Katie Cassidy, Austin Swift, Jerry Trainor, Debby Ryan and Ashley Argota were among the cast of “Cover Versions” who came out to celebrate the film’s premiere at the Landmark Regent Theater in Westwood on April 9. Minus co-star Drake Bell who is currently on tour, the Starfoxy bandmates were all onsite for one killer reunion.
“Cover Versions” follows a modern-day rock band called Starfoxy, as they get ready to play their first big music festival (think Phantogram at Coachella). Things soon go awry, as what starts off being a story about the struggles of a band, quickly turns into a murder mystery. As the plot unfolds, each member of the group gives their account from their own perspective.
“It’s filled with twists and turns,” writer/director Todd Berger told AXS during the premiere. “It’s the kind of movie you’re going to see once; then you’re going to want to watch it five more times, just to find out what you missed.”
Each vignette is told not only from a distinct point of view, it has discrepancies down to the last detail. The cinematography, the production design, the wardrobe changes; they’re different in every story. Everything matches up inside of an interrogation room, where Brian Howe, who plays Detective Fairbanks, recounts the series of events with each character. “It was a real treat because they all come with a different energy,” Howe said of his co-stars. The actor made a choice not to read anything other than his scenes; his character doesn’t have all the answers. That gave Detective Fairbanks a bit of a comedic edge when it came to exploring the darker side of each memory.
Of course, aside from the mystery, fans will also love “Cover Versions” for the music. Katie Cassidy (Jackie), Austin Swift (Kirk), Jerry Trainor (Travis) and Drake Bell (Byron) makeup Starfoxy, whose smash hit “Castles,” has propelled them into superstardom. The original version of the song was actually performed by the real-life group Maxie Dean, whose keyboardist/vocalist is one of the film’s producers, Kevin M. Brennan.
Fun fact: Brennan was initially slated to play the part of Travis. Due to scheduling conflicts, Trainor stepped in. Trainor also plays in another band with Brennan, called The Irish Goodbye. The song you hear throughout the film, sung by both Jackie and Kirk, is called “This Place Makes Me Want To Kill.” That number was penned by Brennan while with The Irish Goodbye.
As far as Starfoxy actually taking the stage or making any festival appearances, Trainor tells AXS that would be highly unlikely. “That’s the beauty of acting. You don’t have to be the person in the movie that you are in real life; unless you’re in The Monkees,” he laughed.
Also on hand at the premiere were “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” actor Jax Malcolm, YouTube sensation Connor Dean, and actress/singer Debby Ryan, who plays Maple in "Cover Versions."
While Ryan isn’t a member of the fictitious group Starfoxy, she does have a very real career in music. Although these days the “Jessie” star considers herself more of a curator than a creator, she says it is possible in the future we can expect to see her in a project where she marries both music and acting together. “When it’s right, it will be right,” she tells AXS.
Who knows? Maybe there’s hope for a sequel.