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10 Things to Know About 22 Jump Street

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From Dartmouth style beer pong to on-set head butts, here are 10 things the directors and cast told us about making 22 Jump Street, out today.

1. DIRECTORS PHIL LORD AND CHRIS MILLER SHOT THIS WHILE THEY WERE WORKING ON THE LEGO MOVIE.

Unlike the first Jump Street film, which the directors spent a year on before shooting, Lord says this film “came together really fast. [It] was just like ‘alright, we’re prepping. OK, here we go, oh no! Let’s rewrite the scene on the set.’ It had a looser feel in production.” It didn’t help that he and Miller were also working on The Lego Movie when they started on 22 Jump Street.

“It was so hard,” Lord says. “We were shooting for 14 hour days then we’d go home and be on our computers giving notes on dailies from The LEGO Movie.”

One company that was working on The LEGO Movie was based in Australia, which meant that someone was working on it 24/7, and, says Miller, “Often times we would get home from a shoot at 10:30 at night and start a conference call for another hour and a half before we went to bed. So it was really not something we would want to do again, two movies at the same time.”

But it did help that there were two directors on both projects: “If somebody was so sick and ill that they couldn’t work on it, the other one could pick up the slack,” Lord says.

2. THE MOVIE IS ABOUT KEEPING A RELATIONSHIP GOING.

“It’s very challenging to do sequels, especially for a comedy,” Lord says. “There aren’t that many that are great.” And so at first, he and Miller weren’t sure how to tackle a Jump Street sequel. But then they had a breakthrough. “We thought, ‘Well, maybe the idea of making a sequel rhymes with trying to keep your relationship going,’” Lord says. “They’re having to make a sequel to their relationship. What’s it like to make a sequel to the first time you fall in love with somebody? You can feel like you have to do something over and over. That’s something that every couple has to deal with.” Yes, even directing duos. “Maintaining the sort of freshness and fun and having a positive work and friendship that is something very close to home for us,” Miller says.

And like the first movie—which spent a lot of time poking fun at the idea of making a movie out of a TV show—22 spends plenty of time making fun of sequels. “There was a lot more of it in the script than what [is in the finished film],” Lord says.

3. THE DIRECTORS WENT BACK TO COLLEGE TO DO SOME RESEARCH.

For 21, the directors visited a high school to see what it was like, and, says Miller, “we were just flabbergasted by how different it was and how the social structure was so different” from when they were in high school. So for 22, the directors returned to their alma mater, Dartmouth, and visited a frat at UCLA to see how much things had changed since they had graduated 20 years ago. “It turns out, surprisingly not that much has changed,” Miller says. “It’s still about drinking to excess and working out and sports are still important culturally. College hasn’t caught up to high school yet.”

4. CHANNING TATUM DID A LOT OF HIS OWN STUNTS.

The opening action sequence has Tatum’s character, Jenko, jumping on top of—and running along—the roof of an 18-wheeler as it drives through the Port of New Orleans. Tatum did that stunt, and many others, himself. “Channing is really one of the best stunt men you’ll ever find,” Miller says. “The studio was nervous about him doing the more difficult stuff. There were a lot of arguments. Because if he broke his leg, we'd have to shut down production. Sometimes we just didn’t say anything and let him do it because he would be like, ‘I’m not going to have a stunt double jump from one rooftop to the other, I’ll do that!’ And we were like ‘oh god.’”

According to Tatum, he had just finished working on three very physically demanding films, so he knew he could handle the stunts in 22. “We used to do this stuff growing up, in a really unsafe manner, and now I get to do them with some of the best safety guys and stunt guys in the world. So you know, it’s just fun for me,” he says. “I played football like 10 years in my life so I wasn’t really worried about that. I was just worried about keeping my body together. I had two bum wheels on this so it was pretty disappointing to do football with like a rolled ankle that was taped up about this thick. And then I tore a ligament in my right foot. You’re like, ‘Oh man I get to play football again? And I can’t do it as well as I want to?’ It worked out. I haven’t seen all of it, but it looks OK.”

Hill also did some of his own stunts, but his approach was very different from Tatum’s. “I was more creatively inspired to think of the most clumsy way to do each stunt,” he says. “There’s some creative puzzling of that: Here’s how you obviously would do this, and here are the people to help you do it right. How can I completely mess that up? It’s so different from anything I’ve done, and it’s fun.”

5. JONAH HILL WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE FOOTBALL SCENES.

“I had never worn football pads before, so I was excited,” Hill says. “The idea that you could, like, run into things or have someone run into you and it [wouldn’t] hurt as bad. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a helmet before in my life, so I let Channing headbutt me.”

Tatum was more than willing to play along: “We got a three point stance and I hit him. He took it pretty well.”

6. THE BEER PONG WAS REAL.

Lord says it is “most authentic beer pong playing to ever be committed to film,” played in the Dartmouth style. The two directors were the only ones who knew how to play beer pong that way, so they played with Tatum and another actor—off camera. “Some of our personal college experiences, we put them in there,” says Miller, who was in a frat in college.

7. THE WEATHER MADE ONE ACTION SEQUENCE REALLY DIFFICULT.

In keeping with Hollywood’s tendency to make sequels bigger than the original film, 22 Jump Street majorly upgrades on 21’s action sequences. Though none were simple, the climactic scene, which features a helicopter, was particularly tough to pull off. In addition to dealing with actors and stunt men hanging in wires, they had the wind and the weather to contend with. “We filmed in Puerto Rico, where there’s a thunderstorm that comes by every hour on the hour,” Lord says. “So everyone squeegees the deck, and then you can shoot for 10 minutes. We had to send everything away. The helicopter can’t fly in the rain. It’s all a drag.”

8. THE SUPPORTING CAST IS AWESOME.

Tatum and Hill are obviously great, but 22 Jump Street’s supporting cast more than holds their own. Ice Cube returns to play Captain Dickson, and Lord describes his as a “zen master. He’s steady and he has a really philosophical approach to his entire career.” According to Miller, “He is multi-talented, and as far as the scenes that he was in, he had strong opinions about what he thought his character was and he was a great guardian of who he thought Dickson was.” Cube also proved that he was great at improvising, adlibbing lines about his character’s awesome office and $1800 shoes.

Meanwhile, Workaholics star Jillian Bell joined the cast as Mercedes, the roommate of a girl Schmidt grows close to. “I’ve only seen one person [who was] able to make Jonah take a little step back, and that was Jillian,” Tatum says. “She just brings the pain. They would just battle it out.”

Hill agrees. “As one of the writers, I would say Jillian’s part was incredibly underwritten, not very fleshed out,” he says. “And when Jillian came in and auditioned and we started improvising, she made that part her own. She made that part great. It wasn’t written great.”

Other roles were filled by people Lord and Miller were fans of. “[It was just] ‘Let’s get as many funny voices into the movie as possible,’” Lord says. Craig Roberts, best known for his role in the 2010 film Submarine, plays Spencer. “Craig is amazing,” Lord says. “He shows up for a blip and he’s all over the DVD material.” And even if you don’t know H. Jon Benjamin’s face, you know his voice: He plays both Archer and Bob of Bob’s Burgers. “He plays a coach in Home Movies, which is an old TV show that we love,” Lord says. “For that it was a really ‘Oh my god, let’s cast him and we’ll get to hang out with him and maybe we’ll be friends.’”

9. HILL IS A HUGE FAN OF ICE CUBE, AND ASKED HIM TONS OF QUESTIONS DURING BOTH MOVIES.

Hill had idolized Cube since the rapper’s NWA days. “When we were writing the first [Jump Street], the first idea we wrote down was the person who wrote ‘F*** the Police’ would play the police chief in the film," Hill says. "He said yes, so when we were around him, I got to ask him any question I wanted about NWA or Three Kings or 'AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.' We got to ask him [about ‘It’s A Good Day’]—because there are theories that there is a day that it’s based on, which is not true, he told us.”

“It was really fun to watch Jonah around him,” Tatum says. “Cube’s, like, his childhood hero. It was really funny to watch them interact. He was wildly tolerant of all the questions.”

“Over two movies!” Hill says. “That’s, like, a full six months. I had to really go to the drawing board with new questions.”

According to Cube, among the questions Hill asked were what it was like to work with Big Daddy and Chuck D and to tour with Salt n Pepa. “I don’t mind,” Cube says. “If someone asks me questions, it just brings back memories that I usually have. I’ve been blessed to have a very vivid life of a lot of different things that are very interesting to people and it’s cool.”

10. YOU SHOULD STAY FOR THE END CREDITS.

No spoilers here, but 22 Jump Street’s closing credits might be the funniest you’ll ever see. “That’s all Phil and Chris and this company Alma Mater,” Hill says. “I think people loved the movie, but it needed one more thing. For a while, we just sat around and said ‘God, I just need one more thing at the end.’ And Phil and Chris had this idea and they just ran with it. It was done recently, in just one day. Those guys are so talented. They literally put that together in like a week. They did it right before we had to lock the movie.”

All images courtesy of Sony Pictures.

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17 Electric Facts About MTV Unplugged
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Michael Stipe of R.E.M. goes Unplugged.
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Making its debut in 1989, MTV Unplugged—in which famous musicians perform stripped-down arrangements of their biggest hits—was a hit for both the cable network and the music industry, particularly in the early- to mid-'90s. Though it lost its regular time slot in 1999, in the near-20 years since, a handful of artists have popped in for brief revivals. But now it looks as if Unplugged is ready for a reboot; MTV has announced that the series will be back beginning on September 8, 2017, with Shawn Mendes as its first guest. In the meantime, here's a look behind the scenes of the music series that became a phenomenon.

1. OPINIONS VARY ON WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA.

Singer/songwriter Jules Shear has said that he came up with the concept for MTV Unplugged to promote his acoustic album, The Third Party. In 1992, The New York Times wrote that Shear was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora's two-song acoustic set at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.

That's all well and good, but producers Jim Burns and Bob Small claim they got the idea for MTV Unplugged after Bruce Springsteen treated the two—and the thousands of other fans at one of his concerts—to a final encore featuring just himself and his acoustic guitar. (Springsteen would find his way onto Unplugged in 1992.)

Executive producer Joel Gallen has referred to Unplugged as his "baby" as well and, like Shear, was inspired by Bon Jovi and Sambora's VMA set, which he called a "jumping off point." In I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Small said: “Please do not credit Bon Jovi for creating Unplugged. Jon Bon Jovi thinks he was the inspiration for it. He wouldn’t even do the f***ing show until almost 20 years later.”

2. BOTH HBO AND PBS SAID NO.

HBO passed on Unplugged when Shear proposed the concept to the pay channel. Burns and Small pitched the series to PBS after MTV initially said no. PBS simply echoed MTV and HBO. It was only when Burns and Small ally Judy McGrath got a promotion at MTV that a pilot got a greenlight.

3. IT WAS A CHEAP PILOT TO SHOOT.

Bob Small said he had just four hours to set up for the Unplugged pilot, with another four hours to film it—and all on a budget of $18,000. "I couldn't get money to hire a director," Small said. "They said, 'You direct it.'"

4. THERE WAS A HOST FOR THE FIRST 13 EPISODES.

None other than Jules Shear was the undisputed master of ceremonies for the first season. He also joined in on some songs.

5. THE FIRST GUESTS DIDN'T QUITE GRASP THE CONCEPT OF UNPLUGGED.

Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford from Squeeze were the stars of the first episode, which aired on November 26, 1989. But they were unprepared. "Chris and Glenn showed up for rehearsal with electric guitars," Alex Coletti, who would end up producing the show through 2001, recalled. "I said: 'Very funny, guys. Where are the acoustics? It’s Unplugged.' They looked at each other and went, 'Riiight… Make a phone call, quick!'"

6. PRODUCERS SCRAMBLED TO GIVE JOE WALSH ACTUAL FRIENDS.

"The fifth episode was billed as Joe Walsh and Friends, and Joe showed up with only one friend—Ricky, his bass player," Coletti remembered. "We thought it meant his famous friends, but apparently that got lost in translation." Walsh had been a member of The Eagles, who had an infamous falling-out, but Walsh's claim of buddies gave MTV employees false hope. Producer Bruce Leddy found Dr. John recording at a neighboring studio and convinced him to come on and be Walsh's "friend."

7. DON HENLEY WAS NOT HAPPY THAT WALSH PLAYED "DESPERADO."

Walsh's former Eagles bandmate wrote "Desperado," as well as a three-page fax explaining to MTV that he didn't want Walsh to play it and he was refusing permission to air the performance. It was after the fax that the network invited Henley to come on the show himself to perform it. Henley was the first artist to get an entire half-hour on his own as the only artist, which quickly became the status quo for Unplugged. In 1994, when The Eagles reunited, they appeared on an MTV Unplugged special.

8. LL COOL J HAD NEVER WORKED WITH A LIVE BAND BEFORE.

The first Unplugged featuring rap artists took place in 1991. Pop's Cool Love backed LL Cool J, MC Lyte, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest. “[It’s like] you drink milk for 10 years and then [you have to] drink fruit punch,” Quest's Q-Tip said about performing with the band. “It’s not that the fruit is bad, but you have to get used to it.”

But LL seemed able to adapt. "We rehearsed the night before and LL Cool J had never worked with a live band," Coletti said. "Before long, he was calling the shots like he'd been doing it his whole life."

9. LL COOL J KNOWS YOU SAW HIS DEODORANT.

"People have teased me about the deodorant for years, but I love it," he said. "It was raw! It was nasty! At least you know I wasn’t stinking.”

10. PAUL MCCARTNEY WAS THE FIRST ARTIST TO OFFICIALLY RELEASE HIS UNPLUGGED SET.

Before Paul McCartney, no other Unplugged artist body had thought to release their acoustic set as an album. But after he performed in 1991, the former Beatle was worried about it getting out to the masses illegally. “I figured that as Unplugged would be screened around the world there was every chance that some bright spark would tape the show and turn it into a bootleg, so we decided to bootleg the show ourselves," he admitted. "We heard the tapes in the car driving back. By the time we got home, we’d decided we’d got an album—albeit one of the fastest I’ve ever made.” He even titled the live performance collection Unplugged (The Official Bootleg).

11. ERIC CLAPTON WAS HESITANT TO RELEASE HIS SHOW AS AN ALBUM.

"Slowhand" performed to acclaim in 1992, but he initially didn't think it was good enough to be released officially as a CD. So naturally, his live album Unplugged won the Grammy for Album of the Year. His "Tears in Heaven" performance in particular won Song and Record of the Year. Two years later, Tony Bennett followed suit, winning the 1994 Album of the Year prize for his time on the show.

12. NEIL YOUNG WALKED OUT ON HIMSELF.

Neil Young's Unplugged was supposed to have been taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on December 12, 1992. Instead, on that night—at that venue—the audience saw something they would probably never forget: Neil Young walking out the door after numerous mistakes. The "stunned" crew members managed to get him to come back to try again that night. Young opted to junk the performance entirely, and tried again two months later—this time with a band, and with much more success.

13. TORI AMOS WALKED OUT, TOO.

Amos was thrown off and "couldn't harness the energy." But unlike Young, she was able to walk back onstage, perform, and not have to try again with another set on a different night. As the singer/songwriter remembered it, she and her manager paced "beneath the MTV thing" backstage thinking about the problem. "Then my [lighting director] came down and said, 'Something just doesn't feel right. I can’t put my finger on it,'" Amos told Worstgig.com. "For 700 shows over the five years (prior to that), I'd played with the lights down. So all the lights were up to catch the audience and I felt like somebody was watching me take a shower. So they dimmed the lights, I felt better. By that point because I'd made the choice to stop it and make some changes, I felt like I began again. And I turned the whole show around."

14. ALEX COLETTI FOUGHT TO CUT "THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD" FROM NIRVANA'S EPISODE.

"Maybe I shouldn't give this secret away, but I built a fake box out in front of the amp to make it look like a monitor wedge," Coletti admitted to Guitar World in 1995. "It's an acoustic guitar, but he's obviously going through an amp," he added, talking about the now iconic David Bowie cover. "I actually fought pretty hard to leave that song out [of the final edit of the show], because I felt it wasn't as genuine as the rest of the songs. But I'm a huge Bowie fan, so I couldn't fight too hard against the song."

15. DAVE GROHL WAS ALMOST UNINVITED TO NIRVANA'S SHOW.

The Nirvana drummer remembered that it was a minor miracle that the band's Unplugged performance went so well. “That show was supposed to be a disaster,” Grohl said. “We hadn’t rehearsed. We weren’t used to playing acoustic. We did a few rehearsals and they were terrible. Everyone thought it was horrible. Even the people from MTV thought it was horrible. Then we sat down and the cameras started rolling and something clicked. It became one of the band’s most memorable performances.”

As Coletti told it, Kurt Cobain was thinking of just replacing Grohl behind the kit, or maybe not using a drummer at all. “What I didn’t know was up until the day [of the Unplugged performance], there was talk of Dave [Grohl] not playing at all in the show,” the producer revealed in 2014. “Kurt wasn’t happy with the way rehearsals were going; he didn’t like the way Dave sounded playing drums with sticks."

But Grohl turned up the day of filming, and Coletti gifted him some brushes and sizzle sticks to give his drumming a softer sound. "I was afraid Dave would just roll his eyes, like, 'Oh great, the a**hole from MTV is trying to be my friend,'" the producer remembered thinking. "But instead he opened the package and said, 'Cool, I've never had brushes before. I've never even tried using them.'" The album Unplugged in New York won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996. It was the band's lone Grammy win.

16. YES, THEY TRIED TO GET ROBERT PLANT AND JIMMY PAGE TO PLAY "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN."

The Led Zeppelin bandmates reunited in 1994 for the Unplugged special: No Quarter: Robert Plant and Jimmy Page Unledded, which at the time was the highest-rated episode of the series ever. MTV suggested they film it in Queens, New York. Plant suggested Morocco and Wales because it was where he wrote "Kashmir" and "Down by the Seaside," respectively. Network executives explicitly requested "Stairway" but were shot down. "I think we're in a disposable world and 'Stairway to Heaven' is one of the things that hasn't quite been thrown away yet," Plant said in 1994. "I think radio stations should be asked not to play it for 10 years, just to leave it alone for a bit so we can tell whether it's any good or not."

17. LIAM GALLAGHER HECKLED HIS BROTHER.

Oasis lead vocalist Liam Gallagher backed out of the Royal Festival Hall gig in London at the last minute due to a "sore throat," so songwriter/guitarist/brother Noel took over the vocal duties. Noel would later disclose that Liam in fact appeared an hour before showtime "sh*tfaced," and when he tried to sing it sounded "f**king dreadful." Liam watched the performance from the balcony and at times jeered the band. Noel told him to shut up. Coletti thought it was all for the best. "There's something when the songwriter himself sings it. Maybe he's a little more connected to the song."

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