Having made films with budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars, J.J. Abrams probably likes things to go smoothly on set. But when the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Trek” director made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” last night, the interview didn’t go precisely to plan.
Fallon was quizzing Abrams on the new Broadway play he is producing called “The Play That Goes Wrong,” a goofy British farce that opened at the Lyceum Theatre on March 9, when the writers of the play came on to chat about the show and things took a turn for the worse.
“They’re a little bit nervous because this is the first time they’ve been on a big American talk show, so it’s a big deal for them,” Abrams said to introduce the trio of Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer. As the writers came out onto the stage, Shields managed to get his foot stuck in a part of the curtain and subsequently tripped … cue bedlam.
In the space of about three minutes, Sayer accidentally tackled Abrams onto a couch, the trio grabbed the aforementioned couch and put it in the wrong place, Fallon’s mic went up in smoke, and Sayer dropped Abrams’ glass of water in an attempt to bring it to him.
Abrams recently revealed the spontaneous nature of his participation in bringing the play to Broadway.
“I was shooting ‘The Force Awakens’ in London and I had a free night,” he recalled. “There was something called ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ that had just opened, so I bought a ticket and I went to go see it and I hadn’t laughed that hard in the theater before. I didn’t strategize. I just talked to the producers and said, ‘This is great, I love this, can I help?’”
The play’s website speculates that Abrams must have lost a bet in order to be promoting their show.