Featuring a myriad of celebrities, Netflix’s new documentary Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics from former Simpsons and Late Night With David Letterman writer-producer Donick Cary highlights interviews with comedians, actors, and musicians sharing their experiences with hallucinogens.
When legendary rocker Ozzy Ozbourne signed on to participate in the project, he later had a change of heart about letting his interview appear in the film.
All-star lineup on ‘Have A Good Trip’
Celebrities including Sting, Will Forte, Sarah Silverman, Paul Scheer, Rosie Perez, A$AP Rocky, and Nick Kroll were interviewed for the documentary. Cary revealed that a story from actor Ben Stiller inspired the film.
“It all started with Ben Stiller sharing a funny, funny story. His story was both revelatory and cautionary – and in some ways pretty typical for people growing up in 70s, 80s, 90s,” Cary told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “I realized I hadn’t heard a lot of these in pop culture so just wanted to see who else had a story we hadn’t heard before.”
The producer proceeded to speak with celebs that had experiences with hallucinogens. “From there we just started asking everyone we could get to: ‘any good tripping stories?'” Cary said. “We recorded everyone who had something interesting to share, and then made the movie with about half of those interviews just out of necessity for times sake – finding a good balance of lessons and a variety of people from different corners of fame.”
Some celebs turned down the offer of sharing their story
Cary revealed he had a “long list” of celebrities who declined the offer of being a part of the project. “We got a lot of ‘no’s’ and ‘not interested’s,'” the producer said. “It’s been a taboo topic for so long that a lot of people don’t want to be associated with drugs even if they had amazing experiences.”
Some who participated were a bit wary of what they were getting into and wanted prior information on the film before committing.
“Some people were cautious and required pre interviews and convos about what we might be up to,” Cary said. “But the majority of people in the movie were amazingly open and up for sharing what they experienced – for better or worse.”
Ozzy Osbourne had second thoughts
Cary’s main intention of creating a film on such controversial subject matter was to start an important dialogue on a sometimes stereotyped topic.
“I think these are incredibly powerful tools that deserve our consideration and study in careful, hopefully licensed, ways. They can be dangerous when not taken seriously,” the producer told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “They definitely aren’t for everyone. But they have been stigmatized for so long and we tend to talk about them from a place of fear. We have to shake off the fear and have more fact-based conversation!”
While the documentary features several famed musicians, one in particular changed his mind about airing his interview for fear of being misinterpreted.
“We had one interview that we thought went great and was a great cautionary tale from Ozzy, but then he decided he didn’t want to be in the movie,” Cary revealed. “We love Ozzy and thought his stories and perspective on psychedelics were great and illuminating, but also were respectful that he wanted to be very cautious about the way he talked about drugs.”
Cary’s main goal is to bring awareness to mental health issues and potential options for treatment. “We don’t want [psychedelics] to be trivialized or to endorse recreational use,” he emphasized. “We hope this encourages rational conversation and discussion about positive benefits and applications, and ideally helps move us towards a sane investigation into uses for mental health – treating depression, anxiety, mortality, addiction.”
Due to the amount of footage collected for the debut of Have A Good Trip, Cary thinks there may be a sequel somewhere in the future saying, “We have some amazing interviews in the can and would love to figure out a way to do a part two or a series with these.”