Hollywood produces really terrible movies practically on a weekly basis. Every month we see multiple titles that are so catastrophically bad that we’re left to wonder how it got enough money to be made in the first place. What makes it worth it, however, is that every so often a film is released that is a true piece of art. For actors roles in those kinds of films are incredibly valuable and Judy Greer has recently struck gold twice, first with last year’s The Descendants and now with the Duplass brothers’ Jeff, Who Lives At Home.
In celebration of the movie coming out today (you can read my review right HERE) you can read my one-on-one interview with Judy Greer below in which she talks about not only how important roles like this are, but also about how the Duplasses remind her of Woody Allen and her desire to one day star in a bona fide action flick.
During your career you’ve never been beholden to any one specific genre. Do you have a preference between them and when you’re going after projects is that something you consider?
It does. Genre plays a role, everything plays a role. Right now I’m specifically interested in people, like I want to work with certain people, and I feel like because I’ve been really fortunate to do so many comedies and then so many dramatic roles and then television and movies and stuff like that. I’m feeling pretty covered right now [laughs]. The one thing I haven’t done that would be so cool would be like an action movie. Like a real action, Jason Bourne movie or something. Oh, and then if I could be in the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes I’d probably shit my pants. But other than that I just like to start to focus on what people I want to work with.
Were the Duplass brothers on the list? How much did you know about them before you worked with them?
Well, I was really familiar with their work, I wasn’t as familiar with them as people. So when they called and wanted me to read the script and go to dinner with them I couldn’t believe how lovely they were. I just thought they were fake and that they weren’t real, and then when I was talking about auditioning they were like, “No…we’re offering you the part.” And I was like, “Shut up!” I was like, “What the fuck?!” [laughs] Sorry I’m swearing.
It’s totally fine.
So that was really cool. And then I thought that they for sure couldn’t be possibly that cool when we got to New Orleans to work, and they were like double, triple cool. They’re really special.
And you have worked with some really great directors. The Duplass brothers really do have a distinctive style, is that something that translates during filming?
It does. It feels different to make a Duplass brothers movie and I think that they’re the next great American storytellers. I’m excited about the stories that they choose to tell and the way in which they tell them. It’s not like MTV movie… I was actually thinking about them today during the press conference because I didn’t get asked that many questions [laughs]. But I was thinking about Woody Allen, about how he shoots movies almost completely in masters. You watch everything happening in real time and I love that. I think it’s so cool to watch them struggle through scenes and moments and emotions and then I feel the same way when I watch a Duplass brothers movie. I feel like I still get all of that but in these crazy shots, these tight shots and moving shots and zooming shots and everything is kind of cut and piece-y, but it evokes the same emotions in me and I still feel like present in these moments. And I think that’s a gift. I don’t think that a lot of filmmakers are making movies like that right now.
The thing that really struck me about this film was the realness of the characters. They aren’t black and white, they aren’t representations of any personality type or group, they’re just people. Wow rewarding is it as an actor to come across roles like that?
It’s really incredible and it happens so rarely. For me, gosh, I got two great roles like this in a year. If I never acted again I would feel really fulfilled with these stories and these roles and being a part of these films. I love how nuanced Linda is, the character in Jeff. She’s probably going to go cheat on her husband, but yet you feel sorry for her and you kind of see what drove her to that. And same thing with Pat. He’s obviously a toolbox douchebag in the beginning, but you also feel sorry for him too. Like how he lost his way. That’s why these stories are interesting to me. These characters aren’t perfect romantic comedy characters.