Why Brad Garrett Was Connected To Cha Cha Real Smooth – Exclusive
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” is an indie comedy-drama written, directed and produced by Cooper Raiff which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The heartfelt film follows Andrew (also played by Raiff): After graduating, he returns to his hometown with no clear plans for the future. He learns more about himself and what he wants after befriending a local mother, Domino (Dakota Johnson), and her daughter, Lola (Vanessa Burghardt). The film also offers an intimate look at his relationships with his mother (Leslie Mann), younger brother (Evan Assante), and stepfather (Brad Garrett).
Prior to the film’s release on Apple TV+, Garrett sat down for an exclusive interview with The List to talk about the film and his role in it. The “Everybody Loves Raymond” alum shared what tied him to this project and why he believes “smaller indie movies” [like “Cha Cha Real Smooth”] are the gold nuggets of much filmmaking.”
He thought the message was universal
Brad Garrett said he was thrilled to be a part of “Cha Cha Real Smooth” because of Cooper Raiff’s passion and script. “It was so wonderfully written and a testament to the human condition on many levels,” Garrett said. Although the film follows a 22-year-old who finds his way, as an older adult, Garrett is still connected to that story and believes others will too.
“When you hear about a coming-of-age movie, we think of a 17- or 18-year-old or… we mature many times in our lives. I’m on it now at age 62. We are hopefully always evolving,” said the actor.
For Garrett, the film carries a message of hope without being too intrusive. “It’s a feel-good movie that doesn’t try to preach, that doesn’t try to solve problems. It’s like, ‘Hey, this is it, this is our life. This is where we are. And we’re still dancing as fast as we may to find out.'”
He covered the stepfather and stepson dynamics
In “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” Brad Garrett plays Andrew (Cooper Raiff’s) stepfather, Greg. When Andrew returns home from college, his mother and younger brother have moved from his childhood home to live with Greg, and his relationship with his stepfather is strained. That dynamic was another part of the story that Garrett easily connected with.
“They were both looking for something to hold on to,” said Garrett, “not just in life, but in the relationship as a stepson and stepfather, something I’m very familiar with because I had a great stepfather growing up, but also a stepfather who had trouble navigating his emotions.”
Garrett added that he thinks a competitive relationship, as seen in the film, is common between stepson and stepfather, especially in the beginning. “Here comes a man in his life. He runs the show,” he said of Andrew’s view of his stepfather. “Greg basically just flies through the seat of his pants. He learns every day, just like Cooper. That’s what they have in common.”
The comedy felt authentic
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” does an excellent job of mixing drama with comedy and heartfelt moments. For Brad Garrett, that careful balance between humor and more serious subjects was an essential part of the project. “Just like in life, there’s a lot of comedy and drama,” he said, adding later, “It felt like the humor came from the character rather than just being jokes or jokes. It seemed to come from what each character did.” had gone through, which always makes it more authentic.”
It also felt natural for Garrett to mix comedy and drama, as people often use humor to cope with difficult times. “All my life I’ve used humor as a defense, as a relief, as a tool. And if it really matches the human condition, it’s going to have comedy, often dark comedy, and it’s going to have drama,” he said.
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” is available on Apple TV+.
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