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The Fretts on Film Interview: “Breaking Bad” Edition!

July 19, 2012

There’s good news for Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn: This morning, she received her first Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her searing turn as Bryan Cranston’s partner-in-crime (and life) on AMC’s meth-merizing drama. I’d interviewed Anna for Emmy Magazine earlier this year, so I rang her up to congratulate her, and we got to talking about a couple of very different films she has coming out soon—the coming-of-age comedy Sassy Pants (costarring Awkward‘s Ashley Rickards and Haley Joel Osment in a change-of-pace role as a flamboyantly gay boytoy) and the inspirational drama Little Red Wagon, directed by David Anspaugh (the feel-good filmmaker behind Hoosiers and Rudy).

Coincidentally, I also spoke with another Breaking Bad alum, Krysten Ritter (aka Jesse’s doomed girlfriend, Jane, from Season 3), who’s now the star of ABC’s hysterical sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. She’s moonlighting in Vamps, an upcoming vampire-themed comedy that reunites director Amy Heckerling with her Clueless star Alicia Silverstone.

ANNA GUNN

What can you tell me about Sassy Pants? It sounds really interesting.

It’s really a terrific film. It was a fantastic script. I was totally sold on the script, and then I met the writer-director, Coley Sohn, and she’s a terrific lady. She had done a short version of Sassy Pants, but this is her first full-length feature, and I was really impressed with her. It was no budget, no stand-ins, no trailers, no nuthin’, and we had such a good time. And I’m really proud of it.

You play Ashley Rickards’ mother?

Yeah, and you also see my mother [played by Jenny O’Hara]. It’s a really great, funny and dark exploration of how things are passed through generations. She rides a really fine line, similar to Breaking Bad, between emotional, dark and funny stuff.

How’s Haley Joel Osment in it?

He’s terrific. I don’t even know that people will recognize him. It’s a fantastic performance. He totally threw himself into it and went for it.

And Little Red Wagon is also coming out soon?

Yes. We shot that a couple years ago over a very hot summer in Charleston. It’s a wonderful true story about this amazing kid, Zach Bonner, who started to bring awareness to homeless kids in America after a hurricane came through Florida. He was so affected by the devastation he saw, he said to his mom, “I want to take some stuff to these kids in the shelters.” It changed his life, and a lot of of people’s lives. He went around the neighborhood with his red wagon and gathered supplies from his neighbors and from there, he did several walks and raised money and awareness. Right around the time we were filming, he completed a walk from Florida to L.A., with his mom and his sister in a follow car. I walked with him one day, and it was one of the most extraordinary days of my life. I was really honored to play his mother. I’m really happy that is going to be out, so people can see it. He’s a pretty phenomenal kid. He’s becoming a young man now.

KRYSTEN RITTER

What was it like on the set of Vamps—did it feel like a Clueless reunion?

Ritter and Silverstone “Vamp” it up

It was pretty crazy.  It was like being on Clueless 2. Even the costume designer was from Clueless. They had a lot of stories about when they were shooting Clueless, and I’ve seen the movie so many times that I was like, “Oh, right, in that scene where she says this?” I was able to totally contribute to every conversation. That was really cool. And Alicia now is a dear friend. I just adore her. She’s one of the most generous, normal somehow—despite the fact that she was so famous so young—she’s just a gem. I love her.

What’s Amy Heckerling’s style like as a director?

It was very inspiring to watch her. She’s so in charge, but in a really calm, cool, collected way. It’s a difficult role to lead everybody, and she does it with a lot of grace and confidence. Also, because she’s a woman, she’s very involved in the hair and makeup and clothes. I find with male directors, often they’re like, “Yeah, sure, it looks great.” But with Amy, she was very detail-oriented, which I love.

Is it fun playing a vampire?

Yeah. It wasn’t much of a stretch. I sort of am a vampire. I didn’t have to wear any body makeup. It was funny, Alicia had to get cooled down a little bit, but I’m already the palest person in the world.

Are you a fan of Krysten Ritter and/or Anna Gunn? Fire away with your comments!

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