Reid Scott and Adam Pally in Who Invited Charlie

INTERVIEW: The Cast of ‘Who Invited Charlie?’ Talks the Pandemic Set Movie

Who Invited Charlie? brings us a comedy about a family dealing with their friend Charlie (Adam Pally) coming to stay with them in their house on the beach during the beginning of the pandemic. The movie from director Xavier Manrique stars Reid Scott, Jordana Brewster, Peter Dager, and Pally all as a group of people just trying to figure out life in that uncertain time when we weren’t sure how long we’d be trapped inside from COVID-19.

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But the movie itself is about understanding, forgiveness, and opening up to those close to you even when the world seems to be piling on top of you. It’s a comedy with a dramatic edge and a great watch! And I got to speak with the cast now that the movie is released on digital for rent or to purchase!

Reid Scott on being the straight man

One of the best “straight men” as they’re known in comedy techniques is Reid Scott. Playing Phil, he’s there to serve as the father and “leader” of his family but he’s not as open with his wife Rosie (Jordana Brewster) and he’s constantly at odds with his son Max (Peter Dager). It is his relationship with Charlie (Pally) that falls into the typical “straight man/crazy man” dynamic and Scott talked with me about playing into that straight man role.

“I really enjoy that, that’s my sense of humor and I recognize I’ve been very lucky to sort of have been involved in projects that the characters I get to play either were already sort of written with a very similar sort of sense of humor or like on Veep where we’re so very much encouraged to be so collaborative and really cultivate our characters, not just personality, but like the way they speak, what they find funny, their little idiosyncrasies,” Scott said. “And it’s great. It’s the space that I feel the most comfortable, you know? I never thought of myself as particularly very funny, really. I mean, I always felt I had a good sense of humor, but when I first started to work 25 years ago, I kept on getting casting comedies and I really wondered why.”

You can see our full interview here:

Adam Pally on everyone’s Charlie story

If we know one thing from Adam Pally it’s that he’s going to be hilarious in whatever he’s doing. Who Invited Charlie? is no different. And getting to talk with him about the movie was a lot of jokes, talking about movies and audiences reacting to a “pandemic setting” and more. But one of the things we discussed was everyone’s Charlie.

We all had someone get displaced or stay with someone during the pandemic that wasn’t normally where they would have been and Pally said that that’s what is relatable about the movie. When I pointed out that I was stuck at my mom’s during the pandemic, he responded by saying “So you were your mom’s Charlie.”

Pally went on though to talk about his own connection to Charlie when he first read the script. “I think Charlie represents a lot and I think that you can see yourself in Charlie in a lot of different moments in your own life. And I really responded and understood that about the character when I read it. I just tried to let it kind of every day just trying to show up and kind of let it be what it was gonna be.”

You can see our full interview here:

Peter Dager does know Wonderwall

Playing young Max is Peter Dager, an incredibly performer who knew exactly how to make this character’s upset over his parents and his situation come across while still being hilarious. And one of the funnier moments in the movie comes from a conversation between Max and Charlie about the band Oasis. Max and Charlie end up singing “Wonderwall” together and so I asked Dager about it.

He told me that the scene itself was born out of himself and Pally talking about the band but he made it clear that he did know the song before the movie he just doesn’t like Oasis. “I love music and I do know a bunch of old school. Like I love Stevie Wonder. I love The Beatles,” he said. “I love old school music but I just, I never got into Oasis and I tried listening to their albums and I just never got into it. And of course the one song I know is Wonderwall. So I got there and that was actually a conversation that we were having that they just started rolling. So no, I actually don’t know Oasis, but I do know that song. And that’s the story.”

You can see our full interview here:

Xavier Manrique on balancing humor and pain

There are some scenes in the movie that work because they’re balancing the humor with the darker moments of these characters and their lives. One in particular features Dager’s Max trying to drive his dad’s car into the ocean. For director Xavier Manrique, it was about balancing those peaks and valleys within the movie.

“I think it’s funny and a lot of the parts are funny because of the peaks and valleys that you have, right?” he said. “And, in that specific scene, it was a valley, right? You have to really get to what is, why he wants to sink the car and it unravels, it opens a can of worms with basically his entire family drama.”

You can see our full interview here:

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Who Invited Charlie? is available on digital now.

(Featured image: Perry Street Films)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.