It should come as no surprise that Alison Brie, the actor who played Annie Edison social communicationTrudy Campbell mad menRuth Wilder radiateShe is as good at writing such wonderful characters as she is in her performance. In fact, it was her acting skills that informed the largely improvised page-to-screen transition in her screenplay debut, horse girl— a deep psychological plunge into an indie horror movie that also had an audience asking, “Oh, damn, is Alison Brie okay?”
spin me roundwild, dark side All pray love those marks Brie’s follow-up collaboration with writer-director Jeff Baena preserves this inner nuance while restoring the loose-fitting comedy that she and co-stars Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen and Aubrey Plaza are known for. Playing a restaurant chain manager the company’s all-expenses-paid withdrawal to Italy was somewhat skewed—particularly under the patronage of company founder Nick (played by Alessandro Nivola)—wiring the toes between plausibility and downright absurdity. As the star writer says, AV . ClubHer concept of Nick was inspired by real-life manipulators of male persuasion.
AV . Club: The question of what a movie is can be oversimplified, but spin me round It does and says so much and covers so many genres I have to ask: What would you want Alison Brie to say about your movie?
Alison Brie: I like to do the same, I like to reduce the story to its basic elements! spin me round It is about a woman who goes on a trip. She thinks she’ll have the trip of a lifetime and fall in love… and things get derailed. Things are not going as expected. That’s all I have to say about it.
AVC: There are many absurd and realistic scenarios in this movie. How Much Improvisation in Writing vs. Acting? horse girl And your other collaborations with Jeff Baena were improvised, right?
AB: Yeah, unlike all the other projects I’ve done with Jeff, we’ve already written the full text of this and written all the dialogue and everything like that. But with such a talented actor, there was definitely some anger on set, especially with Molly Shannon. Her character is so much fun – and she talks about derailing. She had a lot of different things to play with, so we really let her do her thing, which was really cool.
AVC: Did you write with these actors in mind?
AB: Molly, for sure, and Aubrey, who are kind of part of the “Jeff Baena Players.” Me, Molly, and Aubrey have all been in four out of five of Jeff’s films, and Fred Armisen is a repeat offender as well. The rest of the cast, no, we kind of went a little deeper into the characters and once we secured the cast, we went back in and then further assigned the roles to the actors we cast.
AVC: So there wasn’t a lot of reliance on improvisation during filming?
AB: This is correct. We were, as with a lot of independent films, a bit tied with time. So it was easier to stick to the script most of the time. But there is a great scene with Zach Woods and Ben Sinclair getting into a rift where there was definitely some improvisation. It is always a good idea to let the material breathe. When you have such a talented actor — and these actors are all really talented at improvisation and comedy and drama — you come to him from all directions, which makes them play fast and loose, I think, that makes a lot more. We go back a lot. [Each take was] very different.
AVC: How often do you break character and laugh at all these hilarious co-stars?
AB: I never. I must say, I am one of those people, I rarely break. And I think in this project I found it particularly important not to break because it’s my character who kind of witnesses and internalizes all this strange behavior. Not that it’s the public; I think the audience has a different perspective on her and can see things more clearly than you can. It’s a bit naive. But I found, as a co-writer on the project, that running it straight would have kept everything centered because we kind of get to see all these characters out there.
AVC: In terms of your cinematic inspiration, do you have a favorite movie? Or what about the dream collaborator you would like to work with?
AB: My favorite movie is USA PresidentDirected by Rob Reiner and starring Annette Bening and Michael Douglas. It’s just my all time favorite movie. I mean, I love working with Annette Bening. But the collaborator, the director…there’s a lot to lock in. I mean, I can say [Quentin] Tarantino. Wouldn’t it be fun in your life to work with him? But it looks like a long shot. [Laughs]
AVC: You, Tarantino, and Benning!
AB: Yes, me, Tarantino, and Annette Bening! It’s like Tarantino’s dream crew. It seems like a no-brainer. [Laughs]
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