TORONTO — Ben Stiller thought the best way to prepare for his role as a dad taking his son on a college tour in the film “Brad’s Status” was to take the actor playing his son on an actual road trip.

So Stiller and Austin Abrams got in a car and took a drive from Montreal to New York, making stops along the way. “I feel like it really it helped because we’re supposed to be like father and son,” Abrams said.

The bittersweet comedy has Stiller’s character, Brad, driving his son around the Northeast looking at schools, but all he can think about are his own failures in life. Along the way, he starts to question if he has really failed.

Stiller saw the subject matter as relatable, along with having a chance to work with Mike White, who wrote and directed the film, which hits theaters on Friday.

“I just thought it was a well-written script. I think Mike’s an amazing, creative force, and he was trying to tell this very personal and emotion story, without trying to make it in any way forced — or sappy or anything,” Stiller said.

The road trip not only helped the two actors’ relationship on screen. Stiller said they also had a great time doing it. On the way, Stiller stopped at a historical attraction and dressed up in a Revolutionary War outfit, much to embarrassment of Abrams.

That moment made it feel real. “I was like hey, we’re father and son. This is happening,” Stiller said.


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JOHN CARUCCI
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