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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Stars talk Assassination

Reece Thompson (top) and The O.C.s Mischa Barton (bottom) came out to promote their latest film, Assassination of a High School President, at the second annual AFI International Film Festival in Dallas.
Reece Thompson (top) and The O.C.’s Mischa Barton (bottom) came out to promote their latest film, Assassination of a High School President, at the second annual AFI International Film Festival in Dallas.

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

Reece Thompson (top) and The O.C.'s Mischa Barton (bottom) came out to promote their latest film, Assassination of a High School President, at the second annual AFI International Film Festival in Dallas.
Reece Thompson (top) and The O.C.’s Mischa Barton (bottom) came out to promote their latest film, Assassination of a High School President, at the second annual AFI International Film Festival in Dallas.

In town for the AFI International Film Festival, Mischa Barton and Reece Thompson talked about their new film,Assassination of a High School President.

Tucked away in the W Hotel in Dallas, the duo chatted about film noirs, driving and working with Bruce Willis.

“I keep saying this; [Willis] just is the coolest person ever,” Thompson said. “He would just sit there in between takes, and I was like ‘how do you look so awesome?’”

Thompson, 19, eagerly answered the questions with a jovial demeanor and wide-eyed smile while Barton, 22, replied with a refined sweetness.

Barton, arriving in Texas only hours before the interview and her film’s red carpet, stirred her coffee as she joked with her co-star.

Assassination of a High School President, the feature directional debut by Brett Simon, follows the awkward sophomore journalists, Bobby Funke (Thompson) as he tries to uncover who stole the SATs to get himself credibility and the girl, Francesca (Barton).

“I think [the film] is a balance between Chinatown and Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” Thompson said.
Simon creates a darker high school movie by using elements of the film noir genre.

“He had a very stylized idea of what he wanted the film to look like,” Barton said. “I thought that was part of what was attractive about it.” “He could of taken [the film] in a bunch of different ways,” she said. “But that was the way he saw it, dark and quirky, which I think really works in its favor as opposed to being more like bubble gummy high school.”

Barton (top) and Thompson (bottom) talk about their film, Assassination of a High School President, on a red carpet event March 29. The red carpet is part of the AFI International Film Festival in Dallas. The festival runs through Sunday, April 6.
Barton (top) and Thompson (bottom) talk about their film, Assassination of a High School President, on a red carpet event March 29. The red carpet is part of the AFI International Film Festival in Dallas. The festival runs through Sunday, April 6.

Barton is best known from the cult hit TV series, The O.C., but she caught audience’s eye in The Sixth Sense.

Nowadays, she has ventured into the indie side of films, with three other movies due in 2008.

“[Simon’s] vision was very clear to me,” she said about choosing this movie, which is scheduled for release Sept. 12. “We agreed in taste on a lot of things.”

The movie delves into the student life at a Catholic high school with Bruce Willis as the over-the-top principal.

[Willis] is just a really nice guy and very funny,” Thompson said. “Most of the funny lines of the film are his improvs.”

The Vancouver native also mused about his character’s learning to drive and described the experience as especially interesting since he had never driven before in real life.

“There was one shot where they actually needed me to pull out of a parking space,” he said. “And I was really excited, and she [Laura Ford as the DMV instructor] was really scared.”

Thompson, who was in last year’s Rocket Science, has only one film on his plate, according to www.imdb.com, but is looking forward to going to ComicCon in San Diego for Assassination of a High School President.

“I have never been to a convention like that before,” he said. “I am really excited to go and see all the crazy costumes.”

Barton describes the Assassination of a High School President in a final note as a “noirish-themed quirky comedy”.

“I think it is a high school movie for a smarter, younger audience,” she said. “It doesn’t have your average clichés.”

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