Featuring the Score Composed by Mateo Messina
(June 15, 2015– Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records will release the BARELY LETHAL – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, featuring the original music composed by Mateo Messina (JUNO, BUTTER). The recording will be released digitally on June 16, 2015 and on CD later this year.
“The protagonist is a badass secret agent, but at the same time she’s a teenage girl who just wants to fit in,” said Messina. “I wanted to honor all of her ‘inner badass’ while still playing her vulnerability as a teenager.”
In this high school action comedy, a teenage special ops agent named Megan (Hailee Steinfeld), yearning for a “normal” adolescence, fakes her own death and enrolls as an exchange student in a typical American high school. She quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of high school can be more difficult than international espionage. BARELY LETHAL also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, and Jaime King.
“The viewer begins this film in an intense world of spies, action, training, drama, and just a lot of fighting with fists, feet, and guns,” explained Messina. “But then we transition to an entire new world, the small Anywhere American town of Newton. Despite the difference, this mundane little town is the greatest place in the world to Megan. The score had to reflect the town’s small-time charm without feeling like too much of a disconnect from the rest of the world. While I switched up the style and instrumentation dramatically, I made sure there were hints of our theme inside it melodically so viewers would always be a connected to the whole story just as Megan is.”
Grammy-winning composer Mateo Messina’s distinct, moving, and often quirky musical voice has graced Oscar-winning films, indie hits, and popular television alike. His folksy, guitar-led score for Jason Reitman’s Juno (starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera) contributed to the film’s runaway success and its soundtrack album’s Grammy win. He lifted the spirits of Phil Alden Robinson’s dramedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, starring Robin Williams (in his final role) and Mila Kunis. His cheeky, funk-flavored music was spread onto the dark comedy Butter, starring Jennifer Garner. For Reitman and Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody’s critical darling, Young Adult (starring Charlize Theron), Messina created and produced muzak versions of iconic 90’s radio hits.
Messina’s lengthy CV also includes the R-rated comedy Life Happens and the sports drama From the Rough (starring Michael Clarke Duncan). For the small screen, he’s accompanied the NBC comedy series Growing Up Fisher (starring J.K. Simmons), the high seas adventure Crossbones (starring John Malkovich), USA lawyer comedy Fairly Legal, and the NBC series Perfect Couples. His music for Jason Reitman’s comedy series for Hulu, Casual, is in the works.
Growing up in Seattle, Messina was drawn to music and started playing piano at the age of three. He began composing early, premiering his first symphony at 23. He’s since written a total of 17 symphonies—with the proceeds of each premiere benefitting families at Seattle Children’s Hospital (totaling more than $1 million to date). Messina loves writing music for film and television because it’s “like going to a different summer camp six to eight times every year. Each has its own style, its own discipline, shape, tone, characters, etc. You collaborate and move a mountain with a group of inspired people. It’s a challenge, and it is a blast.”
“I loved how the film (and the script) felt like it shot you out of a cannon into the action,” Messina described. “With pacing taken care of, we focused a lot of our attention on tone. Seeing the protagonist’s obsession with 80’s and 90’s teen movies as her way of learning how to socialize with the rest of the world keyed me into pitching director Kyle Newman a score that uses 80’s and 90’s analog synths to their best effect.”
A24 and Main Street Films present BARELY LETHAL, currently available in limited release and on VOD. The BARELY LETHAL – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available digitally on June 16, 2015 and on CD later this year.