At the film’s premiere on Thursday in Los Angeles, DeVine told Variety that during filming, for timing, he listened through a crackling earpiece to another actress reading Byrne’s lines.
“It was hard [acting opposite the phone] because it was before [Byrne] recorded,” he said. “It was much harder than it [looks], because half the time those ear pods don’t work as well as you want them to.”
Co-director Jon Lucas told Variety of the scene anatomy, “We had a lot of ideas about how the sound would work. Then our sound guy was like those are all terrible ideas. He was 100% correct, and we were 100% wrong. … Frankly, there were times when [Adam] would just take the earbud out and do the whole scene, his side of the scene, without ever hearing anyone talking.”
“Jexi” also marks the final theatrical release from CBS Films, which has distributed films since 2010’s “Extraordinary Measures.” CBS Films is reportedly folding into its parent corporation’s CBS Entertainment Group by the end of 2019, with increased focus on original streaming content for CBS All Access.
“Jexi” is CBS Films’ fifth film release of the year, following its biggest successes, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and “Five Feet Apart.”
In its near decade of operation, CBS Films had several hits, including 2012’s “The Woman in Black” and 2013’s “Last Vegas,” but no breakout blockbusters. Its critical darling, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2013.
News of CBS Films closing happened earlier this year after “Jexi’s” filming had started and funding was in place, producer Suzanne Todd told Variety.
“It was kind of crazy, actually, because we had just started shooting when we got the news,” Todd said. “I’m hoping we don’t close down that many more studios in the future. But our movie was already obviously up and going and funded. It’s an interesting time in Hollywood, in terms of who’s providing content and everybody launching their streaming service. As much as there have been huge changes in the past five years, the next five years, I think, will bring even more.”
“Jexi” hits theaters on Oct. 11.