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Bobby Lee & GaTa on Bringing Real-Life Experience to New Film Sweet Dreams

Bobby Lee & GaTa on Bringing Real-Life Experience to New Film Sweet Dreams

Most people love an uplifting sports movie, but what if the story were to focus on more than just a bunch of guys trying to win some sort of championship? Paramount’s new film Sweet Dreams gets its title from the name of a rehab facility that houses men on the path of sobriety, men who ultimately try to keep their lights on by competing in a softball league with a cash prize.

From writer-director Lije Sarki (producer on The Peanut Butter Falcon) and starring Jackass icon Johnny Knoxville as a recovering boozer who checks into “Sweet Dreams,” the hard-hitting new dramedy also features some familiar faces like Bobby Lee (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) and GaTa (Anyone But You). We recently caught up with the two gents in a paired interview to learn more about how their real-life experiences tied to addiction helped fuel their standout performances. Watch the interview above or read on for more.

Sports and Coming From a ‘Background of Addiction’

Sweet Dreams (2024) movie with Johnny Knoxville poster

Sweet Dreams (2024)

Release Date
April 12, 2024

Lije Sarki

Johnny Knoxville , Mo Amer , GaTa , Bobby Lee , Theo Von , Brian Van Holt , Jonnie Park , Shakewell , Adam Faison , Erik Anthony Gonzalez , Beth Grant , Jay Mohr , Kate Upton

99 Minutes

Lije Sarki

Paramount Pictures

Sure, Sweet Dreams is a movie about sobriety at the end of the day, but the finished product features its fair share of rather heated softball scenes. This begs the question: Did any of the actors have real-life athletic expertise going into the project? The reliably hysterical Bobby Lee was quick to reply in typical fashion, “I’ve never really done anything. I hardly walk. And I can run sometimes if I’m in danger. But I didn’t know much about [softball].”

GaTa, on the other hand, is not messing around when it comes to athletics. “I’m a huge sports fan. I play basketball, play football, play baseball,” he told us. “I’m nice like that.”

And on a more serious note, Lee was able to relate to the storyline and his character outside the whole softball component thanks to his own sobriety. “I was very familiar with AA and the 12-step themes because I’m sober, so I felt comfortable in that respect,” explained Lee. “I’ve seen a lot of AA and 12-steps portrayed in movies and television. And I felt like [this was more realistic]. Even when we were shooting some of the bigger AA meetings, [Sarki] used probably 20 guys there that are in the program, so people know the language.” Lee elaborated:

“And it’s also the way that people were sitting, it felt like kind of disheveled, like in a meeting in many ways. Because usually, when you see it portrayed in movies, they’re in a circle, in some sort of gymnasium or something. But this one felt like, even the dialogue between Jay [Mohr] and Johnny [Knoxville], the sponsor-sponsee dialogue,
it just felt so real to me
, you know? And I think that that can only be done if people are in it.”


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These films present substance use disorder (SUD) in stark, painful, but artistic ways that reveal the often devastating effects of drugs.

GaTa also felt a similar connection to the subject matter and was candid about how it inspired his performance. “I come from a background of addiction. My parents were drug addicts, they’re no longer here with us. I have my own personal problems, sex addiction, dealing with being bipolar, anxiety,” he said. “So yeah, man, I definitely connect, and I was happy to put on a great performance.”

GaTa on Lil Dicky and Balancing Music with Acting

Fans of GaTa might know him best from his scene-stealing turn alongside Lil Dicky in FX’s hit series Dave, which recently announced a long hiatus. “I actually just brought him to the Sweet Dreams movie premiere,” GaTa told us in thinking about real-life pal Dave Burd. “We actually just had a concert for Kevin Hart and Netflix at the Kennedy Center, when Kevin Hart gets his Mark Twain Award. But Lil Dicky is one of my best friends, man. He really changed my life, got me out the ghetto, believed in me, put my music on TV. He always supported me. I just went to his new crib and everything.”


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GaTa fans might also know him from his music career — but with his acting career really taking off as of late, one has to wonder how he juggles both industries. “The balance for me is hard as f**k,” he told us. “Sometimes I even forget I’m a rapper… That’s my real passion. That’s how I even got in this position. But my daily goal is to have my music career catch up to my TV and film career. But yeah, I’m always at a crossroads every day.”

Bobby Lee on Comedy and Having a Positive Relationship with a Director

Fans of Lee, meanwhile, are well aware of his successful career as a comic and podcaster, so he’s got his own juggling to do as well. “I’ve always wanted to do all of it,” he said. “I’ve done sketch on TV, I’ve done movies, I’ve done panel shows, I’ve done podcasts. I just do it all. It just keeps it exciting for me.”

Lee has also been outspoken this year about traumatic experiences on set with directors he’s worked with in the past, so it was refreshing to hear about his wonderful time with director Lije Sarki for Sweet Dreams. “I’ve had many good experiences in the last 10 years, lots with Lije specifically because I know that he’s familiar with the world and because he’s also familiar with what I can and cannot do,” said Lee, adding:

“Communication was there.
A lot of times, directors bark at their actors, but there’s just a calming nature about him
. And his notes were very clear, and I understood them. And yeah,
I can’t think of one negative experience that I had on this movie. I think it was all positive, and I’m just so blessed to be a part of that

From Paramount Pictures, Sweet Dreams is now playing in theaters and will be available on digital April 16. You can watch the trailer below:

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