Ruben Fleischer on ‘Two Night Stand’s’ Max Nichols: ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree’

Max Nichols Two Night Stand
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Indie romcom “Two Night Stand” features a wealth of players on a path to making a bigger name for themselves, from former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Analeigh Tipton to Scott Mescudi, better known as hip hop artist Kid Cudi. But perhaps the most notable rising star at film’s Tuesday premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre was director Max Nichols, son of director Mike Nichols.

“My whole life I’ve had this incredible ongoing conversation with my dad about art and films and life and love,” said the younger Nichols, “and here was an opportunity to take all those amazing years around the dinner table and actually channel it into a specific work.”

“Two Night Stand” marks Nichols’ debut feature effort, having mainly worked on music videos throughout his career. Producer Ruben Fleischer, whose directing credits include “Zombieland” and “Gangster Squad,” felt he was being overshadowed as a mentor by one of the greatest directors of all time.

“You wouldn’t think directing is necessarily genetic because he’s so great at it,” said Fleischer. “He’s so natural and comfortable on set and has such a great way with actors. That’s the type of stuff that I don’t think you eventually learn, you’re just born that way. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Popular on Variety

Miles Teller, who stars in the film as Alec, said he sparked to the project due to its originality and innovation. He said that it was probably the lowest-budget film he had ever done, though also the funniest.

“As an actor I thought it was nice thing to where, it’s kind of just two people kind of in one room for a lot of it,” said Teller. “It felt more like a theater piece to where it’s just kind of two people on a stage.”

Teller isn’t the only one who recognized the film’s theatrical feel, harkening back to Mike Nichols’ legacy as a stage director. Jessica Szohr, who plays Tipton’s roommate Faiza in the film, said her first thought about the script was to think of the movie as a play.

“Whoa, this is very different from most film scripts I’ve read,” said Szohr. “The fact that it’s kind of based on four characters and two different locations, it’s kind of what Teller or Tipton or Mescudi or myself brought to those scenes to make it funny or make it flow.”

Szohr mentioned that the crew received firsthand insight for the film when Hurricane Sandy temporarily shut down production, mirroring the main characters’ trapped scenario. However, in terms of experiences with having two night stands, the cast was unanimously lacking in inspiration.

“I’ve dealt with situations where I wanted somebody to get out of my house,” said Mescudi. “But no, I’ve never been stuck because of something out of my control. I haven’t been stranded with somebody, knock on wood. I don’t wish this situation on anybody.”

The rest of the night’s attendees agreed with the sentiment, with the exception of Fleischer, who remembered his time at NYU as a period where such a situation could have humorously occurred.

“I would love to have a two night stand in retrospect,” joked Fleischer. “My wife won’t be too happy with that. Maybe I can get one with her? That would be a win.”

The afterparty continued at the Roosevelt hotel’s intimate Teddy’s club, where friends such as Dianna Agron, Jenna Ushkowitz and Nina Dobrev celebrated the premiere with the cast. “Two Night Stand” will open in select theaters on Sept. 26.


(Pictured: Miles Teller, Max Nichols and Scott Mescudi at the premiere of “Two Night Stand”)