‘Brigsby Bear’ Goes Full Circle at Los Angeles Film Festival Gala

Brigsby Bear Kyle Mooney Dave McCary
Andreas Branch/REX/Shutterstock

For Dave McCary and Kyle Mooney, the early 1990s were very much at the forefront of Friday night’s Los Angeles Film Festival gala for “Brigsby Bear” at the Arclight Hollywood.

“Dave and I met in the fourth grade and were rival class clowns in the fifth,” recalled Mooney, who stars in and co-wrote “Brigsby Bear.” “He was in the popular kids’ class and I was with the nerds. Over time, we grew to get along and we kind of have a short hand on set.”

“It’s very surreal because the movie really is about falling in love with filmmaking and doing it with your best friends,” said McCary, who directed. “There’s a real meta and so many things have gone full circle.”

McCary and Mooney began performing together a decade ago as the comedy group Good Neighbor along with Nick Rutherford and Beck Bennett, who are also in the film. McCary is a segment director on “Saturday Night Live” and the others are cast members.


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“The movie really grew out of the group,” Bennett recalled. “It’s about making stuff with your friends. Kyle had the idea for awhile and it made sense because we have four months off during the summer.” The film is about a man who was kidnapped as a baby and rescued 25 years later. His kidnappers — played by Mark Hamill and Jane Adams — have told him nohting about the world, aside from creating a fictional TV show.

“I loved the script,” said Matt Walsh, who plays the father of Mooney’s character. “You read a bunch every year and it was the one I remember. And it wound up being the quintessential Sundance experience where we stayed at a condo and got a sale.”

Ryan Simpkins, who portrays the sister of Mooney’s character, said she was still stunned by the standing ovation “Brigsby” got at Sundance.

“It’s a weird indie film,” she recalled. “I was there for two weeks in Utah and I was amazed by the world. So I’m incredibly proud and I didn’t expect to be. I was just doing it for fun.”

“Brigsby Bear” sold to Sony Classics at Sundance and is scheduled for a July 28 release date.

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