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Justin Long On New Movie ‘Lady Of The Manor,’ ‘Dodgeball’ & ‘Accepted’

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(CBS Local)– Justin Long has made a name for himself in Hollywood thanks to his roles in movies like “Dodgeball,” “Accepted,” “Waiting” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Long’s latest movie is called “Lady of the Manor” and he acted in the film and directed it. The movie marks his directorial debut and it features a great cast with names like Judy Greer, Melanie Lynskey and Luis Guzmán.

The movie is about a woman named Hannah who is trying to put her life back together and gets a job as a tour guide at a historic estate. Hannah ends up befriending the manor’s resident ghost named Lady Wadsworth and the wild story goes on from there. CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently spoke to Long about what it was like to direct for the first time, what he remembers from doing “Dodgeball” with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn and working with Jonah Hill in “Accepted.”

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“Melanie Lynskey plays a tour guide at this estate where she pretends to be a lady who lived there in the 1870s,” said Long. “Melanie doesn’t really have her life together and Judy Greer plays the ghost of the lady she is portraying. The ghost takes offense at how Melanie is living her life and what she is doing in her old bedroom and starts haunting her in an annoying way, not a scary way. We came up with it because my brother and I have always loved oddball couples.”

“We loved What About Bob and Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” said Long. “Those were the movies that inspired us growing up. We knew we wanted that as the structure, with that classic oddball couple pairing. We had had an idea a couple of years earlier about a comedic psycho. We came up with this and it is more of an oddball couple comedy than anything else. It’s more of a buddy comedy.”

“Lady of the Manor” will be in select theaters and will be available everywhere you can rent movies on September 17. It will also be available on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 21. Long says the casting was key for this film because Lynskey and Greer are seasoned pros and barely needed any guidance from him on set as the director. The actor, writer and director has had the opportunity to be around some of the best performers in Hollywood and one of his big breaks came when he played Justin in the 2004 hit movie “Dodgeball.”

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“I never had super lofty ambitions,” said Long. “The fact that I was in any movie was such a thrill right away. This is going to sound nuts, but my agents at the time were recommending that I should do this other job. It was this college movie, but it kind of went straight to video. I had been offered it and Dodgeball was not a concrete offer, so I had to make a decision. The director Rawson Thurber wrote the part for me, but the studio felt that I was too old for the part, which they were right about.”

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“I was 24 at the time and Justin was written as a 15-year-old, so I was too old for it,” said Long. “Rawson had written a character named Justin and it was really flattering because he had seen an episode of a TV show I had done called Ed. He wrote it for me. I talked to him and he said I can’t guarantee it. I ended up passing on the other movie in the hopes that this movie would work out. That movie really changed my professional life. Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn were heroes of mine and comedic icons and guys I really admired. Getting to play with them and be in the sandbox with them was such a thrill.”

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