What starts as an AP art history field trip quickly devolves into a night of art theft, getaway cars, and a serious case of mistaken identity. YouTube stars Jenn McAllister (jennxpenn) and Lauren Elizabeth Luthringshausen (LoveLaurenElizabeth) are making the jump to movies with the new action-comedy Bad Night, which finds the pair as high school students mistaken for notorious art thieves. Right before Bad Night is set to be released on demand, we talked to Luthringshausen and McAllister about their real-life friendship and what it was like to set a car on fire.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So tell me how this came about. Were you looking to get into movies?
LUTHRINGSHAUSEN: Almost a year ago now, our producers of the movie, GRB Entertainment, wanted to go into the feature film business with digital stars. They found my YouTube channel and Jenn’s, and they were interested in our demographic area, so they pulled me in for a meeting and said they wanted to make a feature film. That’s someone like me’s dream, so I was like, oh my God, yeah, I’d totally be up for that. It became a reality a few weeks later after GRB discussed more, and they attached me to the project.
They were talking to me about what other digital influencer we should put in the movie, and after some debate about what other boy would be a good co-star or what group of girls would be good for a girly movie, I was like, why don’t we do something extremely different and unexpected? I pitched it to my best friend and roommate Jenn, and we’ve always wanted to do a really big project together. We work really well together. We have the same sense of humor, and we are two very different people who really complete each other in different ways. GRB loved the idea and let us really start from scratch and build this movie into what we wanted it to be about.
It’s interesting that you mentioned your real-life friendship because there are a fair amount of YouTube-to-Hollywood movies coming out, but so many of them are about male YouTube stars. This one feels kind of unique because it’s about a strong female friendship, and you two are so close in real life.
LUTHRINGSHAUSEN: Definitely. We wanted to make sure we did something different that really showed what we were passionate about, and we were both super passionate about sending a positive message and an empowering message to girls everywhere, but we also wanted to do it in a way where we could laugh through the whole thing.
MCALLISTER: The biggest similarity between us and our characters is our friendship, as we’re best friends in real life and best friends in this movie. As for our character’s personalities, we kind of talked about what we were like in high school and those aspects of ourselves and definitely magnified them.
You’ve got some big comedy names in this movie, like Matt Walsh, Adam Pally, and Casey Wilson. What was it like working with them?
MCALLISTER: It was so cool. It was seriously an amazing experience. Since we were producers on the project, we were there for the whole casting process, and it was just so much fun to every day hear a new person be added to our cast. We had a bunch of people that we’ve obviously seen in different movies and TV shows, people who we look up to, so it was nice to be able to work side by side with them and learn from them and get really great insights from them.
And Molly Ringwald plays the mysterious Collector. What can you tell me about her character?
LUTHRINGSHAUSEN: She plays another really powerful woman in our movie. I think the best part about our cast is that we have so many powerful, talented women in the movie. I can’t tell you exactly who she is, but I can tell you that if her kids see this movie, they’ll be like, “Whoa, my mom is so cool.” She’s just a badass.
Did you guys have any badass moments of your own?
LUTHRINGSHAUSEN: We actually got to blow up a car, which was the coolest thing ever. Everyone else was like a hundred feet behind us, and I was the one who actually had to drop the lighter and ignite the entire explosion. I didn’t have a stunt double because I wanted to do everything myself. It was nothing crazy, and I wasn’t going to die doing anything, but still, I would leave set every day with more and more bruises on my legs.
So the movie comes out on Vimeo on Demand, but you’re also going to have a Los Angeles premiere. Will it be weird to see yourself on the big screen instead of on YouTube?
LUTHRINGSHAUSEN: I don’t think it’s really going to hit us until our faces are ginormous on the screen in front of us. Jenn might have to leave the theater because she’s so nervous.
MCALLISTER: I’m just going to be cracking up at the fact that this is a real thing because I can’t take myself seriously. So we’re going to be hot messes, but I think we’ll make it through.
Bad Night will be available to watch on demand starting Tuesday night at badnightmovie.com.