It’s a fact that men take longer to grow up than woman.
No, seriously, it is.
Research suggests men only truly “grow up” when they hit the age of 43 – a full 11 years after women supposedly “mature”.
Loaded isn’t convinced though. If anything, it should be older for men, as the new comedy Tag, demonstrates. Based on the exploits of a real-life bunch of friends.
The film focuses on a motley bunch of guys – including Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner and John Hamm – and the month-long game of tag they play amongst themselves.
So when loaded got together with this intriguing trio, we didn’t want to know about how they prepared for their roles or what they want audiences to take away from the movie.
No, we just wanted to know what games they played at school.
“I was a big kick ball guy,” Hamm says, referring to the American schoolyard favourite, which is something akin to rounders, except with a football.
“I was into tether ball,” Renner explains, prompting a blank expression from our UK-based reporter. Thankfully, he’s happy to explain it to us.
“Tether ball was like a stripper pole with a string on it and a ball,” he adds. Hamm isn’t buying it though.
“It’s more of a flagpole than a stripper pole,” he says. Renner isn’t having it.
“No, a flagpole is much taller dude,” he argues. Helms clearly thinks things are going off track though.
“It has a rope and a ball and the ball spins around,” he says.
And what game did Ed play as a kid?
“Four Square. You know what that game is?” he says. More blank looks.
“It’s where there is a square divided into four squares and you have to hit the ball into it. You also stand in a square.”
“In the analogue era of games, you didn’t need much,” Hamm reflects, before Helms – clearly still thinking about his answer, blurts out the word “hopscotch.”
It’s all pretty childish stuff and begs the question: are there any childish habits the guys would admit to doing on camera.
“Wow, well the thing I do is a daily thing so I can’t say that,” Renner says, before going on to confirm his habit: “I rarely have pants on.”
“I rarely have Jeremy’s pants on,” Hamm quips, evidently the joker of the pack.
“I still make sculptures out of my food,” declares Helms
“You said food, right?” Hamm replies
“Yeah I still play with my food,” Helms says.
“Okay good. I wasn’t sure I heard that correctly,” Hamm jokes. Everyone laughs.
Having filmed an entire movie around tag though, there is one question that’s been playing on our minds – and no, it’s nothing too serious – what’s the best tag tip they can offer?
Suddenly, Hamm gets a little more serious.
“Keep your head on a swivel,” he says.
“You never know where it’s coming from and that’s where the really ambitious parts of the movie come in. The set pieces with tag and the lengths these guys will go to. Obviously it’s quite cinematic but it’s not that far from being the truth.
“It’s just funny and they are happy to make fools of themselves. They don’t take it too seriously, or at least they take it seriously but not too seriously.”
Renner is still in silly mode. “Dominate and crush” he says, smiling.
The question gives Helms a chance to bring things back round to the movie.
“When you play tag in the schoolyard, recess ends and the game is over,” he says.
“But what’s great about this is that they play it for a month and the game is on for a month. Anytime, anywhere, any place. And that makes it high stakes.”
Loaded isn’t having it though and decide to get one final dose of daft in: if they could play tag against any famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
“Probably Aristotle, he seems like a cool guy,” Hamm says. “Someone who is a bit older, like 2,000 years older, so it would be easier to catch him. And he’d have a few wise words.”
“Yeah, so you’d get something out of it too,” Renner agrees, before adding “I’d like to play with a Kindergarten class.”
“That would be fun,” Helms agrees.
“I’d just be running around like ‘good luck, bitches'” Renner reckons.
Hamm agrees: “They couldn’t catch you.”
Renner is suddenly very keen on the idea.
“I’d feel so good about myself. But that youthful exuberance would be great.”
Helms wants to take it in a different direction.
“It would be fun in a retirement community too.”
The interview is over. We just spent five minutes talking about playground games with three A-list Hollywood stars. Good job everybody.
Tag is in cinemas now.