Even with a plethora of streaming options, finding an original comedy can be a tough go for the average cinephile. Get Duked! is an exception to the rule partly thanks to engaging performances from Viraj Juneja and Lewis Gribben as two youths who are really in over their heads. During our interview, Juneja and Gribben discuss how Get Duked! has impacted their lives.
Featuring an auspicious feature film directing debut from Ninian Doff, Get Duked! centers on four teenagers (Lewis Gribben, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Samuel Bottomley) who try to rough it in the Scottish Highlands as part of a real-life program known as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Learning to survive in nature takes a drastic turn when they become the target of a pair of mysterious hunters (Georgie Glen, Eddie Izzard).
Aside from existing as a deft blend of comedy and nightmarish drama, Get Duked! also features its share of beautiful vistas (thanks to the Scottish Highlands), snappy editing, and engaging performances. It’s a four minute interview, but hopefully you can see the innate camaraderie between Lewis Gribben (aka the unpredictable Duncan) and Viraj Juneja (the hip hop loving DJ Beatroot!).
Had both of you known each other even before the auditions, or did you meet as strangers?
Viraj Juneja: We didn’t know each other from anything. It was the first time we saw each other in the audition process.
Lewis Gribben: We met maybe twice before doing the auditions. I met Viraj twice and immediately liked him and so I was like “Yeah this is going to work if I get cast with this guy.” But we didn’t really know each other.
Viraj Juneja: I never actually met him in the audition process and he was just sitting in the hotel when we first got in. I just ran up and saw him and hugged him and his grandma and turned around and said “You’re Samuel (Bottomley) .” And he said “Yeah.” (I thought) “Okay cool I’ve got the right guy.”
Lewis Gribben: I told these guys I was an owl in a past life. They all laughed. So we all got on.
You guys got on but how much did you guys run in the film? It seemed very taxing or maybe it’s an illusion.
Viraj Juneja: Not an illusion. There was one scene where we chased some people down to a house and we’re running over the hill (and we did it) five or six times. It’s very deceiving. It’s a lot further than it looks and then I’m watching the actual cut of the film and they’ve used just the end bit. I’m thinking, “We ran from the end of the horizon to here and you used that tiny snippet.”
There was also one where we had to run up the hill and I don’t know if you see it in the film but my hat comes off and I went to get it. (It took) about four times and by the second time a few of these guys were on the floor puking and passed out. And I was like “Cool, I don’t mind. I’m ready, let’s go again. I like this s**t.”
Lewis Gribben: Everyone else is like “C’mon, one more take! One more take!” And I (said) “No, I’m dying!” It was awful, but fun.
Viraj Juneja: So fun.
Speaking of so fun, can you guys talk about how has this film impacted your lives? I’m sure it’s hard to process.
Lewis Gribben: It’s a bit hard because we did this film three years ago. When we did it, we’re experiencing something we loved. Then it kind of became a distant memory for a little bit.
Then it was like we did reshoots for the next summer and it came back. We got to open up the Edindburgh International Film Festival and got South by Southwest. It was just crazy seeing the reaction there. Now for it to go to Amazon, it’s like it’s only the start even though it feels like the end but it’s not.
Viraj Juneja: It’s the maddest thing. I feel like it’s impacted my life in such a positive way over the past couple of years. One of my dreams was to go to America for the first time for acting related business and we got to go to South By Southwest. It was literally a dream come true.
All of this happened. We opened Edinburgh. We went to Estonia. This is all before the film has even come out.
Lewis Gribben: And we get to meet people like Tobey Maguire and Elijah Wood and Shia Labeouf randomly.
Viraj Juneja: To work with such season pros as well. Kids in their first feature film. What a blessing. What an honor.
Lewis Gribben: I think it will give us a huge boost for us to get other opportunities and auditions.
Thank you guys so much for your time and I think DJ Beatroot’s a great name.
Lewis Gribben: I think so too!
Viraj Juneja: See you later man. Thank you!
Lewis Gribben: Thanks man.
Check out the latest episode of the Find Your Filmpodcast as I review Get Duked!. Watch List, Heavy Trip, and The Peanut Butter Falcon are also covered:
Get Duked! is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Check out the guys in the latest Run The Jewels video!