“It takes me back to a time I enjoyed for obvious reasons – the ’80s were very good to me,” Red Oaks cast member Jennifer Grey said this morning of Steven Soderbergh’s coming-of-age comedy for Amazon.
“I felt like it was a movie, as if Caddy Shack and Dirty Dancing had a baby raised by John Cassavetes.”
But exec producer Gregory Jacobs insisted the series was more The Graduate meets Caddyshack, talking to reporters this morning at TCA.
“One of the things we wanted to capture was the sincerity of the 80’s” added EP Joe Gangemi.
Grey raved about the gig, saying “I get to show up on the set with this comedy legend,” as she pointed to Paul Reiser, and get to be the wife of the amazing Richard Kind, and then I get to have a hot girlfriend like Gage Golightly – I made out like a bandit.”
Directed by Sundance award winner David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and executive produced by Soderbergh (Behind The Candelabra, Traffic), Red Oaks stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as David Myers, an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985. David is reeling from his father’s (Richard Kind) heart attack and conflicted about what college major to declare in the fall; While there, David meets co-workers and wealthy club members, including alluring art student Skye (Alexandra Socha), her corporate-raider father Getty (Reiser), and Nash (Ennis Esmer).
Roberts got asked what was his impression of the 80’s. He said if felt “cool” to walk around and not use mobile phone on set, and reminded him of 16 Candles.
One journalist wondered if America in the 80’s was different than Wales in the 80’s – Roberts is Welsh. “The Welsh are in the 80’s now,” Reiser joked.
Reiser noted how fortunate it was, for a show set in New York/New Jersey that, not being able to find a Jew in the area they imported Roberts from Wales.
Roberts audition was “incredible,” he was who they had in their heads when they were putting together the series, and “We fell in love with him; he was so perfect we had to bite the bullet,” Jacobs said of the casting.
Gangemi added it’s tough to find an actor who can do the kind of reactive acting Dustin Hoffman did so well in The Graduate. “It’s fascinating to watch him standing there processing all the craziness around him.”