Interview by Christine Thompson
Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan and Allison Janney star in the adorable TROOP ZERO, featuring young actors Milan Ray, McKenna Grace and Charlie Shotwell as part of a “Birdie” scout troop reminiscent of The Bad News Bears.
SYNOPSIS: In rural 1977 Georgia, a free-spirited young girl dreams of making contact with outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record and become part of space history, with the help of an unlikely troop leader, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond.
Miss Rayleen (Viola Grace) is an aspiring law school student who works for Ramsey Flint (Jim Gaffigan), a lawyer who doesn’t get paid in money, but avocados and the good will of the people he represents. His daughter Christmas Grace (the endearing McKenna Grace) is a misfit and dreamer, enthralled with the idea of making contact with aliens. She teams up with a very angry Hell-No (Milan Ray) “sparkly” Joseph (Charlie Shotwell) as well as aptly-named Smash (Johanna Colón) and one-eyed, overly-religious Anne-Claire (Bella Higginbotham) to form a one-shot chance to defeat the rival Birdie Scout Troop. This rival troop (predictably) are the apparently perfect, mean girls led by School Principle “Nasty Miss Massey” (Allison Janney).
What’s not predictable is the movie, and the conclusion of how the rival troops fare during the scout jamboree. It’s a lovely movie, and the smart screenplay (Lucy Alibar) and directing by dynamic duo Bert and Bertie have ensured it’s not a cliché. It’s a love letter to our younger, awkward selves. TROOP ZERO is streaming now on AMAZON.
“Little girls give me the creeps, plus you can’t hit them no more, they changed the law” – Miss Rayleen (Viola Davis)
“When life comes at you hard, you set it the hell on fire.” – The Boss Man Ramsey Flint (Jim Gaffigan)