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This Christmas, think twice before you leave your kids to the sitter – Jonah Hill stars in the new outrageous comedy The Sitter, in cinemas December 9. A terrible choice to begin with, Hillâs character Noah stumbles into the job and on to trouble because of a certain lady — his alleged quasi-âgirlfriend,â Marisa, a manipulative, sexually self-involved woman whose request for Noah to score her some coke â with the promise of sex to follow â triggers the Sitterâs night to remember.
We meet Marisa, portrayed by Ari Graynor in the filmâs opening moments, as she reacts to Noahâs oral ministrations. âIt was an, umm, interesting scene to shoot,â says Graynor, noting that Hill lightened things up considerably by singing a well know videogame song as the action unfolded. But when he requests she return the favor, Marisa declines, offering weak excuses.
Marisaâs selfishness is a formidable roadblock to likability but here, too, the filmmakers found a softer side to the character. âMarisa is a tough customer, and a pain in the ass, but sheâs also vulnerable,â notes Graynor. âYou come to understand that her hardened attitude stems from insecurities and a broken heart from a previous relationship.â
But itâs Marisaâs cold, manipulative heart that enables her to ask Noah to embark upon an impossible mission: to secure some cocaine for her â while heâs sitting three obnoxious kids. Noahâs futile task results in him getting chased, punched out, and having his face plastered with a small mountain of the white stuff.
Marisaâs pushers of choice are Karl, an insane but oddly sensitive drug dealer, and his sidekick Julio. Acclaimed actor Sam Rockwell portrays Karl, and JB Smoove, best known for his work as Larry Davidâs pal on Curb Your Enthusiasm, is the fast-talking and profane Julio.
The two antagonists are so extreme, in unexpected ways, that the movieâs director David Gordon Green admits, âIâm not sure we crafted those characters. I think we just let them out of a cage and they exploded, and things got messy and out of control. We thought of Karl as a combination of James Cagney and Andy Warhol.â
Sam Rockwell notes that Karl is âdangerous, scary, and very funny. He sees Noah as more than just a customer; he wants to be pals with him, and being pals comes with trust. When Karl thinks Noah has betrayed that trust, he is very, very disappointed in Noah.âÂ Julio has a somewhat more traditional approach to being a badass. âI love being bad,â says JB Smoove in his signature rapid-fire patter.
âJulio is so bad, he doesnât carry a gun â he doesnât need it! Julio wants to get whatâs owed him, and to get it, pursues Noah across the city.âÂ Karlâs subordinate, Garv (Sean Patrick Doyle), never removes his signature roller-skates, as he wheels his way to greeting visitors to Karlâs lair, and running errands for his boss.
Garvâs loyalty and friendship are treasured by Karl â but that doesnât prevent the drug kingpin from shooting him in the leg when Garv displeases him.
An extraordinarily bizarre character like Karl certainly merits an equally unconventional lair, so The Sitter production designer Richard Wright crafted a surreal scientific laboratory and stronghold, where European techno trance pulsates, and âroided-up bodybuilders pump iron beneath pervasive fluorescent lights.
Bodybuilders? Pumping iron? In a drug lab? âI just knew I wanted bodybuilders throughout this environment,â Green explains of the incongruity. Wright was only too happy to oblige, with his imagination sparked by everything from epic Stanley Kubrick sets to â80s breakdance movies.
Another favorite set for the filmmakers was âKid City,â a clothing store where Noah must interrupt his drug run, kids in tow, to buy some new undergarments for young Blithe, who has soiled the pair sheâs wearing. âI sharted,â she announces in the car to the appalled Sitter. As Noah waits for Blithe to complete the change of clothing, heâs left alone in the girlsâ underwear department.
Noah is confronted by a sales clerk, who understandably assumes heâs a pedophile, and who, it turns out, holds a longtime grudge against him. Their confrontation will escalate throughout the story, to unexpected results.
The Sitter, a genuine New York story, was shot last fall and winter on locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and an upper middle class neighborhood in Yonkers. Brooklyn provided some colorful and historic locations, including the boroughâs Williamsberg and Greenpoint sections, the latter providing various interior and exterior locations for Karlâs incredible bodybuilder-laden loft.
New York City â and the way we look at babysitters â may never be the same.
Image Â Courtesy of Â Â http://www.thesittermovie.com/