Interview with SMOSH: The Movie's Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox and Alex Winter

SMOSH:The Movie's Anthony and Padilla Ian Hecox

Anyone recall what happened to the guy who played Bill from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? We all remember Alex Winter as essentially the “Robin” to Keanu’s “Batman.” Well, he’s no Robin anymore. He’s recently hopped in the drivers seat and directed SMOSH: The Movie starring YouTube sensations Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. 

About ten years ago, SMOSH was born in the suburbs of Sacramento where two teenagers Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox made videos and shared them with friends on a brand new site called YouTube. Fast forward to now, the two funny men are in control of a multi-million dollar video enterprise garnering over 30 million subscribers. If you haven’t heard of their channel, visit any high school and just ask around. According to the duo, they weren’t seeking fame or popularity; it just came out of nowhere. And, as Uncle Ben told Spidey, “With great power, comes great responsibility, ” the two heeded Ben’s advice and decided to take their online show on the road to Hollywood. The 5 million dollar budget didn’t sound too bad to them either!

“It was a lot of fun to create the movie. It’s totally a different process creating a movie compared to a YouTube video. Usually we shoot a 4-6 minute long sketch so, it was interesting to work on something that has a true character arc and something with a three-act structure,” said Hecox.

Padilla and Hecox attribute their great chemistry to a “bro-mance” that’s lasted about 16 years. “It’s basically like we’re married. Our friendship could drive a car now. In a couple more years our friendship could smoke a cigarette,” joked Hecox.

After high school, the two buddies had no career direction. Hecox picked up a job at the nearest Chuck-E-Cheese and was employed to wear an awful mouse costume. “Chuck-E-Cheese is basically where parents go to have their kids babysat by employees,” Padilla chimed in.   Padilla did the less embarrassing job by doing some web design occasionally to make a few bucks. This was all until YouTube changed both their lives and subsequently catapulted them to the big screen. To pay homage to the YouTube Gods, the two believed it was only right to include YouTube in their first film.

“It was a crazy, big opportunity we knew we wanted to do, and we wanted YouTube to be a part of the movie because it’s where we got started. It’s pretty much our life and YouTube changed our lives,” Padilla told Cinemovie.

Coming along for the excellent adventure, (See what I did there?) was Alex Winter who put his “Bill and Ted” fingerprints all over SMOSH. Winter and his team were ecstatic to work with the SMOSH brothers to tell a story that lampooned the YouTube generation. Winter even brought in some big name YouTube celebrities to capture the authenticity of the story.

“The whole movie relied on the authenticity of making fun of ourselves, SMOSH making fun of their own image, and other people from YouTube like Harley, Jenna Marbles, and Grace coming in and making fun of their image. Everything had to be authentic to their world,” explained Winter.

Despite poking fun at YouTube and using their name generously throughout the film, the video streaming empire was very supportive of the project. In fact, they shot a large portion of the film at the YouTube headquarters in Los Angeles. According to Padilla, the company allows any “YouTuber” with over 10k subscribers to use their studio for free.

“We built sets there on several stages, I’m not sure they had that in mind. I think they’ve since up’d it to having 7 billion subscribers,” Winter chuckled.

A few years ago, the SMOSH duo found out they had a ton of subscribers in the Latino community.  The two also discovered that this guy named Patricio from Chile had been dubbing their videos in Spanish for fun. It didn’t take long for them to officially hire Patricio to translate all their online media. Despite the Padilla last name and their prominent Latino fan base, the pair tried impressing us with their Spanish skills and hilariously failed.

“Un Poco! Un Poco! See. Basically no. El baño and Cerveza. We know the important things. El baño and Cerveza!” joked Hecox.

SMOSH: The Movie is available on download on iTunes starting July 24th!

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