Table reads are becoming more a staple given the uncertain times during quarantine. Many involve cast reunions, but the latest in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) is probably the most star-studded ever to appear, most weren't even in the original. Assembled by comedian Dane Cook and Ivan Dudynsky, the table read is part of the "Feelin'A-Live" fundraiser to benefit nonprofits CORE and the REFORM Alliance to help fight the spread of COVID-19 on two fronts via LiveXLive. Among the Livestream, participants include Brad Pitt, Jimmy Kimmel, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman, Henry Golding, Shia LaBeouf, Cook, and Sean Penn. Penn, who plays Jeff Spicoli in the Amy Heckerling film, is the member of the original cast announced in participating, but won't reprise his role instead, deferring to a "new guy." The director and writer Cameron Crowe (who also wrote the novel) plan to present a special introduction to the Livestream.
"I'm honored that so many talented, wonderful people are willing to get together to celebrate our movie, and to create their own special version of it," Heckerling said. "And I'm a huge fan of Sean. He has such a big heart, and I fully support CORE and all of his causes." CORE is founded by Penn and CEO Ann Lee and" works on providing testing and relief services for COVID in the US". The REFORM Alliance focuses on "passing laws to reform the criminal justice system and protecting the incarcerated from the spread of COVID-19.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High originally stars Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanue, Brian Backer, Ray Walston, and Phoebe Cates. The teen comedy was a success for Universal making six times its budget. "Sean brought magic to us on day one, and he is still bringing that magic to the world," Crowe said. "We are so excited to be a part of this 2020 take on Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Thank you to this cast, and to Sean, for always honoring the best things in life, love, and creativity. It is, as a great man once said, totally awesome."
"On behalf of our dedicated team at CORE, I'm so appreciative of the support Dane has given and continues to give to our work," Penn added. "I'm always game for a giggle. So, to gather remotely for a night of laughs with so many talented folks while providing CORE with much-needed resources to continue our vital work, then consider us fully onboard to play!" Penn said he's "very confident in the new guy" who plays his part. I don't know about you, but having Spicoli not play Spicoli is just downright weird. Check out the video here.