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How Cha Real Smooth Director Cooper Raiff has moved from Uber Eats to a $ 15 million deal with Apple

Director Cooper Raiff arrives for the Texas premiere of "Cha Cha Real Smooth" at the Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film Festival on Friday, March 18, 2022, in Austin.
Cooper Raiff directed 2022 Texas premiere of "Cha Cha Real Smooth" at the Paramount Theater at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin on Friday, March 18, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jack Plunkett/Associated Press

It's impossible to work in the movie for a while It seemed like a goal. Cooper raf.

Like many dreamers, 25-year-old actors, writers, and directors had ideas, but they had a clear idea of ​​how to live as a filmmaker. There was no way.

Just a few years ago,Apple'sadult dramaCha Real Smooth {written, directed and co-starred with Dakota Johnson in Raif 35} I was driving for Uber Eats.

"That was great," a modest Dallas native says in a video call from New York City. "Driving to get food for people isn't that much fun, but making a movie is great. That's what I wanted to do."

But it was a coincidental tweet sent to Jay Duplass (Netflix'schairman) that turned things around for a college dropout.

"I made a movie with my two best friends, posted it on YouTube, and tweeted a link to my favorite filmmaker, Jay. Then he was me. We met and he became my mentor and helped me make the first real movie (S—house)… Dakota Johnson said Watching the movie, I think that's why she wanted to work with me. "

This movie, currently streamed on Apple TV +, is Bar・ We are focusing on university graduates (Raiff) who have no direction to get the perfect job of becoming a "party starter" at Mitsuwa. Bat Mitsuwa for his younger brother (Evan Asante)'s classmates. Living at home with his mother (Leslie Mann) and stepfather (Brad Garrett), he has a frivolous friendship between his upcoming mother (Johnson) and her autistic daughter (Vanessa Burghardt). After building, life will change.

Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” streaming now on Apple TV+.
Cooper Raiff and Dakota Johnson's "Cha Cha Real Smooth" Streaming Now on Apple TV +. Photo by Apple TV +

Johnson not only co-stars, but also produces the project. Leif said she also acted as a "script buddy" when he was writing the movie.

Cha Cha Real Smooth(title of DJ Casper's classic dance floorCha Cha Real Smoothriff) is one of the most lively Sundance movies of the year. It was one. Audience award-winning festival. Apple pushed CODA at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to the Academy Award for Best Picture in March, but it attracted attention and invested $ 15 million to buy photos.

In a movie that can be streamed now, Reif gave us a blueprint for his unlikely success story.

Where did the story come from? You were a party starter.

"I wasn't a party starter, but I went to a service and party every Saturday in 7th grade. There was one party starter named Vince. He Was 40 years old and was the best party starter I've ever had. He's also the only party starter I've ever met. "

Ideas for Dakota Johnson without the script being completed I heard that you proposed. She said she was interested, but what pressure would she have if the script wasn't completed?

"I pitched it and the meeting went well. We were all excited to make this movie. At the end of the conversation, she said," Read the script. I want to. " Like,'Oh, great. So I walked away and filled in 50 pages and told her that work was needed in the second half. Then I finished it right away and sent it all to her in two weeks ... I think I always write best when I'm under that "write now" pressure. That's when I do my best job.

Vanessa Burghardt and Dakota Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” streaming now on Apple TV+.
Vanessa Burghardt and Dakota Johnson Cha Real Smooth ”, streaming on Apple TV +. Photo by Apple TV +

Your 2020 independent filmS-housewill give people yours It was a movie that attracted attention. What if that doesn't work? What was Plan B?

"UberEats, probably. I would have continued UberEats and would have been trying to find a way to a set of movies doing something. I really made a movie. I wanted to be part of it, so I would have tried to figure it out somehow. "

Your movie is streamed and this is the movie I wanted to see in the theater is. What do you think the future of the movie is?

"I love streamers because they provide a big platform for small movies, but people always want to go to the movies with strangers in a dark room. That's why I fell in love with movies, and I think that's why people like to go to movies. If you take that experience away, you won't love movies anymore. Hmm. I don't think the theater will go anywhere, but without a streamer like Apple, there wouldn't be a house, so God blesses the streamer. "

Cooper Raiff and Evan Assante in “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” streaming now on Apple TV+.
Cooper Leif and Evan Asante Cha Real Smooth ”, streaming on Apple TV +. Photo by Apple TV +

In the movie, Domino, the character of Dakota, tells Andrew, the character, "I'm in my twenties." There is a scene. That line would mean different for many, depending on where they are in their lives. Some viewers will hear it and think, "I didn't really do that." What does that mean to you?

"I'm scared because I'm in a place where I can understand who I am in my twenties. My life isn't defined by anyone but me ... Domino didn't have a twenties because it had children and life in their twenties was defined by that experience, so yes, that would mean a lot of different things to those who see it. "

Cha Cha RealSmoothis currently being streamed onAppleTV +

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