Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann on 'Fun size,' Josh Schwartz's directorial debut

Victoria Justice and Jane Levy
Victoria Justice and Jane Levy
Jaimie Trueblood

Actors Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann spent time in Minnesota last weekend promoting their new teen comedy, Fun Size. Just in time for Halloween, Fun Size tells the story of high-school senior Wren (Victoria Justice) who is forced to watch her younger brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) on Halloween so that her mother (Chelsea Handler) can go party with her boyfriend. A wild evening ensues after Wren loses track of her brother and calls on her friends April (Jane Levy), Peng (Osric Chau), and Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) to help find him.

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Mann, who was seen earlier this year in Project X, says that in addition to loving the Fun Size screenplay, he was drawn to his character.

Jaime Trueblood
Jaime Trueblood
Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler, Thomas Mann

"I really liked reading the character of Roosevelt," Mann says. "I thought he was so loveable and sensitive and smart and he wasn't trying to be cooler than he was. He was totally comfortable. He knew he wasn't the coolest kid at school and he was fine with that -- he had other things going for him. He's the captain of the debate team, and he takes pride in the right kind of things. I liked that Wren saw that good in him."

Josh Schwartz, the writer-producer behind popular teen television shows like The O.C. and Gossip Girl, made his directorial debut with Fun Size. Mann says Schwartz is one of the reasons he wanted to be in the film.

"Josh Schwartz, the director, is just the coolest, nicest guy ever. He has great taste in what young people like and what they're into," Mann says.

Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann at Mall of America
Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann at Mall of America
Photo by Nicole Crosbie

Justice agrees that Schwartz was a great fit for the film and the story reminded her of Sixteen Candles and Adventures in Babysitting.

"He's super into music, and I think that influences his filmmaking a lot. He gets into the minds of young people," Justice says. "I love the fact that the film was reminiscent of a John Hughes film. It has that coming-of-age comedy feel to it. My character Wren has some similarities to Molly Ringwald's character [in Sixteen Candles], being a teenage girl who is a little bit lost and feels kind of misunderstood and wants to escape from everything at home."

Working with a young cast was fun for Mann and Justice, and they enjoyed filming in Cleveland.

"Shooting in Cleveland was great," Justice says. "It was cool to be able to shoot a movie somewhere separate from Los Angeles. We were thrown into this small town with our film crew and the cast and we had a lot of fun."

Being in a new city without the comforts of home reminded Mann of summer camp, and he says it was a great way for the cast to bond.

"You become sort of a family. You're all in this new place so it's sort of like a summer camp. You get to know each other so well. In that sense it's really special and that's why I like making movies, because every experience is so different," Mann says.

Fun Size opens in theaters today.

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