It sure did. You don’t know how many people have come up to me and said they discovered “Drinking Buddies” on Netflix.
That’s where the world saw it. Nobody saw that film in theaters. To this day people are coming up to me and saying, “Hey, I just saw a movie called ‘Drinking Buddies’ man, I loved it.” And so, we thought, “Wow, people loved and found it,” and then we made “Digging For Fire” that we got to play in select theaters and it found that same audience. That was really unique. This one, we want you guys to discover this when you can discover this. Aislinn Derbez, who plays my love interest, is from Mexico and what’s so exciting about this streaming is that this movie goes worldwide April 7th. So this movie is playing in Mexico the day it’s playing in Chicago, and that blows my mind.

Yeah, it seems to have become a go-to place for established filmmakers. Even Martin Scorsese has signed up there for his next movie.
I don’t think we should ever discredit the fun and joy of going to the movies. I saw “Get Out” in the movie theater and I am so glad I saw that surrounded by people. I thought it was the perfect theater movie. There are some movies that belong in the theater, there are some movies that it would be a shame if you didn’t see them in the theater. Then, there are other movies that can actually work on streaming. So I don’t think that streaming means the death of movies as we know it. I just think it’s a different avenue. We’re in a content race where you make some different-budgeted types of movies and they don’t have to cannibalize each other. They can all survive.

win-it-all-jake-johnson-5DM34653_RI’d like to know a little bit more about your work partnership with Joe. You guys seem to have something unique and interesting going on. What makes it all work so well?
Like any relationship, Joe and I really like each other and we both bring something very different to the table. Each movie is a different kind of partnership. The kind of model that we’re forming is that we talk an idea together and, if it’s something we’re both passionate about, we spend a lot of time on it. Then I’ll come up with a structured pitch of the act, sort of like a blueprint. And if he likes it and is willing to spend time on it and if I like it, then we go in and start writing it. We fill it out and then we cast it. Once we cast it, we will rewrite for that cast and [then] on-set. Joe runs a perfect set, in my opinion, and as an actor, it’s a ridiculous industry that we’re in, but you need to trust the director and you need to be willing, vulnerable, and open to try your hardest because you like this person and care about him. Joe creates an environment that, once the actors embrace what he’s doing, he really gets incredible performances out of them because you’re in the Joe Swanberg world. The guy knows how to throw a party.

These films have people that feel real, situations that feel authentic, and, as you mentioned, a lot of the credit has to go to Joe and his actors. A good example is your character in the movie, Eddie. It’s not a caricature at all.
Yeah, that was the idea.

win-it-all-jake-johnson-5DM33909_RI’d like you to talk a little about Eddie. He starts off as a not very likable character, but then he really develops into someone you really care for.
Eddie is loosely based … I come from this family from where my mom had eight brothers and sisters and they were these big, larger-than-life Chicago characters and when I was growing up, I looked up to all of them. I just thought, you know my uncles and aunts, they were just the coolest people. But my uncles had all these crazy stories. Eddie, in my creation of this character, was loosely based off of not just my uncles, but the way my uncles used to tell stories of their friends, people who grew up in the neighborhood. It’s like I really know those guys, I idolized those characters for a lot of years in my life. It was definitely the type of character that I loved to play. I really hope to again, and it doesn’t feel like something that I’m done with. These are people that contributed to my artistic development, of who I thought was cool and who I thought would be cool to play.

Are you already planning your next movie with Joe?
We are. Joe and I always plan, it’s always about scheduling. You know, he’s got his Netflix TV show [“Easy“], I’ve got “New Girl” and then other movies. We have a couple of ideas that are always kickin’ around, slowly building the story, and then there will be a time where he says, “I can be free in October and November,” and I go, “that window works for me,” then we lock that off, and once we lock that off, then it’s a sprint to get to that date to get the cast, the money, get the crew, get the script. So right now we’re just in the phase of picking which one we want to be next, and what’s nice about Joe and I is that we’ve always been saying that we want to make nine movies together. We both feel that there aren’t enough collaborations in this business where people who like movies can watch a twosome grow together. I loved watching Scorsese and De Niro, and Joe and I have an opportunity with these indie movies that we’re doing to create our version of something like that. I loved, you know, Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson. You know, those collaborations that just come and go. We kind of shook hands and made an agreement by saying, “Let’s do our own thing and let’s see what movie 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 look like.” Because each one we’re going to learn from. We’ve learned a lot from “Win It All,” and I want to put that into practice for the next one.

  • Mountain Trails

    Win it All is a fun film. I still want movies to be in movie theatres first but if the only choice in Netflix then more movies like Win it All are welcome.