Tag Team: Turning a Kid’s Game into Comedy Gold

Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress on getting a bunch of comedians together to play Tag.

Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Hannibal Buress (Blockers) are two of the team of great comic actors who star in the new movie Tag, in which a group of five adult male friends get together every May to continue the game of tag they started more than 30 years ago as kids.

Along with Johnson and Buress, the gang of five includes Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm, with the five actors tasked not just with making the longstanding friendship between the men believable, but also tapping its huge comedic potential.

“Jeff Tomsic, our director, was really open to improv,” says Johnson, who plays the somewhat zonked-out Chilli. “A lot of us didn’t know each other going into this, and so one of my big fears was that it wouldn’t feel like a group of friends, because we all come from different schools of comedy and we’re all in different kind of spaces. But everybody got along great.”

In the rest of our interview with Johnson and Buress, they talk about their favorite games to play as kids, and Johnson waxes nostalgic about the pretend talk show he and his brother used to put on. Tag also stars Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb, Rashida Jones and Annabelle Wallis. The movie is out in theaters now.