I’ll be upfront with you: I’m biased. I love The Lonely Island, and I’ve been a huge fan of theirs since their early days creating bizarre, dry, hilarious YouTube videos in the early 2000s — starting with “Just 2 Guyz.” So, yes, naturally I’m going to want to write that you should a) definitely go watch Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping this weekend (if not for them, then for the 1,297 celebrity cameos in the film) and b) watch Hot Rod on Netflix if you haven’t already.
OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the interview we had with the genius minds that make up The Lonely Island: Jorma Taccone, Akiva Shaffer and Andy Samberg. Not only do they discuss meeting Ringo (yes, the Ringo from the Beatles), but they even weigh in on the Live! with Kelly hot topic: Who will be the next co-host? Their answers and more (including Akiva Schaffer referring to himself in the third person) below.
SheKnows: Before we get into questions about Popstar, I have a very important question for you. It’s very serious: What happened to Guy No. 1, Guy No. 2 and Steve? Because the last time we saw them, they were looking for their soul mates.
Jorma Taccone: Oh my God, you’re right. I mean who’s to say they’re gonna stay… how long ago was that? Three years ago they were looking for their soul mates?
It was 2013 that we made “We Need Love.” I mean, partly because those guys were players. It’s definitely, like, they can’t be tied down. You know what I mean? They’re still on the prowl.
SK: So they’re still looking, then?
Taccone: Yeah, yeah, but truly they have each other, which is all that matters.
SK: Yeah that’s true, because they’re just two guys just having a good time… with each other.
Taccone: Poor Steve will never get their approval.
SK: So can we say that the next film should be about Guy No. 1 and Guy No. 2, and maybe Steve… I don’t know, maybe not because they kind of hate Steve?
Taccone: Steve’s a villain. Steve could be the hero. He’s got a nice girlfriend. He wore a sports coat in the last one. He seems very comfortable in his own skin; he’s well adjusted. He’s into his Chinese yo-yo, he knows who he is. Yeah, his Jell-O sticks. These guys over there, they’re really trying something they’re not achieving. He’s not the worst kind of guy; he’s got a long board.
SK: So let’s talk about Popstar. Why did now feel like an appropriate time to create a mockumentary about pop stars, or was this long overdue?
Taccone: I think long overdue. There’s been so many of these pop documentaries that came out in the last 10 years. We watched so many of them that kind of felt like it was a new genre of documentary, so I think it’s right for the pooning.
Andy Samberg: Lampooning.
Taccone: Right, lampooning.
SK: The film obviously has a few Bieber references and similarities, but one of them being all the tattoos on his body. What were some of the tattoos you put on #Conner4Real and the story behind a couple of them?
Taccone: He had one on the back of his neck that said “Incredible thoughts,” right? And there was an arrow to his brain. I think we changed it, it said something about thoughts, though, something about that he was a genius and forget what but it’s just pointing to his brain. He had one on his arm that was a play on the beginning of his name, so it was like, “All these words that start with c-o-n like ‘confident,’ ‘controversial’ and ‘con-form parentheses don’t.'” It was just like something from Memento — Memento-style.
Samberg: On my back, I had a huge one that was like an eagle holding two microphones in its claws with my head on it and a crown.
Taccone: That one was pretty dope.
Samberg: It was pretty dope, but also the worst.
SK: Speaking of back tattoos, did you guys see or touch Adam Levine’s? It’s massive.
Taccone: Did we touch it? We did not touch.
Samberg: I’m sure we could if we asked.
Akiva Schaffer: Whenever I’m giving one of my famous back rubs…
Taccone: Akiva’s famous for his back rubs.
Schaffer: I give full-service director operation. Akiva’s really a giver.
SK: There are a lot of celeb cameos in the film, one of them being Seal. Fun fact: He recently co-hosted Live! with Kelly. I don’t know if you guys watch that, but it’s one of our readers’ favorite shows. So I wanted to get your input on who you guys think should be the next co-host, because everyone’s talking about it: Seal, Fred Savage, Anderson Cooper or Rob Lowe?
Taccone: Oh my God, these are great choices. Does Seal want to do that? He has a huge music career.
SK: I mean, maybe, you don’t know.
Taccone: You don’t know, I don’t know. I want to go with Seal, though. I want to go with Seal because he’s in our movie and I want everyone to just talk about our movie.
SK: What about Andy, would you ever consider co-hosting with Kelly?
Samberg: Well I have a job on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so I couldn’t do it schedule-wise, but I love Kelly Ripa. I always have fun when I go on there.
SK: Speaking of the guest stars, were you guys nervous to meet or work with any of them, and if so, who?
Taccone: The one we were saying that was kind of cool to get was Ringo Starr. That was just cool, to have a Beatle on set. I don’t know if I would say nervous necessarily. He was very nice, but it was intimidating, he was a Beatle.
SK: Did you have any crazy moments on set with any of the guest stars?
Taccone: Yeah, Ringo Starr punched Akiva in the face. Um, no everyone was really nice and well-behaved so we don’t have great anecdotes, but it was a pleasant time. They knew what they were getting into. They’ve seen our videos.
SK: I wanted to bring up Hot Rod, one of your other films. It actually turns 10 next year. How does that make you guys feel?
Taccone: I think it makes us feel angry! No, still love it, psyched that a lot of people found the movie. I think they found it, also it was on Netflix, so we feel like a lot of people are still discovering it, which is nice after all those years.
SK: Right, I mean I still recommend it to everyone I know, and I quote it all the time. It’s a great film. Next question is, do you feel like huge fans of Hot Rod are going to love Popstar? Do you think it will live up to that?
Taccone: I certainly hope so. I would say, just to follow up on your previous question, we assumed there’s going to be a Criterion collection for the 10-year anniversary, just putting that out. There will probably be, like, a double-disk thing with extra scenes and stuff like that. Criterion has not reached out to us, not at all. We’re just assuming they have it in the works and that they’ll surprise us, maybe on my birthday. We can’t wait for Akiva’s birthday when Criterion approaches us about that.
SK: What message do you ultimately want people to take away from Popstar?
Samberg: I mean, we mostly just want them to laugh, feel good about themselves… and friendship rules the day.
SK: I just have one more question — and it’s for Jorma. Do you still interpret dance as aggressively as you once did on the set of SNL? Because I miss that.
Taccone: Oh, you know it. If you’re stalking us on Snapchat, we go pretty hard with the dance moves.
SK: Is there anything else that you guys wanted to add?
Taccone: Just that we love everybody, and we want everybody to be happy.
Popstar hits theaters June 3.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.