The Daily Grind Video

Brett Ratner has directed dozens of our favorite films and music videos. His latest project, Tower Heist is about to hit theaters on November 4, but has been getting buzz for months now.

Starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, the movie was filmed in New York City and also features Matthew Broderick, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena and Tea Leoni.

We caught up with Brett today and got the inside scoop on Tower Heist and what it was like working with this star-studded cast.

Check out our exclusive below!

You filmed Tower Heist almost a year ago, but it’s eerily similar to our present day reality. Talk about that a little bit.

When we set out to make Tower Heist, we knew the premise was timeless, dating back to Robin Hood and even before: the “little guy” evening the score with those who’ve gotten rich off of their backs, is a classic underdog theme that has been satisfying audiences for ages.

What I couldn’t foresee is just how timely that idea would become, where we are now at a place where this concept feels relevant to about 99 percent of the American public. The current movements protesting the vast financial inequalities and malfeasance that are happening all over the country are very real. 

Our bad guy Arthur Shaw is a perfect representation of the kind of guy who lined his own pockets by swindling others and has become a very timely villain. It’s not just the poor taking from the rich, it’s the working man taking back what was taken from them, from the corrupt Wall Street big wig!

We haven’t seen Eddie Murphy in an action-packed comedy like this in awhile. How have people been responding to his performance in the film?

The audience has really been responding to seeing Eddie Murphy return to the kind of classic comedy that made him one of the biggest film stars ever. Eddie practically invented the genre with Trading Places and actually came up with the original idea for Tower Heist. For those of us who grew up with Eddie, it’s such a welcome reminder of when we were first introduced to Eddie and his brilliant comedic skills. For his younger fans, it’s like they’re discovering Eddie’s more dangerous wild side for the first time.

What was it like working with Ben Stiller on the film?

There isn’t a more reliable comedic leading man than Ben Stiller. He’s a guy that the audience relates to. They love to see him put upon and challenged, and then they love to see him win. Having him as the ringleader for this bunch of colorful characters gives him the chance for all of his leading-man charisma and appeal to really come through.

Can you discuss the rest of the cast?

The cast is our dream team. To have actors as accomplished as Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe, Tea Leoni, and Steven Henderson ― even small parts are played by major talents like Judd Hirsch ― gives each character such full dimension and personality. Most of these are actors who have led their own movies. I am very proud to have collected all of them together for this kind of ensemble opportunity where all of them shine. 

Any final thoughts?

While I’m proud to make a film that has something to say, what’s most memorable about it is that it makes you laugh and gives you a cast of characters to really root for. You want these guys to win and get what’s theirs.