Aubrey Plaza Says Filming Her New Movie Left Her ‘Physically And Mentally Destroyed’

Lately, Happiest Season star Aubrey Plaza has been enjoying a lot of praise for her role in co-writer/director Clea DuVall’s romantic comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis. But just as the tides of fan love have come in for Plaza’s latest role, she also has another, very different movie coming out: the “comedy drama” thriller Black Bear. An enigmatic film, to say the least, it was an experience that left Aubrey Plaza “physically and mentally destroyed;” which only makes the finished product all the more intriguing.

Aubrey Plaza admitted as such when she spoke with CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb during the press day for Black Bear. While discussing writer/director Lawrence Michael Levine’s mind-bending film, our interviewer asked about what was the most challenging day on the set of this film, which takes place in a rather fluid reality. So in a movie that’s constantly playing with the boundaries of reality, Aubrey Plaza knew she was in for a pretty rough day, which she described thusly:

There’s always that one day that you’re dreading as an actor, that one day where you’re going, ‘That day… that day is not my day.’ It just came at me like a tsunami, and just, there was no turning back. It was excruciating. But every day was a nightmare. I mean, every day presented some kind of ridiculous challenge, and by the end of the shoot, I was just physically and mentally destroyed.

It’s almost the complete polar opposite of Aubrey Plaza’s Happiest Season role as Riley, the ex-girlfriend to Mackenzie Davis’ Harper, who’s become popular enough to warrant fans to request a potential spinoff/sequel for her persona. Not to mention, Ms. Plaza thinks that an Oscar hosting gig should be in her future, as she’s proclaimed herself the Billy Crystal of this generation. While she certainly gets some heart to hearts and light flirting in with her previous role, Black Bear pushed Aubrey Plaza to those hellish limits she described above. And there was one day in particular that was the hardest.

Part of Black Bear’s approach of playing games with reality links to the fact that there’s a film being made within the film the audience is watching. And in that very meta movie, huge emotions are required of Allison, Aubrey Plaza’s character, in one particualr moment of that other film’s production. However, the kicker that turned this topsy-turvy scenario into a true nightmare was, as Plaza reveals below, a bit of scheduling devilry:

It’s really hard to pick one. I mean, I guess I would say, that the scene when I’m shooting the movie within the movie, and I’ve got to totally break down into a puddle on the floor. That’s my lowest moment. I think [it] was probably the hardest day, for many reasons. I didn’t know we were shooting it that day. It got bumped up in the schedule, because of rain.

So if you want to know what pushed Aubrey Plaza into a physically and mentally exhausted state of affairs, you can blame it on the rain. And with a new Guy Ritchie film in her future, it sounds like this is a question that we'll definitely want to revisit when we get the opportunity to catch up with Ms. Plaza on behalf of that very enterprise. Of course, the insanity of Black Bear’s story is also at fault here, and you can experience that for yourself right now. The film is currently in theaters where available, as well as on VOD for rental and purchase. So no matter where you are, you can enjoy the madness of this late 2020 offering. Though if you’re still in the mood for a movie, sans mind bending, you can check out what’s available on the 2020 release schedule!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.