On Saturday afternoon the 18th Tribeca Film Festival celebrated the 25th anniversary of Ben Stiller’s iconic ’90s movie Reality Bites with a screening followed by a cast and filmmaker reunion. Ben Stiller was joined on stage by stars Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder and Janeane Garofalo, plus writer Helen Childress, producer Michael Shamberg and executive producer Stacey Sher. Ethan Hawke was dressed for the occasion, sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with: ‘Hey, That’s My Bike,’ the name of his Reality Bites character’s grunge band. As the movie’s end credits rolled, singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb made a surprise on stage appearance to perform her hit song from the film’s soundtrack, Stay (I Missed You). You can view her performance on Tribeca’s Facebook page.
During the post-screening conversation, Stiller recalled, “I think I was attached to direct and not act in it, and then somehow somebody suggested, it might have been me, that I should act in it also. It wasn’t until Winona read it and said yes that we had a movie.”
Ethan Hawke credited Reality Bites for helping to launch his career, “Winona believed in me. Winona got me this job. This job changed the trajectory of my career entirely. I’m just so grateful to you, Winona.” Hawke joked about having never heard of the The Ben Stiller Show before Reality Bites was suggested to him, “Winona made me watch it. No one I had met had ever heard of it and Winona wanted me to be in this movie and I was like ‘who is Ben Stiller? You just worked with Scorsese and you are going to work with this clown?’ I remember sitting watching it and being like, ‘yeah, it’s pretty good I guess.’”
Winona Ryder revealed that she’s often asked if she thinks her character would end up with Troy or Michael, “but I always thought maybe I’d end up with Vickie here”, she said, referring to Janeane Garofalo’s character.
The full conversation can be watched on Tribeca’s Facebook page.