Nick Jonas Spotlights Frat Hazing in 'Goat': "People Get Carried Away, and It Gets Ugly"
The Andrew Neel film follows a college kid who rushes his brother's fraternity to reclaim his masculinity — to brutal results.
In Goat, which premiered at Sundance Friday, Nick Jonas plays a frat member whose brother -- played by Ben Schnetzer -- decides to join Greek life and undergoes hazing.
The film explores brotherhood while also diving into the ritual of hazing — for example, research included a "vomit omelette," a real-life example from Dartmouth University.
"There's more to it than just the fraternity culture," Jonas told The Hollywood Reporter at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. "As far as people within that culture, there will probably be a lot of things about it that they are drawn to, that they can relate to in a big way, but also some things that we hope open their eyes to what has become a bit of an issue. In some cases, people get carried away and it gets ugly. So if we can raise our hand and say, 'Look at this story, see what it does to you,' then we've done our job."
"I took a lot of my home life in it," Jonas continued when relating the story's fraternal shakeup to his shifting relationship with his brothers and former fellow boy band members. "We didn't do hazing in the Jonas family home, which is probably a good thing! A little more love and care than in this film!"
James Franco, who produced the film, plays an older "legacy" alumni member who returns to the house to party. "As disturbing as it may be, it's actually one of the funnier scenes in the movie," said writer-director Andrew Neel.