The 2014 MTV Movie Awards promises to be “the biggest one you’ll ever see.”
For this Sunday’s live broadcast, host Conan O’Brien has assembled stars, spoofs, pyrotechnics galore, and death-defying stunts to wow the millennial audiences. As he joked to EW earlier, he realized quickly that his Goonies monologue wasn’t exactly going to cut it for the sophisticated kids.
Stunts seemed like a good quick fix. If only he was brave enough to actually go through with them.
EW got to sit in while O’Brien was filming the spots. All eyes were focused on him on the dark stage. Within five minutes of getting there and one brief blocking rehearsal he was ready to go. Cameras rolled as producers wandered around in the background with official looking clipboards. A makeup woman trailed O’Brien with a utility belt full of products ready to do her thing in a moments notice. Crew members were bustling around in the wings, tweaking the set decorations and generally seeming incredibly busy and focused while O’Brien riffed with the cameramen and tried to figure out whether or not swearing was ok for the ads (it was, he learned quickly from an offstage voice).
O’Brien teased that he wanted someone to check on the network’s stance on off-color racial comments. Everyone laughed.
But of course, like most things in L.A., it was a fake. O’Brien wasn’t on a stage at all. It was a set in Hollywood, nearly 8 miles from the Nokia Theater in Downtown L.A. where the show would actually be taking place.
Earlier in the day, O’Brien filmed spots about the amazing pyrotechnics only to find out that instead of fire there’d be a slow drizzle of bubbles meekly floating out of the canons. His improvised responses ranged from resigned embarrassment to full-on “they lied to me” rage. He even came up with a completely new idea while the real crew prepped for different bit, pulling his stand-in (who O’Brien laughed was actually more attractive than him) into the shot and telling the cameras that “Gunther” would be hosting in his stead.
So, we hate to disappoint, but it’s pretty unlikely that O’Brien and Ice Cube will, in fact, perform the motorcycle stunt on stage. But, still, you never know. They could have changed their minds in the three weeks since they shot the promos. You’ll have to tune into the Awards on MTV on Sunday at 9 p.m. to find out.
(Additional reporting by Ray Rahman)