Justin and Christian Long had a blast making ‘Lady of the Manor’


(CNN)How does one come up with a paranormal buddy comedy tied, in part, to the antebellum era of history?

If you are brothers Justin and Christian Long, it’s not that hard.

“The first part is easy, we love buddy comedies,” Christian Long told CNN.

    “We’re buddies,” Justin Long quipped.

      The pair co-wrote and co-directed the new film “Lady of the Manor” and got a little bit of help from some of their famous friends.

        Judy Greer stars as Lady Wadsworth, a ghost who steps in after her descendant Tanner, (played by Ryan Phillippe) hires stoner Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) as the live-in tour guide for the family’s manor house.

        Justin Long also has a role in the movie. He told CNN he and his brother grew up watching classic ’80s buddy comedies like “What About Bob” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

          “So we always wanted that to be the genre of the first thing we did,” the actor, known for work in movies like “Dodgeball” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” said. “We knew that we were familiar with it and somewhat comfortable in doing and taking a stab at it.”

          One of the ideas they came up with, Justin Long said, was to have a ghost movie where the ghost was more of an annoyance than scary.

          It took awhile to come to fruition, however.

          “We found the voice memo that Justin recorded when we came up with the idea and I think it was July 2018,” Christian Long said. “We wrote it in early 2019, then we shot it a year later, early 2020 and now here we are.

          Christian Long said the pair actually didn’t write together, but wrote half each and compared notes as his brother was in London working at the time they wrote the film.

          “It was a nice way to stay connected,” Justin Long said of writing the film long distance. “It was a way to laugh together.”

          They also had fun shooting the movie, especially getting to work with their friends, who Justin Long said were able to take some of his and his brother’s “juvenile” comedy and turn it into something touching.

          “What Christian and I didn’t anticipate was them injecting so much heart into it,” Justin Long said. “They made this moment at the end that was so beautiful and they were so connected. It was really moving for the movie we thought we were making.”

            “Judy coined the phrase ‘a fartwarming comedy,'” he added.

            “Lady of the Manor” is now available on demand, DVD and Blu-ray.