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An Interview with Chad Meisenheimer, Director and Star of Check Please!

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2018

Chad Meisenheimer on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Check Please! - in a few words, what is it about?


Check Please! is a not so romantic comedy about the morning after of a blind date turned hook up.


Is any of Check Please! based on personal experiences? And your personal worst (blind) dates?


I wish it was based on personal experiences… haha. I would have great old man tales to tell the hot nurses at the convalescent home. The idea originally came to me in two parts during 2016. First witnessing and overhearing a very awkward and brutal blind date at a Starbucks. The man kept trying to talk himself up about how “awesome he was” and the woman was totally not feeling it. She kept twirling her hair and glancing at her cell phone.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Check Please!?


The second part of the idea was after watching the Judd Apatow comedy feature Knocked Up. There is a scene in the film between Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl the morning after their characters hooked up after just meeting the night before. I love the awkwardness of that moment. Everyone has that one story of the “morning after”.
So I wanted to switch it up a little bit and have it be about two dudes who hook up the night of the blind date and the morning after just to find out one of the dudes is actually straight. My goal was to go deeper into the moment of awkwardness and disappointment using my shock-and-awe style of comedy.


Do talk about Check Please!'s specific brand of humour!


Someone online said it perfectly the other day: “Meisenheimer takes rebounding from a relationship to the next level in his comedic short film. His shock-and-awe style comedy is sure to bring laughs and even unwanted introspection.” It’s definitely cringe humor at it’s best. (Smirks) Cringe humor... it's perfect.


With Check Please! revolving solely around two people sitting at a table, how limiting was this for you from a director's point of view? And what can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


I enjoy limitations and restrictions. The challenges make me figure out different ways to solve problems creatively. So basically, my main concern, as a director, was to keep the pacing and the timing of the comedy visually entertaining. Which I felt myself and cinematographer Niklas Berggren (Nite Nite, Faithful) [Niklas Berggen interview - click here] pulled off pretty well. Then in post production, the editor Chester Finney (Confidential Informant) tightens up some of the gaps.


You also play one of the leads in Check Please! - so what did you draw to bring him to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind from the get-go?


Yes! I love comedy. The last seven years I’ve been making my bread and butter as a comedian and comedy writer. A lot of people compare me to John Belushi or Chris Farley which is nice but I feel like my comedy is way more R-rated.


Your character's lines are very much on the cringeworthy side - now honestly, how much fun was it to blurt them out anyways? And how hard was it to not burst out laughing from time to time?


I’m pretty sarcastic and snarky as a person. So, getting the chance to be politically incorrect and have no filter was a blast. I definitely broke character a few times and chuckled to myself. We had one outtake where I didn’t know I said “I love penis flavored foods” and Shane Ryan goes “Oh really?” In the corner of my eye I see the cinematographer (Niklas Berggren) and assistant camera operator (Akira Hayakawa) laughing. I got annoyed and was like “what the F?!? You guys ruined a take.” Then Niklas calls me over and shows me what I said. Lolzzz!


You of course also have to talk about your co-star Shane Ryan [Shane Ryan interview - click here], and what made him perfect for the part?


I wrote the character with him in mind. I’ve known Shane for years and even acted in a couple of his projects. But I never got to work with him as an actor. He’s actually a pretty good actor and I'm surprised he doesn’t get cast in more projects. He was hella good in “Samurai Cop 2” and I've heard he was amazing in The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper from filmmaker Albert Pyun. What made him perfect for the role is his reputation as a controversial underground filmmaker who pushes the envelope. That's how the media portrays him. A lot of people don’t know he’s actually hella funny in person.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was great! It was very laid back and fun. I’ve worked with everyone on the crew before so it went smoothly. Niklas Berggren as the cinematographer, Akira Hayakawa as the assistant camera operator, the sound guy was a long time friend from Northern California, Stevo Ng and the gaffer/grip Eric Milzarski, I worked on a few projects with him too.


The $64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?


Right now sending it around the film festival circuit and then hopefully will be ready for the public to view in June on Funny or Die.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Check Please! yet?


The critical reception has been really good so far. They really dig the performances and the cringeworthy sense of humor. Audience reaction has been pretty much the same too. I’m very happy with the response.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Acting - wise, I will have an recurring role on a comedy webseries that starts shooting in early February called My Daughter, Karl from Richard Eick, Max Giorgi and Kyle Crosby of Channel D Productions. I’m also currently in pre-production/raising funds for two short horror films and I should be directing my first feature by this summer.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


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If people really dig this movie they might really enjoy some of my older comedy shorts here at

Also if they want to stay up to date with me or my other work they can follow me on Twitter @ChadMeise or on Instagram @TheChadMeise


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Sure… Keep laughing, don’t get offended and life is just too short to sweat the little stuff.
Also: Support Indie Film !!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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