While “The Descendants” star George Clooney has been sunning on Italy’s Lake Como, the film’s Oscar-winning screenwriters have spent the last few weeks at a different scenic resort — Water Wizz in Wareham. “It rocks,” said actor-writer-producer Nat Faxon, of the Massachusetts water park. “It’s kind of mind-blowing actually.”
Faxon and his writing partner Jim Rash (who plays Dean Pelton on NBC’s “Community”) will be in Wareham and Marshfield for much of the summer working on their directorial debut, “The Way, Way Back,” which is about about a boy (played by Liam James) who develops a friendship with the manager of a local water park played by Sam Rockwell. Toni Collette and Steve Carell co-star in the film as the boy’s mother and her boyfriend.
Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney (who flew into Logan Airport on Thursday), and Weymouth’s own Rob Corddry also have roles. Faxon and Rash called us on Thursday to check in about the production and told us that it’s been lovely to film in Massachusetts — and not only because because of that tax credit for filmmakers. Faxon’s family is from the North Shore and his mother-in-law lives in Dedham. Carell’s family is based in Marshfield, so he’s also happy to be home.
Faxon said the summer shoot has made it possible for him to get to Red Sox games. “In front of Jim, I’ll say that I have only been once,” he joked, adding that he has tickets for the Sox-Yankees series. The duo spent July 4th watching some local fireworks by the water. “You just sit on the beach and watch the neighbors do the work. It’s pretty great,” Faxon said.
The writer-directors — who tell us that their next project will have them collaborating with Kristen Wiig — wrote the script for “The Way, Way Back” years before they started writing “The Descendants,” the movie that earned them—and director Alexander Payne—the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay earlier this year. In fact, it was the script for “The Way, Way Back” helped them get that gig.
The guys will have to multi-task once they’re done with the shoot at the end of July. Rash returns to the West Coast to start filming episodes of “Community” in August, and Faxon will be busy at work on the Fox show “Ben and Kate,” in which he plays Ben. “We’ll be editing as we perform,” Rash explained. Rash and Faxon will also perform this summer as they direct. They’ve cast themselves in “The Way, Way Back” as two guys who work at the water park. Rash said they couldn’t waste the chance to get “my bald head and Nat’s bigger head” on the big screen.