SUPER TROOPERS 2
When the Broken Lizard team unleashed SUPER TROOPERS on the public in 2002, the
five-man group from Colgate University had no idea its smart and occasionally
comedy would become a cult classic. Filmed on a shoestring budget, the movie
Sundance Film Festival where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight and went on to
bring in $23
million worldwide in its theatrical release. In the years that followed, SUPER
TROOPERS gained a
devout fan base through DVD and repeat airings on the Comedy Central network.
So why wait 15 years to make a sequel? "We made the decision that if we made
SUPER TROOPERS movie right away, that's all we'd ever be known for," explains
resident director Jay Chandrasekhar. "We wanted to make something different. We
wanted to make
a horror movie."
But CLUB DREAD, released in 2004, wasn't what their audience wanted: "The
didn't want a horror movie from us," Chandrasekhar laughs. "They just wanted
more of those damn
cops running around."
So about three years ago, Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Erik Stolhanske, Paul
and Steve Lemme began brainstorming new misadventures for their SUPER TROOPERS
characters. The writer-performers were inspired by an NPR radio report about
disputes. "We heard on the radio that the government tried to confirm that the
stone markers, which
delineated the U.S. from Canada, were where they thought they were, and in some
were discrepancies," Chandrasekhar recalls. "We were amused by this idea:
imagine if somebody
went back and discovered that the border is not where the border should be?
You've got all these
people who were proudly Canadian who were now being told they have to become
felt like that was a fantastic conceit for our film."
CAPTAIN O'HAGAN RIDES AGAIN
Expanding the fact-based premise to absurd extremes, the Broken Lizard team
wrote 37 drafts of SUPER TROOPERS 2, taking pains to cram the script with jokes
and sight gags.
Then they went to work getting the SUPER TROOPERS gang back together. First
call: Brian Cox.
Acclaimed for his performances in serious dramas including L.I.E. and Golden
"Nuremberg," the British actor also had a memorable role in THE BOURNE IDENTITY
earned plaudits for his title performance in the acclaimed Royal National
Theatre production of
But for all his achievements, Cox says it's his performance as world-weary
that has earned him the most recognition from strangers on the street. "About
four years after
SUPER TROOPERS came out, I was eating in a restaurant in Austin when all these
Texas students came over to my table and started quoting the film," Cox says.
"Literally, the whole
film! I couldn't remember any of it. But they told me what my lines were, and I
said, 'Well if you
Although comedy fans adored SUPER TROOPERS, some critics disagreed, Cox recalls.
"When SUPER TROOPERS first came out, I got the worst reviews of my career," he
remember one of them said, 'If Mr. Cox needed the money, surely someone could've
lent it to him.'
Despite the critics, I survived it reasonably well and went on to do other
things, but at the time,
being in SUPER TROOPERS looked like it might be a great impediment to my
Despite that, Cox regards his SUPER TROOPERS character with immense empathy.
Captain is a sweet, rather sad character because he's lumbered with these five
idiots," says the actor.
"I think the audience should have immense sympathy for my character but instead
they just laugh
their heads off."
For their part, the members of Broken Lizard regard Cox with awe. "Brian Cox
we're a bunch of monkeys," says Lemme. "I mean, he's done Shakespeare!"
Also returning from the first SUPER TROOPERS are Lynda Carter, iconic star of
1970s "Wonder Woman" series, and Marisa Coughlan, who reprise their roles as
Jessman and Officer Ursula, respectively.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan revisits a fan-favorite 2002 scene that's come to be known
Meow scene." In the original, Soter's Trooper Foster stops the car driven by
and peppers his interrogation with "Meow." The nonsensical bit captured viewers'
"After all these years, I can't go anywhere without people saying 'Meow' to me,"
notes Soter. "It's
such a ridiculous thing to become memorable. We wanted to revisit that idea by
having us pull
Gaffigan over and he remembers us as the cops who said 'Meow' to him years
earlier. It's kind of
Cox jokes that both he and Gaffigan did their best to elude the long reach of
Lizard group when casting began on the sequel, but the filmmakers ultimately
has all these children and he piles them at the door and says 'Stop these people
from coming in,"
laughs Cox. In his own case, the British actor remembers shooting a movie in
Siberia when he got
the invitation. "There were these sort of Russian secret police who tracked me
down and said,
'These people from SUPER TROOPERS want to make another movie with you.' I said,
just tell them you couldn't find me?' But no, they didn't do that, so the next
thing you know, there I
was shooting the movie."
ROB LOWE AS "THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION"
Joining forces with the SUPER TROOPERS creators for the first time is Rob Lowe
role of smarmy hockey star-turned-politician Guy Le Franc. "We were all fans of
YOUNG BLOOD, where Rob played a hockey player," says Soter. "He's also been in
comedies like WAYNE'S WORLD and AUSTIN POWERS. In our movies, we like to
the cinematic touchstones of our youth so it was great fun to get people like
Rob and Lynda Carter
into this one."
Stolhanske remembers his wife spotting the famously handsome actor when they
the set. "She said, 'That guy looks like Rob Lowe.' I said, 'That guy is Rob
Lowe.' She couldn't
believe it." he says.
Lowe, coming off his Emmy-nominated role on "Parks and Recreation," came up
idea of nicknaming his character after a 1917 Canadian maritime disaster called
Explosion. "I actually brought that idea to Jay because it's part of this crazy
obsession I have with
the biggest man-made explosion before the invention of the atom bomb," Lowe
says. "When I told
Jay about this disaster, he became fascinated and the Halifax Explosion became
sort of a running
joke in the movie."
A FAN-FUNDED EFFORT
Aware of the original film's dedicated following, Broken Lizard went directly to
fan base to finance SUPER TROOPERS 2's production budget. A campaign on the
raised more than $4.6 million donated directly by SUPER TROOPERS devotees eager
to see more
hijinks. The campaign went on to become the second most successful crowd funding
a movie ever. "When we did the crowd funding thing, we didn't know how it would
Heffernan says. "It could have been very embarrassing, but luckily the fans came
Adds Soter: "It pushed us into the reality of 'We're really making a movie now.'
course, you want to make the movie great for the fans because they helped
finance it for us."
As a reward for supporting the movie, four generous Indiegogo backers, Matt
Lovett, Jyoti Patel and Kevin Birtcher were invited to visit the Super Troopers
2 set. "I really
enjoyed the first SUPER TROOPERS and a lot of my friends did too," says Patel.
chance to actively give money so they could go make another one seemed like
really good idea and
it was really exciting to feel like you're a part of something you really love."
Lemme says the show of support from SUPER TROOPERS 2 online backers meant a lot
both emotionally and financially. "It's really humbling to meet these fans face
to face and tell them,
'You contributed the first money to the budget of our movie and that really
BAITING THE BEAR
While SUPER TROOPERS featured a fake bear sequence, for the sequel the
upped the ante by hiring an actual 1,300-pound bear named Whopper to terrorize
character, Farva. "The bear was a real diva," jokes Lemme. In SUPER TROOPERS 2,
man-versus-bear scene centers on Farva as he tries to distract the hungry animal
headquarters in search of food.
"There was a great moment the other day, when I worked with the proper sort of
happened to be a bear who hit his marks," says Brian Cox. "The bear did what he
was told, and
was excellent. And we filmed it quicker than any other scene. This bear came in,
did this stuff, got
out, he was fantastic."
"The bear was a good actor. He hit his mark every time, did it on the first take
and then it
went back to its trailer," Heffernan recalls.
"He works for meat," added Jay Chandrasekhar.
BAD ACCENTS AND NAKED MOUNTIES
The reinstated Vermont State Highway officers in SUPER TROOPERS 2 harbor
for all things Canadian, but if their accents are any indication, the three
actors co-starring as
Canadian Mounties also display casual disregard for authentic
north-of-the-border culture. "My
Canadian accent is on a sliding scale, different from scene to scene," Hayes
MacArthur says. "I'll
get the Scottish brogue coming in at times." And Labine notes, "Sometimes a
little Russian sneaks
Will Sasso, the burly star of the Emmy-nominated "MADtv" series, grew up in
a strong French-Canadian dialect. "My accent was so thick and gravelly, you
marshmallows on it," he says. "I had to smoke cigars in the morning and inhale
and walk around
the lobby of our hotel just to warm up."
Sasso, MacArthur, and Labine vividly remember the arduous night sequence when
Mountie characters are humiliated by the Americans. "The second day of the shoot
we got dropped
off naked in the woods wearing nothing but red, white and blue body paint,"
Adds Labine: "The funny thing about full body paint is that you can't really sit
they've painted your rear, and you can't wear a robe 'cause the paint will rub
off. So, there was a
lot of time where we're just hanging out getting bit by random bugs. And we were
abstract art everywhere we went. You'd sit down and when you got up, it looked
like a Jackson
Pollock painting on the chair."
Filmed in Massachusetts in August and September 2016 with cinematographer Joe
behind the camera, SUPER TROOPERS 2 challenged cast members to bring their
"I can only describe the mood as contrived chaos," Cox says. "You learn to ride
For his role as Foster, Soter says it was all about getting laughs. "I mugged. I
things. I did physical comedy. For me, there was not a single ounce of heavy
lifting or romantic
purpose at all. Erik got it the best and the worst in this movie. He gets the
love scenes, and he also
got chained to a giant industrial saw."
While each Broken Lizard suffers for his art in SUPER TROOPERS 2, Heffernan's
had a particularly rough time of it. "I was the biggest jackass in the first
movie, where I had all kind
of gunk dropped on me," Heffernan says. "Now for this one, it's even more: I end
up in a portapotty
that flips over and blue goop pours all over me."
Stolhanske's character, Rabbit, falls victim to a shaving-cream locker-room
Mounties tell the Americans about a hazing ritual that involves the rookie of
the bunch getting
handcuffed to a bench and forcibly shaved.
Then there was the sequence that marked a first for Lemme. "Not only did I do
acid in this
movie, I also did a full-frontal and rear nude scene at the same time," says the
actor, who reportedly
underwent rigorous preparation for his nude scene. "We like to call that the
Django scene," jokes
"Steve's goal was to have a dimple on the side of his butt," Heffernan observes.
"For two months, you'd see Steve doing leg lifts all the time."
Lemme elaborates: "You have to get the buttocks prepared and get yourself in
practice cartwheels." As soon as the scene was completed, Lemme gorged on
snacks. "We found
Steve at one of the craft service tables just eating, eating, eating," Heffernan
says. "He was
gobbling candy," Chandrasekhar adds. Lemme confirms: "It was decadent. I owned
The film shot in Massachusetts locations including Concord, Southborough,
Marlborough and the Quabbin Reservoir. One interior served as both police
station and brothel,
recalls production designer Cabot McMullen ("Scrubs," "Supergirl"). "What
started out as a dual-
sex strip club in our movie somehow morphed into a hockey-themed bordello that
exists in Canada," Soter says. "Maybe it does. I don't know."
Between the Mounties' bare-naked debacle, the bordello showdown and the shaving
sequence, SUPER TROOPERS 2 shows plenty of skin. "There's more nudity, both
male, than we've ever had in any of our other movies," says Stolhanske "We like
to give something
back to the ladies."
SUPER TROOPERS RIDE AGAIN
For comedy fans who appreciate goofball antics in the tradition of ANIMAL HOUSE
CADDYSHACK, the anarchy-packed SUPER TROOPERS 2 serves up a fresh helping of
Lizard's trademark R-rated wackiness. While SUPER TROOPERS has become a cult
classic, this one stands on its own but has some definite throwbacks to the
original. "It's been fun
for us to play the Super Troopers again because we don't really have to discover
says Chandrasekhar: "We just painted them a little weirder and tried to make as
good a movie as
we could. Whether it catches on in the same way as the first one, who the hell
knows? All I know is
that we wrote what we think is a very funny movie and we shot it."
As for Cox, the veteran thespian says he's already looking forward to his
fantasy of what a
SUPER TROOPERS 3 might look like. "I've played King Lear and I've played Titus
Cox says. "I've done all these major roles up the wazoo, but I always wanted to
be Jerry Lewis
because, you see, I'm a closet comedian. Hopefully, if there's a SUPER TROOPERS
O'Hagan will be able to exact his revenge. That's what I'm looking forward to:
shoots...and exacting my revenge."
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