When the charming indie film “The Pickle Recipe” was screened for the first time, actor Eric Edelstein was pleased that the humor struck a chord with all age groups.
“We have a lot of that universal humor,” says Edelstein, whose credits include the films “Jurassic Word” and “Green Room,” and TV’s “Off the Boat.”
“You never know how the screening will go or how the audience will respond. A cross generation of people are enjoying it. It’s really a tribute to the directing and writing. It’s a pleasure and a fun thing to see.”
“The Pickle Recipe,” which opens in Phoenix theaters on Friday, October 28, tells the story of Joey Miller, the “king” of Detroit party MCs. He’s a single father and deeply in debt.
To make matters worse, his sound and lighting equipment id destroyed at a wedding. His daughter Julie’s bat mitzvah is a month away and she’s hoping he’ll MC her party. Desperate, he turns to his shay Uncle Morty, who agrees to give him the money he needs to get back into business. There is one condition: Joey must steal his grandmother Rose’s top-secret dill pickle recipe, something she vowed to take to her grave.
The movie stars Jon Dore (Joey), Lynn Cohen (Rose), David Paymer (Uncle Morty) and Edelstein (Ted). Edelstein says once he read the script, joining the cast was a no-brainer.
“I loved the script and I loved my part in the movie,” Edelstein says. “It’s nothing but fun. I could come in and just be a wacko, which I feel very comfortable with. David is a character actor and someone I look up to. He’s on my Mount Rushmore. Even when I was a kid, I would look at character actors. That’s a dream to work with him.”
“The Pickle Recipe” was penned by Sheldon Cohn and Gary Wolfson, a duo whom Edelstein, who former automobile executives in Detroit who had a dream of writing a film.
“They’ve been working for years, trying to hustle up to get financing,” Edelstein says. “It’s a beautiful and cool thing to see their dream come true, and then be able to see them beam with pride and people laugh at their screening”
The duo was joined by director Michael Manasseri, a former child actor who, at one point, toured with Yul Brynner in “The King and I.”
“He’s a future superstar,” Edelstein says. “He really ha the touch. A lot of times, those former child actors have an unnatural touch. But this is a wonderful alchemy of writing, directing and acting that shows up on screen.”
Like Cohn and Wolfson’s hometown, “The Pickle Recipe” is set in Detroit, a city with which Edelstein fell in love.
“I loved working there,” says Edelstein, who spent three weeks filming there. “It was so great. The people were just amazing. You can’t beat the people in Detroit. It was almost like Southern hospitality. They were so welcoming and proud to show off their city—and defy people’s expectations of it.”
He was able to explore Detroit and its suburbs because he only worked two to three days a week.
“I know why they put actors in Troy (Michigan)—to keep them out of trouble,” Edelstein says with a laugh. “Put me at a casino in Greektown, put me where all the action is and I’ll be reasonably good. I loved going to Tiger games. Downtown it’s certainly not what you expect going into it.”
Baseball is on his mind. He admiration travels West to Phoenix, too. He’s a frequent visitor to Spring Training.
“Scottsdale is high on my list of favorite cities as well,” he explains. “I see the Dodgers and the White Sox, who share the same facility in Glendale.
“But I like Scottsdale because I thought it would be like a bit chichi, but it has a lot of heart.”
Edelstein is hoping that “The Pickle Recipe” sets a precedent.
“There isn’t enough stuff with heart these days,” he says. “There are a lot of movies with violence and gratuitous whatever. It was fun to be a part of a movie like this. The whole family and go and enjoy it.”