Dane Cook is gearing up for a star-studded virtual table read! The actor and stand-up comic shares with ET how he’s bringing together Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston — as well as an A-list lineup — for a special table read of the comedy classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
“I never thought I would say this, but I’m really excited to go back to high school,” Cook told ET’s Kevin Frazier during a recent video chat interview.
Cook’s Feelin’ A-Live event will be the first project Pitt and Aniston have worked on together in years, and will also feature Jimmy Kimmel, Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Shia LaBeouf, Morgan Freeman and Henry Golding, among others.
According to Cook, while everyone was on board to help, it still wasn’t easy to coordinate everyone’s schedules for the event.
“Despite the fact that we’re in a pandemic and people are quarantined, everybody has obligations, everybody’s got families,” Cook explained. “It’s not easy to wrangle.”
As it turns out, the whole plan kicked off with him ringing up Aniston to pitch the idea. “It started with Jennifer Aniston, I think she was one of the first people that I talked to,” Cook recalled. “She was like, ‘When and where?’ And I said, ‘No idea, but I’m working on it.'”
This will be the first time Pitt and Aniston have come together publicly following their highly publicized reunion backstage at the SAG Awards earlier this year, and Cook admitted that the publicity from that wasn’t really intentional. “I wish I could say that was my plan all along,” Cook joked, adding that the reunion was something that just happened “as it started to come together.”
However, Cook said he understands the level of interest the public has in the pair.
“They’re fascinating people, and also because of the level of talent and philanthropy, when you have fascinating figures like that, of course you want to see them together,” Cook said. “That’s the magic, right? You want to see that spark.”
One original member of the Fast Times cast who will be returning for the table read is Sean Penn — who played the iconic movie stoner Jeff Spicoli.
“Right off the bat, I called up Sean,” Cook explained. “I had a relationship with him for some time and I said, “I want to do something special that really lifts people’s spirit… What do you think?’ And he’s like, ‘What do you got for me?’ And the first thing I shot back at him was this idea for… a virtual table read. I pitched him Fast Times. He looked at me, and he went, ‘Let’s roll with this.'”
“I never thought he would’ve said OK. But he couldn’t have been more gracious,” he added. “And then we were off to the races.”
Originally slated to kick off Aug. 20, the virtual event, sponsored by Snack Pop, will now take place Friday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, so it doesn’t conflict with the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
The event is hosted in collaboration with and benefits CORE, Community Organized Relief Effort, a nonprofit group looking to set up free COVID-19 testing sites and help communities in need during the pandemic. Fans can watch via CORE’s official Facebook and TikTok pages, as well as LiveXLive.
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