The Massie Twins recently had a chance to talk to Tucker Max, the author of the New York Times Bestseller “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.” The anecdotal stories of debauchery and belligerence have been turned into a feature film, opening in a limited release September 25th, 2009.
The Massie Twins: How has Arizona treated you? Have you spent enough time here to create more crazy stories?
Tucker Max: I’ve been in Arizona for seven hours and hooked up with two girls. I don’t know if that’s crazy.
MT: Can you give us a brief history on your writing and how you got started?
TM: I basically started writing after law school; my friends and I all moved to different cities so instead of going out together and talking about the things we did, I would go out drinking and I would write an email to my friends about it. I guess they were pretty funny because my friends started forwarding them around and I would eventually get my emails forwarded back to me by random people. I worked with my dad after law school and my dad ended up firing me. I didn’t know what to do and my friend said, “Clearly law and business are not for you. But writing is something you’re good at. This is some of the funniest shit we’ve read. You need to put this up on a website or in a book.” And so here we are.
MT: At what point did you realize your stories could be TV show or movie material?
TM: Once I realized there was an audience for this stuff and that it was funny, then it became pretty obvious.
MT: How did you get your audience?
TM: Word of mouth. I put my stuff up on the internet and people found it and they told their friends. In seven years I’ve gone from complete outsider nobody to celebrity by word of mouth.
MT: What was the reasoning behind going with an independent movie studio instead of a big Hollywood production company for the movie adaptation?
TM: Creative control. Darko Entertainment cut the check for the movie, so at the end of the day, it’s their decision what happens. If they wanted to take the movie and never show it to anyone, they can actually legally do that. But they wouldn’t – they believed in our vision, and they believed we could create a great movie and wanted us to have the freedom.
MT: Why didn’t you play yourself in the movie?
TM: Because I’m not a good enough actor. Believe me dude, if I could have I would have. I tried. I didn’t audition, but I read part of the script out loud in front of a camera and when I watched it, it was really, really bad.
MT: Tell us a bit about the other cast members and how closely they were modeled after your real life friends.
TM: Yeah, of course. Tucker is obviously 100% me, the Drew character is based on Sling Blade from the book, and Dan is based on the actions of my friends from law school, but he’s emotionally modeled after Nils, the cowriter.
MT: How did you decide upon which stories to put in the film?
TM: It was just a matter of what we thought would be most cinematic and funniest. A movie’s got to have a plot and conflicts, so it was a matter of finding stories that fit.
MT: How about embellishment in the movie? Do you stick to the original stories closely?
TM: A movie’s a movie and it’s not supposed to be real. So yeah, there’s tons of stuff in the movie that’s made up, toned down or whatever. It’s very much based on a true story, but it’s not supposed to be a documentary.
MT: How about the writing for your website and book? Is that entirely sticking to the facts?
MT: The movie leads us to believe you’ve slept with a midget and a deaf girl. What other questionable sexual exploits do you have as goals?
TM: The midget story is on the site and the deaf girl story is in the book. It happened a little differently in real life, but those are real stories. Blind girls kind of freak me out. I slept with twins years and years ago. That’s like no big deal. As far as goals…not really, man. Anything I wannna hit, I pretty much hit at this point.
MT: Nice. When you go out and party, do you specifically try to do things that would make a good story?
TM: No, you can’t do that. That’s lame. What you have to do is just go out and be yourself. I literally go months without anything interesting happening. Sometimes I’ll go out and three funny things will happen on the same night.
MT: What’s the best strip club you’ve ever been to?
TM: I don’t know. That’s a good question.
MT: I heard that you planned on filming the next movie with at least two takes for every scene so that for one of them you can bring in a bunch of naked girls to hang out in the background.
TM: Yeah, it’s going to be a surprise.
MT: For those unfamiliar with your writing, do you recommend they see the movie first or read the book first?
TM: I would recommend seeing the movie first. It doesn’t require any background knowledge of me or the events or anything. I think a lot of the people who don’t have any idea who I am actually enjoy the movie more. They don’t have any expectations. They go in just to see a comedy and they’re blown away by how good it is and how different it is from all the crappy Hollywood comedies.
MT: Has your interaction with women improved at all (perhaps drastically) due to your fame?
TM: Of course. Improved might not be the right word, but it’s definitely changed. A lot. Some ways better and in some ways worse. It’s not all sunshine and kittens, being famous. Women come at you for all the wrong reasons.
MT: Would you describe yourself as a role model?
TM: In some ways, yeah. Not always.
MT: What’s the best or worst advice you’ve ever received about dating?
TM: The funniest advice I ever received was when you’re dealing with women, you can have hot, sane or single. Pick two.
MT: On your website you mention that only 5-10% of all women rank a 5 on a five point scale (as in extremely hot). How many 5’s have you been with?
TM: I have no idea. Hundreds. In the tier of guys, I’m in the top, top, top percent, so it’s not that hard for me to get a hot girl.
MT: Okay, final question. What are your thoughts on film critics?
TM: I don’t really care one way or the other. Critics aren’t really relevant to the equation anymore. They can, at times, help small movies reach a larger audience, if they’re very good. No one really listens to critics. With digital media, now everyone listens to their friends and the internet. They don’t listen to critics.