I recently had the chance to talk with the brilliant and hilarious Adele Lim about her film JOY RIDE. Lim not only directed the film, but she is also one of the co-writers of the hilariously naughty JOY RIDE. JOY RIDE is coming July 28th to Premium Video-On-Demand.
Interview with Adele Lim for Joy Ride
JOY RIDE is a hilariously naughty road trip adventure that is genuinely funny with touching moments you don’t expect. My sister and I were rolling in laughter the entire film, all while texting my best friend Ashley laughing about the scenes we’d watched.
Naturally, that meant one of the questions Ashley and I had for Adele during our recent interview was how in the world she got through the takes without laughing. Apparently, that may have been the toughest part of the job. In fact, one scene, in particular, was incredibly challenging to film and did not even make it into the movie!
Oh, my gosh, this movie is hilarious. So many moments are hilarious moments, touching moments. Do you have a favorite scene from the film?
Adele Lim: You know, I have a couple of favorite scenes. And they’re both very different. One is the Kpop moment. Because, you know, again, created this movie, because it’s just like, insane wish fulfillment for us.
And at this point, I feel like most women and gay men have a fantasy of being in the K-pop group, because why not? So we built it into our movie. And it was our four actors, you know, who had like, recorded the song and had done all this choreography, and then being able to shoot it on set and seeing it all come together like it I remember shooting it and looking at our filmmakers going like, “Oh my god, did we just create like a K-pop sensation?!”
And also, it’s just that like, you know, you have regular lives. And it happens when the characters are in such a garbage point of their journey, that just being able to let loose and just have the time of your lives in like a purple hair wig. Like that’s, that’s the space, I feel like we all secretly want to be in. So that was like, my first favorite scene.
And then the other one is, there’s a more emotional moment with the character where she has this video of her birth mother. And it was one of those unexpected, but very real moments for us. And I think for a lot of people who’ve watched the movie to like, you know, again, we’re this R-rated ridiculous inappropriate comedy, but it has real heart and I think like that’s one of the scenes where it comes through.
Between writing all this out and actually directing it, how did you keep a straight face was there was one scene harder to shoot than another, like which one took the most takes?
Adele Lim: Ah, well, really like actor Sherry Cola who plays Lolo. To me, there’s almost no line of demarcation between Lolo the character and Sherry Cola the actor; she is 100% like that best friend. Like we all either have that friend, who’s just kind of out of control who always brings a ray of sunshine in your life, but also you’re just like, I can’t bring her around my family sometimes because it’s too much just too much and maybe just like lives too close to the edge.
And so she’s in every scene like non-stop cracking up she cracks she makes the crew crack up, and , there was a scene which we which actually didn’t even make the movie was her and her character Lolo and Audrey and this little guest house and they’re getting high on like on like just like smoking weed but it’s…like fun fact, like those actors haven’t, don’t actually do drugs.
Like we had to coach them on how to like light a bong. Like Ashley Park was like, full on, like trying to suck the part of the bong where you put the weed and she’s like, I suck. You’re like, no, no, we don’t suck there. And the whole time, you know, we have all these jokes, but we actually have all these alter jokes. So we have a big tent of writers who just keep, they keep like throwing extra jokes because you don’t know what works the best. And so between like all these extra jokes coming in, and the smoke-filled like hot box of a room, and Sherry Cola, like just nonstop like going at it with Ashley like they genuinely crack each other up. Like they could not keep a straight face through half the jokes.
I’m like, this place is filling up with smoke. One of my camera people like has asthma, like we gotta get out of here. Like, let’s go. Let’s try to maintain some semblance of professionalism here.
That’s amazing. I love that. I hope that’s on a blooper roll somewhere when it comes out? That sounds awesome.
Okay, so Joy Ride had a great soundtrack. If you’re going on a road trip, a Joy Ride with your besties what are the essentials and what’s on your playlist?
Adele Lim: Oh, man, like, there’s like so much on the playlist with this amazing music supervisor Toko Nagata, and it was also part of US selling the fact that we weren’t actually in Asia when we shot it because we shot during the pandemic, and being able to sell like that party feel. So on my on my playlist would be “Best Friend,” [Saweetie] obviously. Again, that party feel to it. Not totally appropriate. But when it came up, because it was so ridiculous, we loved “W.A.P.” [Brownie Tuesday] And then we had at the end of the soundtrack, we have “Juicy” by RAMENGVRL. So this was actually done for our movie and right at the end. And after I listened to it, I was just like, just like bouncing to it the whole time. So yeah, big shoutouts to RAMENGVRL.
So this is a story about friendship, amongst other things. And I know you’ve had a chance to work on the script with your friends, which I think that’s amazing. What was that collaboration process like? Did you kind of work any of your real-life stories into it? Obviously, you don’t want to incriminate anyone with you know, certain tattoos or adventures with basketball teams, you know, that sort of thing?
Adele Lim: Yeah, well, without like naming names, like, I think it was inspired by like, our own stories that we tell each other because that’s what you do. Like with your girlfriends, like, you know, you go out, you have dinner, you escape your life, and you just, you just say all the awful terrible, like super funny stories that you would share with anybody else.
And we’re all professional writers we’ve been writing for like other people, most of our careers were like, let’s write this for us. I think the big takeaway for us too, is that, you know, this is the kind of thing guys do all the time.
Like they you know, they literally had a movie about playing tag with, you know, as grown-ass men. And for women, we always feel like sometimes, you know, like maybe our stories don’t get to have like a spotlight on them or, you know, get to you know, we get to be like heroes of the story that way. And so that was the fun part. For us. I’m just like, we’re gonna take the, the stories that are like the messiest, the nastiest, like all inspired by our friends and, you know, make it more heightened.
And we’re gonna make it like the, we’re gonna make it the center of the story and see who bites you know, and you do that, you know, because it makes you happy. It makes you laugh, and you hope like, you know, the people who read it have that same reaction.
And I just want to say one last thing with our team of filmmakers, like I was like, the only mom in this and I felt like especially when I was like a mother of younger children. Like we’re not a demographic that people look to. And I was just like, I needed that entertainment in my life. I don’t want you know, I don’t want that audience and that demographic to be like looked over in this because like, we know, we’ve seen things and we need the laughs.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.
About Joy Ride
From the producers of Neighbors and the co-screenwriter of Crazy Rich Asians, JOY RIDE stars Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Oscar nominee Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu. The hilarious and unapologetically explicit story of identity and self-discovery centers on four unlikely friends who embark on a once-in-a-lifetime international adventure. When Audrey’s (Ashley Park) business trip to Asia goes sideways, she enlists the aid of Lolo (Sherry Cola), her irreverent, childhood best friend who also happens to be a hot mess; Kat (Stephanie Hsu), her college friend turned Chinese soap star; and Deadeye (Sabrina Wu), Lolo’s eccentric cousin. Their no-holds-barred, epic experience becomes a journey of bonding, friendship, belonging, and wild debauchery that reveals the universal truth of what it means to know and love who you are.
Also starring Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians, Shang-Chi), Lori Tan Chinn (“Awkwafina is Nora From Queens”), David Denman (Greenland), Annie Mumolo (Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar), Desmond Chiam (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier“), Alexander Hodge (Insecure), and Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians).
Director: Adele Lim
Screenplay: Cherry Chevapravatdumrong & Teresa Hsiao
Story by: Cherry Chevapravatdumrong & Teresa Hsiao & Adele Lim
Cast: Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, Sabrina Wu
Producers: Seth Rogen, p.g.a.; Evan Goldberg, p.g.a.; James Weaver, p.g.a.; Josh Fagen, p.g.a.; Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, p.g.a.; Teresa Hsiao, p.g.a; Adele Lim, p.g.a.
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