The best film and TV reunions during lockdown
From 'Lord of the Rings' to 'Frasier', here are six online cast and creator reunions that have taken place since the pandemic struck
One welcome fallout of the lockdown has been a spate of online TV and film reunions over video chat. With actors and directors stuck at home like everyone else, it’s been possible to bring together the stars of beloved movies and series and get them talking. Here’s our pick of six reunions to watch.
This hour-long catch-up with director Cameron Crowe and actors Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup might be the pick of the reunions. Almost Famous remains such a pleasurable movie to watch that it comes as a relief to find out it was, apparently, a lot of fun to make. Fugit, 16 at the time of shooting, recalls being nervous about his “physiological reactions" in the “deflowering" scene. Crowe talks about screening the film for Billy Wilder and the great director shouting “Too loud" when a Black Sabbath track started playing. It’s superb fan service – there’s a Philip Seymour Hoffman anecdote, a Tiny Dancer anecdote, and the actors speculating where their characters might be 20 years later.
Lord of the Rings
In a season of reunions, actor Josh Gad has been doing a reunion series. Reunited Apart has brought together the creators and cast members of The Goonies, Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. The most expansive one, though, was the Lord of the Rings reunion, which keeps adding people until there are 17 on screen. Most of the principals turn up: Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean. Gandalf, unsurprisingly, has the best timing; after Mortensen tells a story about John Rhys-Davies and the recliner that would travel with him, Ian McKellen says, “That’s a wonderful name for Orlando—Easy Boy Recliner."
If you hear the blues a-callin’, watch the cast of Frasier get together and reminisce. Actor, musician and radio host Seth Rudetsky and producer James Wesley were joined on their online show, Stars in the House, by Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Bebe Neuwirth and Dan Butler. Grammer reminisces about a Mandy Patinkin recommendation that got him onto Cheers, where he originated the Frasier character; Pierce winces through a clip of him singing (hilariously) on Caroline in the City; Rudetsky provides musical cues on piano and everyone seems pleased to be able to remember their time on a beloved show.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
The cast of Edgar Wright’s cult 2010 comedy recently got together to do a table read of the film. Scott Pilgrim is such a visually exciting and inventive ride that it’s easy to forget how the bedrock is Wright and Michael Bacall’s gloriously weird script (based on Bryan Lee O'Malley graphic novels). This enthusiastic reading by Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans and others is a delight, the participants laughing and cheering each other on.
Another from Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart series, mainly for the pleasure of seeing Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s coronavirus patient zero, talk about his first film (if you don’t count a small appearance in an earlier slasher movie). Joining him are co-star Daryl Hannah, who played a mermaid in the 1984 comedy, director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The late John Candy is paid warm tribute by all the participants and, in a cameo at the end, by surprise guest Ryan Reynolds.
For a special episode of their podcast The Darkest Timeline with Ken Jeong & Joel McHale, the two Community stars brought on the rest of the gang for a catch-up. McHale, Jeong, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown (her dog on her lap), Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and creator Dan Harmon all take turns cracking each other up. The funniest moment: when Jacobs lets slip that there’s a Community cast group chat—but Donald Glover isn’t on it.