July 25, , 7: CST by Capone Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Taking your work home with you verses leaving your job at the office can be a tricky prospect when you're an actor--especially when you're an actor who has written a screenplay that was clearly meant for you and your actor boyfriend to play opposite each other.
But that's exactly rising talent Zoe Kazan when she penned RUBY SPARKS which opened in some markets today , a dark-romantic-comedy-fantasy story of a struggling writer, Calvin Paul Dano, Kazan's long-time companion , who sinks so far into his own head to pull out a new novel that a woman he creates, Ruby played by Kazan in a story comes to life in his apartment as his girlfriend. And although Calvin vows not to write anymore about Ruby because he loves her just the way she is, when she begins to show signs of distancing herself from him, he returns to his vintage typewriter to make a few adjustments.
However you look at it, as a first screenplay, Kazan has created something kind of incredible. How could I not think she was cool. Please enjoy Zoe Kazan… Zoe Kazan: It's good to see you. It was so late. No, I was doing interviews that whole day; one of our other writers covered that.
My friend wrote that. I love Gareth [Edwards, director]. Did you know that the person who actually coined that phrase lives in Chicago? For the record, I don't think Ruby belongs in the category or in the conversation about those type of characters. Nathan [Rabin, from the Onion's A. But the misuse of that term is enforcing the misogyny that it originally was used to criticize. But I do think that there is a failure of imagination that happens sometimes where music taste stands in for personality.
I think it happens in that "indie rock boyfriend" is a type in a movie I wish people would be more careful with their diction. Everyone has always had the thought, "If I could just change this one thing about someone, this person would be perfect.
What is it about us that makes us never quite where we want to be in a relationship? Those differences…it remind me of something that my mom told me once, that a relationship should be like a Venn diagram.
There should be two whole circles with a little interlocking part, and that the differences are as important as the things that you have in common. I struggle with it. I think that you spend the rest of your life trying to reconcile the real experience of love with that fantasy.
As dark as the film gets at points, you never let go of that idea that love is in some ways miraculous and magical. Yeah, I think you have to protect it. What I mean by protect: They have to believe in the other person being lovable in order to love them.
I do think it takes this enormous leap of faith. I think that their relationship helped make those movies feel deeper or more true, so it seemed like a worthy risk. Paul's a lot more of a cautious person than I am, so if anyone was going to bring something up, I think it would have been him. I want to ask about the scene toward the end, because when it does get dark, that scene scares me a little bit I think it should.
Was that tough to shoot? Just physically, it looked exhausting. It was really hard to shoot. I think I had written that scene but in very broad strokes. It was the most, not unscripted but underscripted scene in the movie. We talked for a long time about what should be in that scene, what should he make her do, and we could not figure it out. So we shot that scene pretty late in our shooting.
When we got there, we sat down maybe the day before, and I wanted to feel really controlled in that scene, so I asked them to come up with a list of actions, plus I came up with a list of actions, Paul came up with a list of actions, and we combed through them and made a kind of choreography.
There were a set of six, I think. I believe one of them got cut out. So they just let me go until the point of exhaustion, and then past exhaustion. You said everyone contributed ideas. Who came up with most repugnant actions for you to carry out? Who came up with you getting on your hands and knees and barking like that?
I actually don't, but I know that that ended up going a lot further than we thought it would. I think we were all surprised. Your parents are established screenwriters. Does that make it easier or harder when you started to write? Does that make it more intimidating or easier because they guided you a little? I think it makes it harder, if only just because I had the example.
There are just a thousand heartbreaks. I had always written, I wrote in college, I always wrote as a child, but I was so bored waiting between jobs as an actor and going insane, drinking too much, and going to the gym like a crazy person. So I think writing for me was like a life preserver.
I remember hearing about this a while ago, this Joss Whedon script that nobody knows anything about. What is it exactly, and what do you do in it?
I play one of the two leads in the movie. Joss wrote it and self produced it, and a guy named Brin Hill, who I think is fantastic, directed it. He just likes to cleanse the palette with these tiny films.
Thank you so much. It was really great to meet you. Thank you so much for your questions. It's such a breath of fresh air to talk to somebody like you.