It’s been 17 years since Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan and the rest of American comedy group Broke Lizard donned their Vermont State Trooper garb to dispatch a unique brand of anarchic justice in Super Troopers.
A cult hit upon release, DVD rentals and the emergence of platforms like Netflix has seen the film’s popularity grow steadily since, making the arrival of Super Troopers 2 in cinemas one of the film events of the year.
This time around the Super Troopers are tasked with establishing a new Highway Patrol station in a disputed area of Canada that’s just been reclassified as American soil. With Heffernan’s sociopathic Rod Farva in their ranks, what could possibly go wrong?
To mark the film’s release loaded spoke to writer, actor and director Jay Chandrasekhar about smoking weed, dick jokes, ball shaving and their exciting plans for even more sequels.
loaded: Why has it taken so long for Super Troopers 2 to arrive?
Jay: When we started out as Broken Lizard, we always wanted to make multiple movies focusing on different characters like Monty Python did rather than something like the Police Academy guys who made nine of those movies. So, we’ve kind of been busy doing that. We’ve made five other movies in the time between the two Super Troopers.
loaded: Did you worry about how Super Troopers 2 would be received in today’s culture of outrage?
Jay: You can’t worry about offending people. You just have to write the smartest, funniest joke and stand behind it. We wrote 37 drafts of the script for Super Troopers 2 and if someone is offended by a particular joke then they can call me up and we can have a conversation. But I’m not going to not do or write the joke that I want to do.
loaded: The first film was popular among weed smokers – does getting stoned enhance Super Troopers 2 experience?
Jay: Getting stoned definitely enhances the Super Troopers experience. Part of the reason is that we organise all of the structure of the movie, how all the scenes fit together, while sober but then often smoke joints and write a lot of the jokes. So, when an audience gets high and watches the movie they are really locked into the exact way we wrote it. We’re proud that we make movies that appeal to stoners because I think stoners tend to be the best movie audiences because they are very focused. And they are also willing to go down a road and immerse themselves in a story.
loaded: Did the incredible response you got to the Indiegogo fund for this movie feel like vindication for all those years you spent trying to get it off the ground?
Jay: It was because rarely in the movie business do you get early feedback like this. We got to say: ‘Do you want to see this film?’ and 54,000 people gave us money. $4.6 million. It gave us a chance to essentially show Fox there is this audience out there. It was also a bolt of energy and confidence for everybody involved in the movie too.
loaded: There are a lot of dick jokes in this movie. What’s the secret of a truly great dick joke?
Jay: The goal is to try and make a dick joke that audiences don’t see coming. You want them to be surprised by the dick joke. People make dick jokes all the time but you want to make the smartest dick joke you can and the most surprising dick joke you can.
loaded: There’s something about Kevin Heffernan’s character, Farva, that rings painfully true. Is he based on someone real that you guys all know?
Jay: To an extent. The premise of that character is that everybody has that sort of asshole character that they work with. We’d all had jobs where we were waiters or office workers and there would always be that one asshole that everybody loved to hate. So, we kind of built the character of Farva from that. And it’s funny because people in the police and from all different kinds of walks of life come up to us and tell us ‘we have a Farva’.
loaded: There’s also a lot of talk about ball shaving– where did that come from?
Jay: A couple of us went to this ice hockey players charity event. Ice hockey players can be a pretty macho bunch of guys and they were all there, ripping people’s shirts off with one finger. Just hooking a single finger in there and ripping them clean off in one pull. So eventually you just had a load of shirtless guys there. Anyway, they were talking about making the rookies on the team shave their chests or something and we just took that spirit and channeled it into jokes about shaving nuts.
loaded: You’ve tackled Canadians in Super Troopers 2 and Germans in Beerfest – any plans on including some Brits in one of your next movies?
Jay: I think it’s a great idea. I love England. I was just there last summer. We’re all massive Monty Python fans too, so it’s definitely something we should do. So, consider that seed planted. I’m going to have to talk to the guys about that. It would be a great idea. I would love to shoot a movie over there.
loaded: Brian Cox is obviously a national treasure over here. What’s he like to work with?
Jay: He’s a great actor and we are so honoured to get a chance to work with an actor like him. He has this joke he likes to play on set where he pretends he wishes he wasn’t there. Makes a lot of fun of me and the other guys and looks at his watch a lot. ‘I went from playing King Lear to this’ he’ll say. But when the camera starts rolling he’s fantastic and he’s already called me up and said he wants to make number three. He’s just a really funny guy and someone that gets involved in a lot of our jokes too.
loaded: What was your favourite scene to film in Super Troopers 2?
Jay: The Danny DeVito scene [DeVito’s name is the punchline to one particularly amusing gag]. Danny DeVito’s company produced the first film, so I write him profit cheques twice a year. I met him once at an event and said ‘hey Danny, I’m Jay Chandrasekhar I made Super Troopers’ and he was like ‘I was involved in that film. That’s on my list of movies I have to watch’ and I was stunned. I could not believe the amount of money I had been sending this guy for a movie he has never even watched. So I told the others about this and we decided to write a scene in Super Troopers 2 that mentions him so much it would be impossible for him not to see the sequel.
loaded: Are there any plans for another Super Troopers movie?
Jay: We’re discussing it with Fox. We’ve had one nice meeting and there are serious discussions taking place about a third movie.
loaded: Have you ever considered doing a Super Troopers TV series?
Jay: That’s one of the things we are discussing right now. We want to keep making the movies but it’s also possible that we might do a limited-run Super Troopers TV series. With movies, you have to be done with your story in something like 90-100 minutes so it would be an opportunity to explore more.
loaded: And how about a Beefest sequel?
Jay: Yeah, we just have to get the rights to the film from Warner Bros. They make massive blockbusters and don’t tend to make R-rated stoner movies, so if we can get them to give us the rights back to Beerfest, we’ll make that for sure.
loaded: If the Beerfest 2 happens, is it going to be Potfest?
Jay: I think so. We’ve made as many beer jokes as we wanted to make so switching over and making Potfest feels like a good idea. You can still put a few beer jokes in there but I think Potfest is the way to go and we have a few good ideas for it.
loaded: Have you got any other ideas in the pipeline that you might be able to tell us about?
Jay: After Super Troopers 2 opened so positively, we went back and looked at some of our old unproduced scripts. We have one set in France during the kind of times of Quasimodo, and there would be characters like a King and the Pope and a few others. It would be a kind of Python-esque comedy. There’s also another where we play an America’s Cup crew sailing team and we get taken hostage by pirates. Those are a couple of ideas that we would love to turn into movies.
loaded: What are you doing next?
Jay: We’re trying to write the third Super Troopers movie right now and also want to get Potfest up and running. The plan is to get those two movies made as soon as possible.
Super Troopers 2 is out meow.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.