Live Nude Girls – Five Quick Questions with Mike Hatton

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Do you miss those classic T&A comedy movies from the 80s?  You have to check out Live Nude Girls, it’s a nostalgic 80s style film that’s hilarious and sexy.  The film was created and produced by Mike Hatton and Jay Leggett.  Actors Dave Foley, Mike Hatton and Andy Dick along with actresses Bree Olson, Mindy Robinson, Asa Akir, Kristen DeLuca, Tera Patrick, and Annemarie Pazmino deliver plenty of witty and whacky comedy.

Tragically Jay who directed and co-wrote the screenplay passed away in November of 2013, shortly after the film was completed.  Mike and the Live Nude Girls team were devastated and are still coping.  Mike and the team were determined to get the film released as soon as possible in honor of Jay.

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Five Quick Questions with Mike Hatton – Live Nude Girls

The story of Live Nude Girls is the dream of many men, but how did the concept come about?

MIKE: We were thinking about a good setting for a project and I came up with “Dazed and Confused” in a strip club.  We thought it would be funny to build on that and have it take place in the 80s since that seemed like a much more innocent time than the present.  It started as a ridiculous idea, but once we started brainstorm and then put the whole thing together we created, not to sound cliché, an homage to the great 1980s sex comedy films of that era.  Films like “Porky’s” “Risky Business” and “Just One of The Guys.”  Those are the type of movies I grew up watching and we wanted to make one of those for modern era.  The adult stars of the film came into play after we got more into it.  I wanted to cast woman who were comfortable in their own skin and OK with having their shirts off all the time.  I mean, not having shirts off between takes of course (which would have been awesome) but you’ve got to understand, that most “mainstream” actresses don’t want a bunch of dudes on set hanging around while they’re trying to do a scene in a birthday suit.  Casting porn stars not only gets you capable actresses who don’t have a problem getting nude, it also gets you a huge fan fan base.   These women have many fans and followers and they’re really good in this! From a business perspective, the concept seemed like it had a lot of upside.  It was fitting to also cast mainstream actresses like Mindy Robinson who is a well-respected and in over a hundred films and has a large fan base. 

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What type of comedy can we expect in Live Nude Girls?

MIKE: We tried to keep a fair mix of smart humor with enough raunchy or blue jokes and “T&A” to keep fans happy.  Jay was a basically responsible for everything smart. I’m more of a dick and fart joke kind of guy and Jay was able to take those premises and mold them into smart jokes.

At any given moment the film can be heartfelt, wacky, raunchy, ridiculous, sad and most importantly— FUN!

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Tragically Live Nude Girls director/writer Jay Leggett passed away shortly after filming. Jay was a brilliant and hilarious man.  Can you tell us about your personal relationship with Jay and how it was working with him?

MIKE: Jay was amazing person.  Kind of guy that would help anyone in need.  And funny.  Could put me in tears and make me laugh till it hurt.  He was my mentor and an amazing director who became one of my closest friends. I met Jay when I was taking classes at The Second City and he was the director of our show run.  Jay always said our group had something special and he kept in touch with all of us. We actually used two other SC classmates of mine in “Live Nude Girls,” Matt Offerman who plays Paulie and Naomi Leonard who plays, “Chancey.”  They are two of the most talented people I know and Jay was always big fan of theirs.  Wrote those parts just for them.  He always did that for people he liked. He’d find someone and improve them and show them that they could work in this town.  He made people believe in themselves.  It wasn’t just about honing your craft with Jay- it was about finding your place in the business.  Another classmate of our’s was Bill Hader from Saturday Night Live who Jay would constantly say was one of the best he’d ever seen.  He was proud of the work he did with Bill.  He also discovered some other amazing people including the hilarious Adam DeVine from Workaholics, Jay had an incredible eye for talent.

We were close as an actor director and then through production our relationship grew tremendously.  We talked every day and it was like a war, the ups and downs, money found then lost and losing talent and re-casting at the last minute.  It was emotional, it was pain and joy and I did that every day with him. We were very tight from that experience and Jay’s passing was a huge loss for me personally.  Fortunately the movie was completed when he passed the film is a director’s cut.  For lack of a better term, it was his “final cut.”  I wouldn’t let the distributors change it.  That’s how I could honor Jay.  One day I’ll do more.  Some of his scripts are done and I want to produce them.  But that will take time.  He was an amazing person and I dearly miss him.  The world lost a great man and the comedy world lost a great teacher and friend.

It hurts every day and truthfully I’ve had no time to mourn as I was literally at his wake two days after his passing and got the call from my wife that I needed to come home because she was giving birth to our twins.  Jay kept saying, “We’ve got to get this finished before your wife pops,” but now I realize that he needed to finish it before he left us.  It’s crazy the way it wall went down.  It really is the circle of life.  Cue the Elton John song.

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Have you always been into comedy and what’s your comedy and industry background?

MIKE: I knew I wanted to get in comedy and acting as I always was the class clown, or tried to be.   I got a job as a camera man and editor working at TV station during in Terre Haute, Indiana for a CBS affiliate.  I’d occasionally make some comedic appearances on air and then after graduating I relocated and became a reporter in Palm Springs where I was known for live shots and basically being a goof ball on the air.  At the same time I was attending Second City in Los Angeles.  Since I had no resume and my mommy or daddy ain’t rich or in the business, I had to start at the bottom.  I started taking classes at Second City in Los Angeles and commuted in 120 miles every weekend to do so.  After awhile I started auditioning and booked a few feature films and did a lot of ton of sketch comedy.  Later on I started doing stand-up at places like The Improv and The Comedy Store.  I got to a point where a manager was trying to get me to tour and I had a kid on the way.  My day job was producing local TV commercials for clients and I had built this company and I thought, “I’m producing every day for a living, why aren’t I doing this for my career too?”  So I started working on ideas for TV shows and feature films.  Not just things for me to act in, but ideas for other celebrities, like reality shows and game shows, other feature films ideas.  So when I started working on Live Nude Girls, I had already sold a few unscripted TV series ideas and had produced another indie film and some viral videos.  Although everything I do has a humorous side to it… always about keeping things fun.

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Now that Live Nude Girls will be released on August 19th, what are you working on next?

MIKE: Many of the unscripted projects I’ve sold are sitting in development at major cable networks… so I’m looking forward to some of them coming out later this year.  However, my main focus is getting a few more features films produced.  One is a horror comedy and the other a romantic comedy- really great stuff with amazing people attached to direct and star.  I’m really excited because I love the roller coaster ride of making feature films and these are much larger projects than Live Nude Girls so I’m sure I’m in for one hell of a ride!!  I’m so proud of Live Nude Girls and can’t wait for the world to see what Jay and I were able to accomplish.  It’s a lot of fun.

Live Nude Girls is released worldwide on DVD and digital VOD outlets through Screen Media Films. www.imdb.com/title/tt2946498/

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Live Nude Girls not only is a fun, raunchy, hilarious comedy, it’s also a tribute to the brilliant funny man Jay Leggett.  LNG is available today through Xbox and ITunes and the DVD release date is August 26th.

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