“New Guys” Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. visit Boulder to promote “Let’s Be Cops”

Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson pose for a picture with Chip, Wednesday, April  23, 2014, at Half Fast Subs in Boulder, Colo. (Allie Greenwood/CU Independent)
Damon Wayans, Jr. and Jake Johnson pose for a picture with Chip, Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at Half Fast Subs in Boulder, Colo. (Allie Greenwood/CU Independent)

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr., stars of the FOX show “New Girl,” paid Boulder a visit Wednesday to feature their new film, the buddy comedy “Let’s Be Cops.”

A few students and Boulderites got to see the new movie in an advanced screening at Muenzinger Auditorium on Wednesday. The visit was part of a nationwide promotion tour.

After making appearances at popular locations on the Hill, including Half Fast Subs and The Sink, the actors and writer Nick Thomas spoke about the difference between their new film and “New Girl.”

“First of all, the movie is rated-R, so that’s significantly different,” Johnson said. “Our characters are very different on the show than we are in the movie.  The only similarity is that it’s us doing it together.”

Thomas said about 60-70 percent of Johnson and Wayans’ parts were improvised. 

“Part of why you see that awesome chemistry is because [Johnson and Wayans] are talking to each other for the first time,” Thomas said.  “That wasn’t rehearsed many times in a row before, so you get that fresh kind of feeling.”

The chemistry between Johnson and Wayans was evident throughout the entire stopover, with Johnson referring to Wayans as his “Bae,” and both of them talking about possibly doing more productions together in the future.

“It’s really hard to fake [friendships],” Johnson said. “A lot of actors can, but I don’t like to do it. And so on this, where the friendship is so important, and it’s the heart of the movie, I couldn’t say yes unless I knew the person and I knew that I had that chemistry.”

After shooting the movie, Wayans said he is up for more.

“I would like to keep up the action-comedy,” Wayans said.  “I like to do a lot of physical things. I like to flip, I like to do martial arts — it’s fun to me.”

But for Johnson, there was clearly something lost in translation.

“Whatever Damon does I do because he’s my Bae before anyone else. So I guess we’re doing action-comedies, but we didn’t talk about that,” he said.

“Let’s Be Cops” follows two 30-year-olds whose lives haven’t really turned out how the duo expected.  Johnson’s character was a successful quarterback during his days at Purdue University, and many thought he’d go on to make it big in football. But because of an injury, he takes on a career-less life. Wayans plays a video game designer whose ideas are constantly shut down at work.

The two characters find themselves dressed as cops at a masquerade party, and they quickly realize how much attention and power comes along with a uniform. Wayans’ character is even able to catch the attention of his crush, played by Nina Dobrev.

The duo eventually decides to take on the cop personas for real, responding to calls on a police scanner. It’s harmless at first, until they stumble onto some real, life-threatening situations.

“‘Let’s Be Cops’ has been compared to the ‘Hangover’ movies, but what sets them apart is the tone,” Thomas said. “It’s kind of a throwback to ‘Lethal Weapon,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ ‘Midnight Run,’ those kinds of movies.”

“I think it’s aimed toward college students, which is why they’re showing it at all of the different campuses,” said Kelly Grega, an 18-year-old freshman broadcast news major.  “It’s a college movie.”

“Let’s Be Cops” will be released this summer, premiering nationwide on August 15.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Stacia Sellers at Stacia.sellers@colorado.edu.

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