Todd Phillips profile

Road Trip

Interviewed by Ben Falk

Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters") produced "Road Trip". How did you and he meet?

I made a documentary called "Frat House", which was documentary's answer to "Animal House". Ivan Reitman saw it and we met and hit it off and started talking about doing a movie together.

"Road Trip" was a big hit in the US. When did you realise you had a successful movie on your hands?

When you write, direct, and edit a movie, the jokes aren't really funny to you anymore. But the first time that we knew was at the test screening we had. All the laughs came exactly where they were supposed to. That's when we knew.

Gross-out comedies are very popular at the moment. Did you always want to make a film like that?

I find the term 'gross-out comedy' sort of dismissive. It's very easy to be gross, it's very hard to be funny. I think why "Road Trip" works is not because of the gross stuff, it's because of the characters.

There's some funny stuff with a mouse being fed to a snake. Any accidents?

At the last count, three mice died that day. No, seriously, no mice died. We had a really good mouse. He's done other work: have you seen "Mouse Hunt"? And his cousin was in "The Green Mile".

You also make a cameo in the movie?

I play the guy with the foot fetish in the movie because I am a guy with a foot fetish. Mr Creepy we call him: he's my alter ego.

What are you up to now?

I'm writing another comedy. But don't worry, it's not a teen movie at all.

Read an interview with one of the stars of "Road Trip".