“And I also think it’s really progressive not to address it at all.”I’m sitting with the actress—in person, she’s arrestingly tall and pretty—in a midtown New York hotel room, discussing her latest project, Jim Strouse’s . It’s just sort of this process: sitting in this hotel, talking to f*cking . In the new film, she plays the titular character, a 25-year-old theater geek who runs a drama program for New York City public school kids and aspires to playwriting glory. I hate to bring up a sore subject, but it was just announced that Comedy Central isn’t moving forward with the pilot you were developing with comedian Naomi Ekperigin.
There’s a deliberate effort to flip the script on gender dynamics. And what I loved most was the response that it got.
They go on a terrible first date that turns into a tentative, maybe-not-so-terrible romance. Your character operates with this intense self-confidence. In anticipation of meeting you, I was re-reading the story that came out about the Sundance lunch where you got into it with Salma Hayek. And then pull myself up, dust my f*cking outfit off, and get out there.
From this premise springs a quiet, goofy rom-com about learning to recognize the good things that are right in front of your nose. It raises the question: Is she some prototypically self-absorbed millennial? I think there’s something to the millennial sentiment of being, like, I’m great. Did that experience teach you any lessons about Hollywood that you didn’t already know? I was in a really vulnerable position in that room, and I really felt the need to express myself at this massive table. In the film there’s this scene where Jessica James meets the Tony-winning playwright Sarah Jones and asks her: How do you know when you’ve made it? I think my answer’s more like Sarah’s, where it’s like: Oh sh*t?
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