut out.

D’ARCY CARDEN: He did? I was wondering. OK, you know everything. Crumpa knows everything.

I spoke to Denis [Villeneuve], and he won’t ever release deleted scenes. There were a number of deleted scenes in obviously both Dune and Dune 2, and his character was cut out. Anyway, that’s a whole separate thing. Some directors just don’t like want the deleted seems to be seen.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah. I do love I love looking at thank yous Yeah, we got to get him out there.


In this particular instance, I do want to see the things you cut out. Even if you just want to show it to someone named Steve who works at a site called Crumpa but not online. I will watch.

The Gutter Cast Talk About Their Other Projects

shameik-moore-let-it-snow
Image via Open Road Films

Ok, this is for everyone. Everyone has done other projects besides this one or worked on other things. For all of you guys, if someone has never seen anything you’ve done, with the exception of this film because it’s an easy answer, what would you like them to watch first and why?

SHAMEIK MOORE: Depends on who I mean who I’m talking to. If I’m talking to some kids I might say maybe Dope, you know? Dope would be something. That might be my first, like, safe response.

D’ARCY CARDEN: You’re so good in that.

SHAMEIK MOORE: Thank you.


SUSAN SARANDON: I would say Bull Durham

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, babe.

SUSAN SARANDON: Because that’s kind of accessible, and I think everybody in it is really funny. I think there’s a real love of that sport that comes through because the director. It was the first job that I wasn’t overqualified for, that it actually had a character that I could dig into and find stuff because most of the time I was hired to make a shitty part better. Not you guys, of course. Then I’d guess Dead Man Walking just to balance that. In case you’re too happy, then watch Dead Man Walking. [Cast laughs]

D’ARCY CARDEN: That’s a good day.

SUSAN SARANDON: Or vice versa. If you’re bummed, then you can watch Bull Durham and have more.

D’ARCY CARDEN: I’m skipping you, so you can go last. I would say The Good Place because I feel like I got to do a lot of really fun stuff as Janet. The writers of that show were incredible and really gave us so much to do, and I’m proud of that show, I really love it.


It’s a great show.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Thanks

PAUL RISER: I would say a movie I did that I wrote called The Problem with People, only because if you see that, then I know for sure it gets distributed because it’s not out yet. If you all see it, then somewhere it must have gotten out. It’ll be out.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Plant it. The Problem with People.

You guys have worked on other things, so.

ISAIAH LESTER: Yeah, I would say for me. Man, it’s tough I’ve got two answers. The obvious one is black-ish because people have seen it. Right? I think my answer is Making History.

YASSIR LESTER: That was mine!

ISAIAH LESTER: It was my first writing job ever I was a staff writer. Our cast has talked a lot about trust today, and I’ll say that Julius Sharp, who was the creator and showrunner of that show, as a staff writer trusted me a ton. The amount of responsibility he put on me to help him make his show has put me in this position, and I got to work with Yassir. So I would say Making History.


YASSIR LESTER: Weirdly enough, not only is my answer the same in terms of title, but for that show in particular, I had spoken maybe three lines on this HBO show called Girls like years ago. I wasn’t like an actor in the sense at the time. Our good friend, Adam Pally, was like, « Yassir should audition for this. » He told Julius, and I was like, « I’m not the guy, because first of all, I’m untalented. Number two, like you should get someone established. » I had this audition with Adam and Goldie, or sorry, Julius was there. Jared Hess, who’s a producer on this movie, was also there. That’s how we met. He, again, was just like, « You’re new, this is gonna suck. » He even told me, « You’re gonna lose too much weight. It’s gonna be brutal, but you will have fun. Just listen to me, and I won’t make you look stupid. » Then he hired Isaiah and said pretty much the same thing. He’s shaped us collectively, not only what comedy can be, but also like how to treat people. How to not in the sense of like, you know, screaming or any of that stuff, but he really just showed how you conduct yourself on set in a really amazing way, I think.


D’ARCY CARDEN: A very underrated, ahead of its time show. Great cast, so funny. Where can we watch it?

ISAIAH LESTER: Is it on Hulu?

D’ARCY CARDEN: I don’t know.

ISAIAH LESTER: The residual checks keep getting smaller.

YASSIR LESTER: You can get it on Amazon Prime. Honestly, if you’re watching this, DM me on Instagram. I will buy you the season so you can see it.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, it’s great.

Cast Members Gives a Shout-Out to the Production Team for Their Support in Making the Film

Susan Sarandon as Victoria Kord in DC's Blue Beetle movie
Image via DC Studios

You guys all are here in the limelight. You’re on camera. You get to promote the movie, but there’s tons of people that worked behind the scenes to help make this movie what it is. I like basically shining a light on an unsung hero, someone who helped you. For each of you, who do you want to give a shout out to who helped you on this project that helped make this movie what it is?


ISAIAH LESTER: I would like to shout out our assistant Toby. He’s got a big future, and he works hard. Again, he’s kind. I know there are many, many others, but Toby, he reminds me a lot of how I was when I was his age. Talk about an unsung job. I thought he was great. I’m gonna say Toby.

YASSIR LESTER: Nice. All right. I like that. She’s directly off camera, but I’m gonna go with our producer Liz. Quite literally, the movie would not have happened without her. And I mean that yes, in terms of like talking to studios, and blah, blah, blah. She was able to correct the ship when the ship was becoming too racist or too sexist or whatever direction the ship went. I say that in all respect and love. Truly, we were so blessed to have someone of her caliber on this film. And again, there’s a billion people. Our DP, Veronica is out of this world.

ISAIAH LESTER: Maggie, our production designer…

You gotta save some for the front row.


D’ARCY CARDEN: Also, I love that you think that a year and a half ago, we shot this and we would remember anybody’s names, but thank you so much for thinking we would. Veronica, the DP was so good. I actually just worked with her the other day and it was like–

SUSAN SARANDON: I’m going with Veronica, too.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, yeah, Veronica. I mean, we loved, like–

SUSAN SARANDON: Veronica so hard, that shitty lighting that was in the, we’re for Veronica, totally Veronica.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Just, I know this is an unsung heroes, but you guys [directed at Yassir Lester and Isaiah Lester] really, the leaders that you two were and your partnership and the energy that you guys brought to the set every day. It was such a pleasant experience. It was beyond pleasant. It was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had.

SUSAN SARANDON: Fever dream.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yeah, exactly, exactly. We just had–

Oh, I was gonna say a sexist, racist, fever dream.

D’ARCY CARDEN: No, not for us. It just was–


SUSAN SARANDON: They don’t come along that often.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Yes, that’s right.

SUSAN SARANDON: But we have to really look for them, those things. Yeah, yeah.

PAUL RISER: Who would like to have lunch, anybody?

D’ARCY CARDEN: Oh yeah, it is lunch time, isn’t it?

Oh no, you guys are, oh, I was gonna make a joke.

D’ARCY CARDEN: Do it.

No, we’re all getting food after this. Not together though, because–

PAUL RISER: Having not eaten, I’ve eaten today. I’m like a small puppy. Every four to six hours, otherwise I ruin a carpet.

Yeah, you’re rubbing my face in. It’s outrageous.

YASSIR LESTER: Who’s on your shirt? Is that Nicolas Cage?

Oh God, no. This is a little Chow Yun-fat, a little John Wu.

YASSIR LESTER: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anyway, listen, I really want to say congratulations, and thank you, and [laughs]

PAUL RISER: Don’t hold back.

I’m saying congratulations on your movie. I have a funny feeling you’re gonna have a great premiere. Thank you so much for coming in, and have a great SXSW.


The Gutter doesn’t have a release date.

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