LOS ANGELES, CA —Sean Penn, who co-starred in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," will join Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman on Friday night for a live reading of the 1982 classic movie in conjunction with a one-night fundraiser organized by actor-comedian Dane Cook.
The "Feelin' A-Live" event will benefit CORE, a humanitarian organization co-founded by Penn and Ann Lee that is on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, providing testing and relief services in the United States, and the REFORM Alliance, which is focused on passing laws to reform the criminal justice system and protecting the incarcerated population from the spread of coronavirus.
The project is generating particular buzz since it features a reunion with former it-couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
“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," said Dane Cook, who noted that Aniston was the first person to whom he pitched the idea. "That's the magic, right? You want to see that spark."
"Fast Times" screenwriter Cameron Crowe and director Amy Heckerling are scheduled to give a special introduction at the beginning of the unrehearsed reading, which is also slated to include Henry Goulding, Jimmy Kimmel, Shia LaBeouf and Cook.
“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,” said Heckerling. “And I’m a huge fan of Sean. He has such a big heart, and I fully support CORE and all of his causes.”
“Sean brought magic to us on day one, and he is still bringing that magic to the world,” said screenwriter Cameron Crowe. “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.”
The teen comedy, hailed as a pop cultural touchstone credited with launching Penn’s career, celebrates its 38th anniversary Tuesday.
The event, set to start at 5 p.m., will be livestreamed on LiveXLive's platform, app and social channels, along with Facebook Live and TikTok via CORE's Facebook page and TikTok handle. The show was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was moved so it wouldn’t conflict with the Democratic National Convention.
The livestream will feature a "donate" button, with all proceeds benefiting CORE and REFORM Alliance.
“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,” said Sean Penn. “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!”
Dermot McCormack, LiveXLive's president, called the movie "a cultural time piece" and said it was exciting to be a part of its return.
"We've already seen intriguing success for events and shows of other genres and styles outside of music -- from wellness, to cannabis to this kind of innovative event. We have continued to support social causes throughout COVID and we stand by the work CORE and REFORM Alliance are doing," McCormack said.
— City News Service and Patch staffer Michael Wittner contributed to this report.