‘Blockers’ Director and Star Talk ‘Time’s Up’ and #BallsForBoobs

Kim Taylor-Foster

Blockers is hands down one of the most significant films coming out of Hollywood this year. It may not get recognised at the prestigious awards ceremonies, but underestimate its importance at your peril. It subverts the standard sex comedy by replacing traditional male leads with three females who’ve made a sex pact to lose their virginity on prom night. Creating a groundbreaking movie that uses the powerful medium of a mainstream vehicle to drive home its message. A message which sounds loudly at a time when the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are changing the landscape of the movie industry.

FANDOM spoke to Blockers director Kay Cannon and actress Leslie Mann, who stars in the film, about what working in Hollywood is like right now for women.

“We’ve been working so hard that you start to forget your gender and you’re just focusing on what you’re doing,” begins Cannon. “What’s been really satisfying is the positive reactions that people have had to this movie and I’m really happy that we’re a part of it, and it feels good. It feels good to be a part of something that is saying something.” 

“Things are shifting in a positive way, thank God,” adds Leslie Mann. “You feel it, definitely.”

The film tackles stereotypes and gender roles, looking at attitudes to women and sex. Crucially, the film is also funny. Cannon believes it’s a film that would have struggled to get made five years ago. In fact, Blockers started life as a different script, with three fathers in the role of the parents trying to stop their daughters from seeing through their plan. Then they added Leslie Mann.

“It really shifted the whole dynamic of the movie,” says Cannon.

Parents Mitchell (John Cena), Lisa (Leslie Mann) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) discover their daughters' sex pact.

Prosthetic Appendage Not Required

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the film is its approach to nudity. Where most screen nudity is represented by women of a certain age and body type, Blockers looks to level the playing field with some male nudity. Swapping in balls for boobs, if you will.

“I even feel like there’s a moment with Gina Gershon’s character … I had asked her to put her hands in front of her so that we wouldn’t see anything and we see just a little second of something,” says Cannon. “I kind of wish I had been a little bit better about making sure we didn’t see anything. But Gary Cole, God bless him, he was game. He thought it was so funny and I was so happy that he was so willing to do that.”

In the film, Gary Cole — who plays the father of one of the girls’ boyfriends — has some full-frontal scenes.

“You made him a prosthetic and he didn’t want to wear it,” says Mann to the director. “He wanted the real thing.”

But despite John Cena — who plays another parent in the film — stripping off, we don’t quite see everything he has to offer.

Was that Kay Cannon’s decision or the wrestling star’s?

“Oh, I don’t think I could ever reveal John Cena’s situation given what he does for his day job. You gotta keep some mystery,” says Cannon.

Blockers hits screens in the UK on March 30 and in the US on April 6.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.