NEW YORK – Charlotte native John Hoogenakker portrays an underachiever who receives the power to stop time the night before his wedding in “I Can Change,” which will premiere as part of Tribeca Film Festival’s LOL Shorts Program.
His character attempts to make some major life changes his fiancé wants him to make, all before morning, but along the way. he finds things like Krav Maga, baseball bats and murder more compelling.
The idea for the film was born in Prague where director Jim Jenkins was shooting a commercial with Hoogenakker, who plays The King in Bud Light’s popular Dilly Dilly campaign.
At the time, Hoogenakker was starring in “Jack Ryan” along with John Krasinski, and mentioned all the fight training he was doing for that role. Jenkins said the story took shape shortly thereafter with Hoogenakker in mind for the lead.
“Having worked with John many times, I always tell him he has a unique ability to play both the smartest person and the dumbest person in the scene at the same time,” Jenkins said. “He just plays a likable idiot really well, hence his long run as the clueless King in our Bud Light commercials.”
Jenkins not only wrote “I Can Change,” but it also marks his short film debut. He’s an accomplished director of commercials. His latest work featured Bill Murray reprising his “Groundhog Day” character in a Jeep ad that aired during the Super Bowl.
“We have a long history of working together, and I feel like Jim is always the funniest guy in the room,” Hoogenakker said, “so there’s a great amount of ease and trust there when we work together to dig the laughs out of a scene. We definitely share a shorthand that makes the process run smoothly, and I would say the same for the crew, as well. ‘I Can Change’ was a blast to film, and working with the rest of the cast on this one was nonstop fun.”