Peter Berg, the co-creator/executive producer of TV's dearly departed Friday Night Lights, is featured in the May 2012 issue of Details. While we were sitting in the Santa Monica offices of his company, Film 44, talking about Battleship and his absurd college days, FNL's super-hot Connie Britton (aka Tami Taylor) happened to pass by. We pulled her into the room for a quick grilling on the eagerly awaited, will-it-or-won't-it-happen Friday Night Lights movie. Here's the very friendly fly-on-the-wall exchange that ensued.
DETAILS: What are your thoughts on the movie?
CONNIE BRITTON: What movie?
PETER BERG: The Friday Night Lights movie.
CONNIE BRITTON: Oh, Friday Night Lights! I haven't even told you this. I had a meeting at [FNL executive producer/showrunner] Jason Katims' office the other day.
PETER BERG: Careful, he's a journalist.
CONNIE BRITTON: I think I can say this. You're the one who shoots off at the mouth all the time and gets yourself in trouble!
PETER BERG: Okay, what do you got?
CONNIE BRITTON: So, I had a meeting at Jason Katims' office. And we were talking about something else and I said, "Forget about all that. Is this movie going to happen?" I was sitting on his couch, and he's like, "Look behind you." And I look behind me and it's a wall with a big, huge corkboard on it with all these 3x5 cards. That's what these writers do, they do the whole story on 3x5 cards. He's like, "That's the movie."
PETER BERG: We're doing the movie.
CONNIE BRITTON: I was so excited. Then he's, like, "Don't look at it! I don't want you to see it until it's a script." I'm like, "I'd better have a good part in it!"
PETER BERG: Fuck off.
CONNIE BRITTON: I mean, seriously. Then I said, "You'd better get Kyle Chandler on board."
PETER BERG: We've got him.
CONNIE BRITTON: You need to have a conversation with him.
PETER BERG: We'll get him. Here's the crazy thing—I've been traveling around the world for Battleship. And Taylor Kitsch [who plays Tim Riggins on FNL] has been traveling around the world for John Carter. I mean, literally around the world. London, Paris, Germany, Spain, Moscow, Tokyo, Korea, Mexico City, Australia. For real. All those places. Everywhere we go we're talking about Battleship and John Carter, but all they want to talk about is the Friday Night Lights movie. Everywhere. Even in fucking Korea! Taylor is like, "It's just fucking ridiculous."
DETAILS: People can't wait. There was a report about the movie that saying it would focus on Coach Taylor and that the story was inspired by Mike Leach, the former Texas Tech coach who was accused of locking a kid in a closet. What about that story resonates with you?
PETER BERG: I put Leach in a little cameo in Friday Night Lights and I started to become friends with him, and then he got fired. I really studied that entire situation—his getting fired and the accusations made against him by Adam James, and the pressure that his father, Craig James, put on Leach, using his ESPN bully pulpit. Craig James is a fucking scumbag, helicopter dad—and everything wrong with the culture I observed in Texas. Mike Leach never put that kid in a closet. The kid admitted it. It was a total lie. Now Mike Leach has the Washington State University job and he's got carte blanche. It's a great comeback story.
CONNIE BRITTON: I am so on board. Pete, let's make the movie the same way we did the pilot.
PETER BERG: Naked?
CONNIE BRITTON: Yes, naked and drunk. We were drunk. And sometimes naked. But not on camera.