The Fretts on Film Interview: Alison Brie
Like Alison Brie isn’t busy enough with her roles on Community and Mad Men, she’s costarring as a bride-to-be in a new romantic comedy, Save the Date, opening in theaters today and available on VOD. I spoke with her for today’s New York Daily News, and here’s a side order of leftover Brie…
How did you get involved with Save the Date?
They sent me the script and they had the rest of the cast in place at the time. So it was great because I was able to read the script and picture all these people in my mind. I was already a big fan of Lizzy Caplan and I knew Geoffrey Arend a little bit through Christina [Hendricks, his wife and Brie's Mad Men costar]. The script is just so great. I really was drawn to it. It’s honest and sweet, and I really want something that I would like to watch, which is how to gauge a lot of what work I’d be interested in.
What do you like about your character?
A lot of characters that I play are kind of misunderstood and can be seen as villains in a certain light or being bitchy or overbearing or uptight. I always try to not judge these characters, and [writer-director] Michael Mahon was like, ‘I don’t think that she’s a villain, I just think that no one’s helping her out. And here’s her side of the story.’ And I was really drawn to that because she’s the most antagonistic of the characters, but really, it’s a well-rounded point of view. Also, he told me that Lizzy said she would braid my hair every day on set if I did the movie.
And did she?
She did not. Should I call her out here? She totally lied and tricked me into doing the movie!
You’re a connoisseur of romantic comedies—what are your favorites?
Classic ones like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. I do like Runaway Bride. Two Weeks Notice is a pretty good one. It’s a funny thing—it’s tricky to make a good romantic comedy. Everyone thinks it’s easy and there’s just this formula that goes into making them. People take for granted that you need to have real special moments and great chemistry between actors. It’s very easy to make shitty romantic comedies. I’m lucky to feel like I have yet to be a part of a bad romantic comedy, which I will admit, I do still watch on cable. It’s a very weird obsession of mine. It’s just one of those things—even a bad romantic comedy I’ll watch, most of the time. Just like how guys watch sports—even though I watch sports.
What do you like about romantic comedies?
I just like them because they make me happy. They’re fun to watch, and that seems like such a simple answer. But I think of a movie like Love Actually, which I think is a great romantic comedy, and you walk away from it just smiling—I do anyway. I’m not above films for pure entertainment value. There are some movies that you want to watch because the filmmaking is incredible or because the acting is full of depth or just because it’s a piece of art. And then sometimes you just want to go and laugh and feel romantic and smile. They bring me joy.
You go for the geeks?
Oh yeah! I always have. When I was in high school, I would hang out with my boyfriend and his friends while they would play Dungeons and Dragons.
Be careful what you’re putting out there! You may be setting yourself up for some creepy encounters based on this.
Oh, man. But look at Martin—he’s not really…
He’s grown into a fine young man.
He really has and he’s really great in this. It’s so nice to see him as a cool leading man. He pulls it off.
And you’re stepping in a leading role here. Did you feel ready for that? It’s a bigger part than you’ve played in the mainstream movies.
Yeah. It didn’t feel daunting because the movie is really such an ensemble film. If anyone carries the film, it’s Lizzy. She took a lot of the pressure off of me. I could just lay back into the ensemble and work as a group.
Do you have a preference between doing comedy or drama?
I like being able to do both at the same time. I’m just greedy! I hope I can continue to do things in different genres. It’s hard to choose-—I think every time I try something in a new genre, I’m like, ‘This is the one I love!’ My mind just changes immediately. I’m only able to recognize what’s in front of me so whatever genre I’m working on at the moment, it’s my favorite.
Is Alison Brie one of your favorites? Post a comment!