Belfast Telegraph

Digging film inspired by Johnson

Jake Johnson has revealed how his latest movie, Digging For Fire, was based on real life events.

The New Girl star plays a married man, who discovers a gun and a bone in his garden, in Joe Swanberg's comedy, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

" The movie is inspired by a true story. I was in the backyard with my wife and we were making a garden," the actor said.

"We were about three feet into the ground and I found a rusted gun, a bone, a licence plate - a bunch of garbage from a trunk that had been wrapped up. I called the LAPD and I said, 'I found this stuff when I was digging in the backyard', and they said, 'It's not our job to clean up another person's garbage. If you find a body, call us'.

"So I called a bunch of my friends, they all brought shovels and we went looking for the body. I told Joe and we decided to use that as the engine of the movie. We actually do the call with the LAPD, and the stuff they find is based on real stuff."

The film marks the third collaboration between Jake and Joe, following their previous work on Happy Christmas and Drinking Buddies.

" I love working with him. He's one of my absolute favourites," Jake said. "He's so smart and he does something that a lot of people don't do - and that is he wants to say yes. So he doesn't care who comes up with an idea, he's not an ego guy.

"A lot of people in our business are ego-based - it was their idea, it's their credit. But this - we wrote it, we outlined it. The actors come in and if they have an instinct, Joe wants them to go for it. We know where the scene has to go and how it ends, but how we get there is up to the poeple in that moment. As an actor, there's nothing I enjoy doing more than that."

Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Rockwell and Ron Livingston also star in Digging With Fire, while Orlando Bloom and Chris Messina make guest appearances.

Joe credited his close bonds with the cast for making the project.

"I found a rhythm where I keep making it work, Jake's a guy I've worked with before, and a lot of the cast and crew are people who have worked on Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas," he explained.

"Each time you do a movie with somebody, you get to know them a little better and feel you can dig a bit deeper, so that kind of recurring cast and ongoing relationships are really important to me. The more we know each other, the more open those lines of communication are, so it's that much quicker that we can dive into the good stuff."

Ron added: " Joe doesn't have to tell me the idea any more. He just says, 'We're doing a movie on Thursday. Do you want to come?' and I'm like, 'Sure, what are we doing?' It is like a family affair."


From Belfast Telegraph