In between Sebastian Stan’s time playing the Winter Soldier opposite Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, the actor took a break from the stoic character lost in time to star in Monday with Denise Gough. In the drama, Stan plays Mickey, a DJ living in Greece who has a memorable night with Gough’s Chloe that quickly turns into an all-in relationship ridden with chaos. It sounds like the perfect rom-com setup, until you realize Monday is actively pushing against the formula we find comfort in.
When I spoke to Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough on behalf of CinemaBlend ahead of Monday’s upcoming release, I asked the actors about a specific scene that really struck me at the beginning of the film. Stan’s Mickey does the iconic race to the airport to catch Chloe in an early scene in the film. We’re supposed to save that for the final act, aren’t we? Here’s what Gough said about how the movie approached rom-com tropes:
It was a rom-com gone wrong, that’s what [director Argyris Papadimitropoulos] calls it, so we really wanted to put as many of those moments in as possible.
Sebastian Stan chimed in to share why Monday’s spin on the classic rom-com was especially exciting for the actor going into the role. In his words:
That’s one of the things I think we both loved about it. That as opposed to the rom-coms that you often see that don’t really depict the reality of what happens, and sort of give you these versions of people that either immediately change in the movie in two and a half hours and they end up in this happy ending, or whatever. This movie was totally uninterested in serving any of those recipes that you might have seen. It was more about, you’re just a spectator to these two people crashing into each other and slowly coming around to learning about each other and what happens in a relationship. You know, those early six months are very interesting aren’t they?
His Monday partner-in-crime expanded on defining the relationship of their characters. Once these characters decide to be together on a whim and give into the magic you often see in our favorite romantic comedies, it all goes sideways. In Denise Gough continued:
It’s total hedonism, and also what I loved about doing all those scenes is you get to see them and you get to see, oh ok, that’s the big moment, then what? Because we can have all these big moments. It’s like love addiction, you’re like ‘but if we had the big moment, it would be great.’
Sebastian Stan jumped off her point by sharing his all-time beloved rom-com. The Marvel actor talked about how a major moment in that film can find comparisons in Monday:
That’s what I always love to say about my favorite movie When Harry Met Sally. On New Year’s Eve, when [Billy Crystal] is like ‘you just want the rest of your life to start now and you’re like ‘what about fucking January 1st?’
The 1989 classic from Nora Ephron ends with Billy Crystal’s Harry running after Meg Ryan’s Sally at a New Year’s Eve party to tell her he loves her no matter what after the pair spend years trying to challenge the question of whether two people who are attracted to each other can be friends. Check out the scene below:
Anyone else get chills? It’s the power of a great rom-com. We have no idea how this pairing will really work out the week after their big moment, but on that night, they seem so irrevocably perfect for each other. As Sebastian Stan questions what their next day together will be like, Monday asks the same question. Denise Gough continued:
But also you’re like, ‘Oh my god, this is a story about obsession.’ You guys have been obsessed with each other. When you kind of grow older and you look through more educated eyes at those romantic comedies, you realize how disturbing a lot of them are. There’s that brilliant one where Sandra Bullock falls in love with a guy in a coma and then marries his brother, and everyone’s like ‘Oh my god, it’s so sweet.’ Women are crazy in romantic comedies, so I loved this. We’re all crazy when it comes to falling for each other.
Yeah, if you break down the plot of While You Were Sleeping, it’s not as magical on paper, is it? Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough’s new movie Monday is a thoughtful spin on the genre, featuring memorable performances from the pair. Monday comes to select theaters and VOD on Friday, April 16.