It was 1985 all over again in Los Angeles last night as Patton Oswalt, James Van Der Beek, Mindy Kaling Jennifer Garner and Aaron Paul brought to life the brain, athlete, basket case, princess and criminal famously introduced in John Hughes’ classic, The Breakfast Club.
It was the inaugural evening of LACMA’s new Live Read series, conceptualized by Juno director Jason Reitman, who served as director and narrator for last night’s performance. One which even the most ardent fans of the original would find illuminating since the cast worked from the shooting script, which meant many scenes deleted from the finished film were performed, in some cases, for the first time.
The most notable being a boredom induced hallucinatory sequence that included unicorns, atom bombs and countless psychedelic images quickly intercut with rock music that aimed to illustrate the daydreaming born out of detention.
Elsewhere, a strict attention to detail was required as some of the most iconic lines from the film were improvised on-set, meaning they were absent from the original script and, therefore, last night’s reading. Plus, it’s clear the teen stars injected much of their own vernacular into the piece as some clunky verbiage (Allison calling Andy “dork lips” for one) never made it to the screen.
But perhaps the most noteworthy realization born out of the live-reading (aside from what a shockingly good Bender Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul made) is just how much Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall truly brought to their performances.
In the hands of different actors, the temperament of several crucial scenes was completely altered. For example, Mindy Kaling put an entirely new spin on her “basket case” by making her less menacing and more quirky thanks to a sing-songy line delivery that totally worked, but resulted in an entirely different version of the character.
For more information on the fascinating, on-going series, http://www.lacma.org/node/1587!