January 29, 2022

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Mike Faist on Enjoying Riff in ‘West Facet Story’

Mike Faist on Playing Riff in ‘West Side Story’

“Jet Tune” is one among Riff’s iconic numbers. What did that imply to you, significantly because it’s depicted on this model of the movie?

The place we begin with the Jets, they’re on the point of destruction. They’re performed however they simply don’t understand it but. They’re saying, “Once you’re a Jet, you keep a Jet” — on prime of a mound of rubble.

Did you are feeling significantly bonded to the opposite actors who performed your fellow Jets?

I felt it was my private obligation that we turn into a tribe. After the primary day of rehearsal, all of us went out to the bar down the road. Sans Child John [the young gang member, played by Patrick Higgins], as a result of he’s not sufficiently old. [Laughs.] And I mentioned, “Look, this one’s ours. That is our story and that is our model. You guys are part of that.” I handed out assignments; “Jet-tivities” is what I referred to as them. And it doesn’t matter what it was, all of us needed to do it. We did a complete bunch of shenanigans that summer season.

Are there any you may safely talk about?

We went to upstate New York and purchased a full arsenal of Nerf weapons. There’s video of us organising this relay race in a home, having to shoot all these crimson plastic Solo cups from totally different angles. We did LARPing. It’s brutal, man. It seems like one thing completely nerdy, however then you definitely’re there and also you’re getting tackled by somebody and shot within the non-public areas by arrows. We performed laser tag as soon as. I wished them to really feel like they had been part of one thing greater. That manner, when the cameras rolled, they simply had been there.

Did you might have the chance to talk to Russ Tamblyn, who played Riff in the original film?

He did come to set and frolicked for a day. He advised us anecdotes, what the expertise was like for him. However when it comes to approaching the work, I’m not Russ Tamblyn. Solely Russ Tamblyn is Russ Tamblyn. I can’t attempt to emulate or mimic what he does. And I didn’t wish to. I believe it could have performed a disservice to attempt to incorporate him. It will have been an insult to what he introduced.

The brand new movie’s launch was delayed by a yr due to the pandemic. How did you are feeling while you discovered it was being postponed?

I really was relieved. Steven and I had a cellphone dialog final yr, round September, after they had been deciding whether or not they had been going to launch the movie. On the time, I mentioned to him, if nobody ever noticed this film, it wouldn’t change something to me. The expertise of creating the film was every part. I meant it, however I’m an fool and I take all of it again now. As a result of if we’re going to point out it, you need individuals to see it. After I had seen the movie on the New York premiere, I bumped into Steven within the foyer. And I mentioned to him, I acquired to relive the expertise of creating the film. I believe when individuals see this, we give them a style of that. I believe this film is an actual testomony to why a theatrical expertise is vital.

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