The Greatest Beer Run Ever

The Greatest Beer Run Ever: We Speak to Zach Efron and Peter Farrelly

Dept. of Chats and Confabs


Based on a true story, The Greatest Beer Run Ever tells the story of Chickie Donohue, a local ne’er-do-well who, fed up of not being taken seriously by his family and friends, decides to do something totally outrageous. To show support to the neighborhood boys serving in Vietnam, he decides to travel to the frontline by himself in order to bring the soldiers a little piece of home — their favorite can of American beer. What begins as a well-meaning journey quickly turns into the adventure of a lifetime as Chickie confronts the reality of this controversial war and his reunions with his childhood buddies thrust him into the complexities and responsibilities of adulthood.

In this Goggler exclusive, we got the chance to sit down with Zach Efron and Peter Farrelly, the star and director of The Greatest Beer Run Ever, for a conversation about what their Vietnam war movie says about America today.

Umapagan Ampikaipakan: First of all, Zach, that truly was a magnificent ‘tache. It was fantastic.

Zach Efron: *laughs* Thank you.

UA: The Vietnam War is very much an American tragedy. What can Chickie’s story teach us today.

ZE: Oh, geez, there’s a lot. It’s a very unique perspective. One of the interesting things, at least for me, going through this movie, and even when I first read the script, was that I couldn’t believe it was a true story. I didn’t know everything about Vietnam. I feel like it’s still very cloudy and people still don’t know what really happened there. It’s like this space that we all kind of want to forget about. But this exploration of it is from a civilian point of view, and knowing what we know now, I love that Pete was interested in bringing you along for the ride and introducing you to one of the most significant wars in American history through the lens of just a regular guy that shows up to support his friends. 

Peter Farrelly: And the other thing it shows us is that the leadership is not always right. The American leadership in Vietnam was a mess. It was terrible. And we didn’t know it at the time. The Americans at the time thought this was a good war. And we learned later that it wasn’t and that we were at fault. And I hope it encourages Russia to see what they’re doing in Ukraine and realize there’s no winning this. Nothing good’s going to come out of this and to just end it before it gets any worse. It’s already a nightmare. 

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

UA: That last conversation between Chickie and the Colonel was an incredibly powerful moment that I think kind of speaks to the shifting public discourse surrounding the justness or the unjustness of a war. And I’m curious as to what you think this movie speaks to in 2022. Are you trying to say something about American intervention? 

PF: I mean, that’s in there. But first of all, when I make a movie, there is never a message. I’m trying to tell a story. Does it say something about American intervention? Absolutely. But more than that, it says something about truth. The American people were fooled. We didn’t know what was going on there. We thought we were fighting World War II. And it wasn’t that. And it took us years to find the truth. And that truth is being lost more and more today. There’s so much misinformation out there. And the only way you get together and make peace with people is when the truth comes out. And I hope that happens in our country and in all the countries that we’ve been in. That’s the only way you can reconcile and find forgiveness. 

UA: Your movie sent me down a rabbit hole. So much so that I picked up Max Hastings book on Vietnam, and I’m making my way through it now. It’s been really eye opening. Thank you so much. 

PF: Thanks a lot. Cheers. I really appreciate it.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever is now streaming on Apple TV Plus.

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