Zephyr Benson is a writer/actor/director whose debut film, Straight Outta Tompkins — which he wrote, directed and stars in — opens today in New York and Los Angeles and will be available on VOD/iTunes/Amazon on March 31. Benson, the son of 70s/80s teen heartthrob Robby Benson, shot the film in 17 days with a $150,000 budget, is getting glowing reviews for his work — Indiewire called the film “an intense millennial variation on Goodfellas high on drugs, violence and youthful energy,” and the New York Post said that Benson “makes a remarkably assured debut as writer, director and star.” You can also see Benson in James Sadwith’s upcoming film about two boys on a search for the reclusive JD Salinger, Coming Through the Rye, which stars Chris Cooper.
Zephyr was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule recently to answer a few questions from us.
1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?
A date. I order you to go on a date with me.
2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
Bill Murray. Or Gucci Mane. Depending on my mood, and his jail sentence.
3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR/TiVo?
Does TiVo exist anymore?
4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?
Pancakes. Two eggs, over easy. Grits with hot sauce and cheese. A side of bacon and by a side, I mean a plate. I’m talking about that crispy bacon, don’t give me that rubbery floppy shit.
5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?
Reddit ADED (all day every day).
6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?
7. The first face that comes to mind when you think “punchable”?
Hmmm, I’m sure one day I will be on this list. So karmically, I refuse to answer. BUT – if you get in my face, I’ll knock you the hell out (flex).
8. What’s the last thing you Googled?
I keep my Safari in “private browsing” mode. I don’t even want to know what the last thing I googled was.
9. Dogs or cats?
Dogs all the waaaaay!
10. Best concert of your life was…?
Boys Noize at Webster Hall, 2011. Two nights in a row with nothing but a couple Gatorades. We got thrown out the second night before the Noize came on, but housemeister still killed it.
11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?
Something from the self help section?
12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
When I was writing Straight Outta Tompkins, I was staying inside all day and doing nothing but writing. Of course, having a girlfriend at the time, it put strain on the relationship. Which is probably why she’s my ex-girlfriend now. But, long story short, after she read the first draft, she turned to me and said “I will never give you shit for writing again. This is what you’re meant to do.” That was surprising and heartwarming. Something I’ll never forget.
13. South Park or Family Guy?
Both. AT THE SAME DAMN TIME.
14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?
Write until the sun goes down then take a certain lady out to Italian; eat pizza, drink wine, go home, and put on some more Al Green… You can see where this is heading.
15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?
16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?
The Knicks. *sigh*
17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
The dashboard of my first car. Take that answer however you want.
18. The last movie you saw in a theater?
“I have no idea” written and directed by Some Dude. Now that man has a vision.
19. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Lindsay Lohan. Parent Trap. No, I’m not a sicko, I’m younger than her. Honestly, though, ‘Lindsay, you tryina’ grab a drink?’
20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?
Nicolas Cage? At my house? For dinner? On such short notice? Is the oven pre-heated? Is there wine? Is the table set? What kind of music should I play? I don’t want to come on too strong, I mean this is NICOLAS CAGE. Better get the steaks on and head to the cellar for that good bottle. Have to let it breathe before Nic shows up. (We’re on nickname terms now, you know.)
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