Existing within a society so lost in the throes of consumerism, 21st century America falls susceptible to the demons of materialism almost unconsciously. Director Derrick Borte’s latest film, The Joneses, starring Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard, and Lauren Hutton, digs into the impacts our current economic climate has had on society. The film chronicles a the “Jones Family,” the employees of a stealth marketing organization, and how their top of the line goods manipulate the upscale community they’ve been assigned to “work” with.
We sat down with the director and cast at a recent press conference to get their two cents on the project. Check out the interviews below…
All of your careers in entertainment have proven lucrative, and every time a photo is taken, within minutes tons of people are buying the clothes and accessories you’re wearing. In a way, your lives aren’t too different than the Joneses.
Demi Moore: It was very relatable when I read the script. People send things to us in hopes of us being seen with it. That is in fact stealth marketing. What was so brilliant in Derrick’s script is that he took what we all can relate to and turn it into something right outside of the box – but not too far. There’s nothing wrong with having a desire to have nice things. It’s when we place that as a measure of the value of ourselves that it goes askew, or in the case of a film, it goes to the point of leveraging your entire life.
Lauren Hutton: I saw the movie for the first time last night, and you see where you’re dirty. And how it’s gotten onto you, and all of us. We’ve turned into consumers more than citizens. And that seems to be what becomes more important to kids and teenagers.
Derrick, what inspired the project?
Derrick Borte: I was watching 20/20 or Dateline with a story about stealth marketing where models would go out to these bars and order a specific drink over and over again, and they saw this sort of ripple affect of people ordering that drink around them. And there was the idea. I guess I had to figure out what to do with it as far as do you go broad comedy, psychological thriller… But I was fascinated with the idea of reality TV and this forced intimacy of throwing people who don’t know each other into a house. That’s what this really needed to be – a story about these relationships, set against the back drop of the conspicuous stealth marketing.
Did the project inspire you to re-evaluate your own consumerist tendencies?
Demi Moore: I’ve always tried to keep a positive perspective on what’s valuable and the importance of restricting that immediate gratification. Most importantly that who you are isn’t the stuff you have.
How did you keep the characters believable?
David Duchovny: I’m a shitty golfer. I am. It wasn’t important that I get good, I just had to LOOK good. Derrick put the ball where it needed to go. I think that what Demi and I did with Derrick when we first sat down was realize that the “love story” in the center of this very complicated movie was important to pull off. Yet we didn’t have much, in terms of screen time together, to do that. It was maybe 18 pages. How are we gonna do that in 18 pages? That was really our focus.
Derrick, the message of the film is strikingly relevant. What do you hope to leave the audience with?
Derrick Borte: The desire to talk about anything they got from the film. I don’t want to force a message on anybody. Different people get different things from it – if they want to talk about it, that’s what makes me happy.
Demi, what’s up next for you?
Demi Moore: In July I’m gonna do a film with Miley Cyrus. It’ a re-make of a French film that is fantastic, by the same director, called “LOL”. You want good material, you want to do something good and interesting. And for me, things like The Joneses, from the moment I read the script, I thought this was just smart and funny and thought provoking.