Justin Long reflects on eclectic movie roles, new film ahead of FLIFF career award

Actor Justin Long has played a lot of great roles in a bunch of different movies — and now he’s in South Florida to be rewarded for it. Alex Miranda, who gets the Deco award for being an all-around joy, spoke with the versatile star.

Justin Long is also the guy who dated Drew Barrymore back in the “He’s Just Not That Into You” days, and Amanda Seyfried just a few years ago. Well, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival must also have a crush on him, because they’re showing their love for his career in a very big way, Saturday night.

You’ve seen Justin Long in everything from “Live Free or Die Hard”…

Justin Long (as Matthew Farrell): “Wrote on little piece of code, and the whole world falls apart. This is virtual terrorism.”

To the cult classic “Jeepers Creepers.”

Justin Long: “You know, I still can’t believe that movie has lasted. it was fairly low-budget.”

And even Britney Spears’ first on screen kiss in “Crossroads.”

Justin Long (as Henry): “I’ll go this way.”

Britney Spears (as Lucy): “And I’ll go this way.”

Justin Long (as Henry): “OK.”

(They kiss. Britney starts laughing.)

Alex Miranda: “This was the height of Britney Spears mania.”

Justin Long: “She was actually, like, disarmingly down to earth and normal. She was just like a sweet Southern girl.”

And now the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is honoring Justin with their Career Achievement Award.

Alex Miranda: “You’re 41! It’s, like, you’re young!”

Justin Long: “Oh, this is a great interview so far.”

Justin Long: “Well, the implication is that my career is basically over.”

Alex Miranda: “Well, it’s not lifetime acheivement yet.”

Justin Long: “Yeah, that’s true. Maybe that would scare me. They knew something I didn’t if I got a lifetime achievement award at 41.”

The same night, his new movie, “Safe Spaces,” will get its Southeast premiere at the Savor Cinema, which takes on the touchy debate about sensitivity on college campuses.

Student with cameraphone: “I want to talk about making this a safe space.

Justin Long (as Josh): “Could you stop recording me?”

Student with cameraphone: “If it’s so important to you, you can forcibly remove the phone from me or allow me to keep taping.”

Justin Long: “The lead actor is a white, straight man, right? So there’s kind of like a…”

Justin Long: “Straight-ish.”

Justin Long: “The way the movie appraches the idea of safe spaces and the need for safe spaces is, I would say, as evenhanded as you can. So it’s not taking one side over the other. If anything, it’s calling for empathy. And it also has to do with my grandmother in the movie is dying, and I’m very close with my own grandmother, and that’s something that I’ve struggled with, and I felt very connected to that element of the story.”

“Safe Spaces,” which is being retitled “After Class,” is scheduled to be released Dec. 6. Justin’s award presentation will hapen Saturday at the Savor Cinema in downtown Fort Lauderdale at 8:30 p.m.

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
“Safe Spaces” & Justin Long – Centerpiece Film & Party

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