What could be better than ice cream? How about free ice cream? Or how about an interview and an exclusive trailer from the indie film “Free Samples“? “Free Samples” tells the story of Jillian (Jess Weixler) who, after dropping out of law school, spends one eventful day handing out some tasty teases for soft-serve ice cream.
The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg as the guy Jillian can’t remember from the night before but who is determined to go on a date with her.
“Free Samples” also stars Halley Feiffer, Jason Ritter and Tippi Hedren. It was written by Jim Beggarly and directed by Jay Gammill.
We sat down with director Jay Gammill and the movie’s lead actor Jess Weixler who plays Jillian.
Mobile Cuisine: Jim Beggarly wrote the original script, how were you introduced to the project and what was it that made you choose to direct it?
Jay Gammill: I met Jim Beggarly coming out of film school (USC) in 2007 and we wanted to work together on a project. He pitched me on the idea of “Free Samples” and I thought it was fantastic, especially for the fact that it took place on a single set.
MC: What drew you to a script that centered on an ice cream truck as the primary set?
JG: As an independent film maker, you are always looking for something you can do with limited funding. It was really fun to do.
MC: How does a first time movie director come with a cast which includes Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter and Tippy Hedren?
JG: We were very fortunate to have Jesse Eisenberg attached early on and we always wanted Jess Wiexler. Both of them really responded to the script, that was really the key. We couldn’t have planned it if we tried.
MC: So why did you choose to work on a project with a first time full length movie director?
Jess Weixler: I’ve worked with a lot of first time directors. I feel that you make choices just because you’d have a good time playing a character Jillian was a character who had a journey’s to take and she wasn’t a character I’ve played before.
MC: What was it like to work with Jay?
JW: Jay was great and super open to discussing scenes and figuring out together what they needed. It was a really fun set, kinda like a summer camp set.
MC: Your character Jillian agrees to operate her friend’s ice cream truck while she attends an intervention for her bother. By agreeing to give out free samples of ice cream from the truck, Jillian stumbles into a working therapy session where the customers help her realize what her real problems are and how she can fix them. Why do you think in certain situations it takes listening to a stranger’s view or advice of someone else’s life to break through their psychological issues?
JW: That’s an interesting question. I think that often times when people that your close to sometimes your stuck in your habits and how you act around them it’s strangers that enlighten you or who you open up to. I think this is true for Jillian especially with the little girl and the older woman.
MC: How was it to work with Tippy Hedren?
JW: She is a total pleasure, she is really caring.
MC: Do you have any memories about ice cream trucks from your youth?
JG: When I was young lad in the 80’s growing up in Louisiana, the ice cream truck was a weekly event, and my treat of choice was the orange-like Flintstone Push Up Pops. What I remember most was the initial sound of the ice cream jingle which set into motion a course of events that could not be stopped until I was peeling back the top of that push pop and licking my tongue into a hue of orange not found in nature. It was very satisfying.
MC: With the idea of mobile food going gourmet starting in LA back in 2008, have either of you frequented any of the hundreds of gourmet food trucks that cruise the streets of Southern California?
JG: Food Trucks to me are like a dessert. I always want to eat at one but allow myself to indulge every so often, but yes I do, often when I’m with friends. I also have a hard time waiting in lines, but once I started bringing lawn chairs, I was fine.
MC: Do you have any favorites?
JG: While we were filming FREE SAMPLES, Cafe Con Leche visited our set a few times, and the coffee was divine. Right now, I’m dying to try the Clean Street Food Truck! It’s on the top of my list.
Find the full trailer for Free Samples below.
Here is a Mobile Cuisine exclusive clip where Jillian (Jess Weixler) gets directions on how to prepare the free samples.
You can visit the “Free Samples” official Facebook page here.
“Free Samples” will be available on demand and for digital download starting on May 21 and in theaters on May 31.