By Jessica Cassino
It is based on the book, “Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey Into Minor League Hockey” by Doug Smith and Adam Frattasio. Seann William Scott plays Doug Glatt, a nice guy who becomes a fighter by chance. A player pulled a Mike Milbury and ran into the stands, only to meet Glatt’s fist.
I ran into league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan at the screening the other night. I asked Shanny what he would do if Doug Glatt played in the NHL. “Nothing. He played by the rules.” Good answer, Shanny.
Jay Baruchel plays Pat, his wisecracking best friend. Liev Schreiber plays the fearsome, Ross “The Boss” Rhea. If you are not familiar with hockey, he will scare the shit out of you in this movie.
Since I am a New York Rangers fan, I apologized to Jay for Habs resident hack, Scott Gomez. “At least you guys had Gump Worsley. He did well for you guys all those years.” GOON director Michael Dowse chimed in, “At least you guys have McDonagh now.” Very true, Dowse.
Jay Baruchel also had a lot to say about the film and hockey in general. After all, he co-wrote it with Evan Goldberg.
ON GOMEZ AND HIS LACKLUSTER SEASON
“Listen, I can’t fault the guy for having his agent do his job. Who here is going to turn down 7.5 million a fuckin year?“
“He’s not doing himself any favors. He’s a great man in the room.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
“I was raised in a house where we lionized, revered, and respected the hell out of these guys. These are the guys that in many ways, they do a very pure job. It’s pure in intention and pure in its execution”.
MAJOR INFLUENCE WHILE WRITING THE SCREENPLAY
I’m half Jewish on my dad’s side and everything I know about hockey and in particular, hockey fighting, stems from Dad and it’s really hard for me to separate that particular type of hockey from my dad’s first generation Jewish immigrant experience. Fighting, hockey, and being Jewish were really defining parts of his identity. When it came time to take the book, “Goon” and drop it into the food processor of my brain, it was impossible for that not to kinda come through.”
YOUNG PLAYERS TAKING CHEAP SHOTS DUE TO LACK OF SKILL
“What I do see is a fairly terrifying trend of cynicism. There’s no place to put their aggression anymore. It manifests itself in cheap, dirty shit. The one time I will ever agree with Brian Burke was about a month ago when he put poor Colton Orr on waivers and he said, ‘I fear the rats are taking over the game’ ( See Burke’s complete quote below) That’s a trend I see and that’s completely different and that’s to me a direct correlation from the decline of the enforcer.”
“I have this fear that if we don’t have guys looking after each other that the rats will take this game over.-Brian Burke
LIEV SCHREIBER ON GLATT AND RHEA’S FIRST MEETING
“I was very grateful to Jay for including that element. I think it is a real testament to his passion for the game and for the players that he would include in his story a player who is in the twilight of his career.”
LIEVE SCHREIBER- IF HIS KIDS WANTED TO PLAY HOCKEY
I’d definitely be nervous. But if my kids came to me and told me that they loved hockey and expressed one billionth of the passion for hockey that like Jay expresses, how could I stop them? I mean you can’t. They love it. Mind you, my kids are three years old and four years old. I get nervous when they go to the bathroom.
BARUCHEL ON GLATT
It’s his heart that guides the whole thing. He’s this innocent in a world of cynics and people that have had reasons to stop giving a shit about whatever. The jist of what it is to do this job is whether or not your team is up by five goals or down by five goals, regardless of whether the guys you fuckin play alongside respect you, you will go out and do whatever needs to be done to protect them. It’s a thankless, misunderstood job, but it’s his fuckin heart that is the center of all of it. Everybody that plays alongside him or becomes involved with him is better for it.
SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT ON PLAYING DOUG GLATT
“A huge opportunity from the beginning. This was also the first movie that I was able to do with people that I loved and actors and director that I loved that already believed in me before. They already felt I was right for it from the beginning. It’s hard for me to articulate why I love the movie so much because there were so many elements to it that were great.”
Marc-André Grondin was most certainly one of them. Grondin was perfect as the supercilious Xavier Laflamme. He had the swagger of an overrated N.H.L. rookie. The dynamic between Glatt and Laflamme is hilarious.
There should be more fans like Jay Baruchel. His passion for the game and his beloved Montréal Canadiens is both infectious and endearing. In fact, the N.H.L. should make him an official spokesman.
Skip all the cheeseball stuff that is in the theaters right now and go see GOON. It will make you appreciate guys like Probert, Kocur, Peluso, and Laraque a little bit more.