“Let’s Be Cops” actress Jessica Luza might play a mean girl on screen, but the southern belle seems pretty kindhearted in real life. In the new comedy, Luza’s character Claire isn’t very nice to Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.), but that changes when the men pretend to be cops.
Luza explained that the boys are really just looking for purpose in life. “Jake Johnson's character and Damon Wayans Jr.’s character, they're in their early 30s in LA and they're like ‘What has happened to our life? We never thought we'd get to this point. We should move back home,'" the Atlanta native exclusively told International Business Times. "They're at this crossroads and they don't know what they're doing. One of them is an actor and one of them is an assistant, so they're just not where they thought they [would be] in their lives. So, that's kind of what steers them into the cop bit because it gives them purpose.”
Claire is a door girl at a hot club in Los Angeles, and she doesn’t particularly like Ryan and Justin. But everything changes when they show up in cop uniforms.
“When they're not police officers, they can't get in [to the club], and so it kind of sets up their character development," Luza said. "They're these lame guys in Los Angeles that can't even get into a club, so then they kind of want to prove her wrong. They come back as police officers and threaten to arrest her if they don't let her into the club.”
Check out the trailer for the R-rated comedy:
Being coldhearted isn’t exactly first nature for Luza. The actress volunteers regularly with The Art of Elysium to help critically ill children experience the arts. She also co-founded a jewelry line called Pearls with Promise, which donates proceeds to the American Cancer Society. So, finding common ground with Claire wasn't the easiet thing for Luza to do.
Luza revealed she hated being so malicious in the film. “Obviously it's acting, but still. Like, oh my gosh, they probably think I'm this huge pain in the a**. I show up on set and I'm so mean to everybody and then I'm done with my scene and I walk off," she said. "I'm sure I looked like a diva, but really, it was the character. I would improvise so I would change it each time and look at different people and say different things. And when we would cut I would be like 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that.' I just felt so bad.”
The character didn’t stop Luza from having a good time on set. She was able to practice improvising a lot, a skill that could come in handy if she sticks to comedy.
“There were lines but [director Luke Greenfield] would just come up and be like 'No, just do this' or ‘just do this’ or ‘have fun with this.’ A lot of my scenes were improvised. I pulled from living in Los Angeles -- I based her on the stereotypical b*tch LA girl," she told IBTimes.
Luza is hoping to work in comedy more in the future. Ideally, she would like to work on a sitcom, so watching TV stars like Johnson and Wayons was a learning experience.
"I love 'New Girl' and Damon Wayons Jr. and Jake Johnson are both on 'New Girl.' So just watching them, even when I wasn't filming, I loved just being on set and watching their chemistry with each other. They improvise so much and they can make one line that's funny on the page, but the way that they deliver it, they can put a whole new spin on it. The script is already funny because it's a comedy, obviously, but it was just so cool to kind of soak it up and see them do take after take with a different delivery. The line was already funny but their inflection or emphasis on a certain word that you're like, 'I would've never thought to do that.'"
The actress isn’t sticking to just comedy, though. She’ll be appearing in the third installment of “V/H/S Viral,” a horror flick with a cult following. “It consists of maybe six to eight different pieces,” Luza said. “But everything is so under wraps that I only know what our little piece is about. But I know that they all connect -- it’s just kind of crazy to be part of a project and not know [what it’s all about].”
However, filmmakers are keeping the actress tightlipped when it comes to the few details she knows. “There’s magic and there’s blood and there’s capes and you’ll just have to see the rest for yourself,” she laughed.
Fans will have to wait until the fall to find out what secrets Luza is hiding. Bloody Disgusting announced that “V/H/S Viral” will come out on Video On Demand on Oct. 23 followed by a limited theatrical release on Nov. 21. But viewers can see Luza in action as Claire in “Let’s Be Cops," which is curretnly being aired in theaters, now.
Will you be seeing either flick? Let us know in the comments section!