Sometimes it takes a devastating event in someone’s life for them to realize that they can do better and accomplish more if they make changes they may have been resistant to. This is certainly the case with the title character in the new comedy Lola Versus, after her fiance unexpectedly ends their engagement. With the support of her friends, Lola gathers the courage to branch out on her own, and find what truly makes her happy.
Lola Versus follows the title character (Greta Gerwig), a 29-year-old woman who’s dumped by her fiance Luke (Joel Kinnaman) three weeks before their wedding. Her close friends, Henry (Hamish Linklater) and Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones), help Lola embark on a series of desperate encounters in an effort to find her place in the world as a single woman approaching 30.
The cast and crew of Lola Versus hit the red carpet before the world premiere of the upcoming comedy during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The movie’s director and co-scribe, Daryl Wein, was joined by his girlfriend, Lister-Jones, who also co-wrote the script. Several of the other actors, including Gerwig, Linklatter and Jay Pharoah, also hit the red carpet at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
The actors and filmmaker generously took the time to discuss what it was like working with each other on Lola Versus. The actors also spoke about their excitement over the comedy being chosen to play at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Wein and Lister-Jones shared how their relationship inspired the script.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Hammish, you play Henry in the film. What attracted you to the role?
Hamish Linklater: He’s just a good guy. I like to stretch myself as an actor, so I thought, why not try to play a good guy?
WGTC: How did you get the role?
HL: I auditioned for it, like any good actor would.
WGTC: What was it like working with Greta on the film?
HL: It’s amazing, she’s so easy and so incredibly available. You just look in her eyes, and try not to melt. If you do melt, it’s okay, because she’s melting with you. She’s just one of the best co-stars I’ve ever had.
WGTC: What is Henry’s relationship to Greta’s character, Lola?
HL: They met in college, and he’s been secretly in love with her. Then she gets destroyed by her evil fiance. Henry’s there for her to fall back on.
WGTC: What was it like working with Daryl, since he directed and co-wrote the script?
HL: He’s terrific. He makes you feel as though you’re doing a great job, even if you’re not He’s like, oh, that was great, let’s go for another. You just feel like a good actor. Very few directors make you feel as though you’re a good actor. This guy really does.
WGTC: You’ve done some television roles as well, including Ugly Betty and Pushing Daisies. What was the transition like from televisions to the movie?
HL: The screen they show it on later is smaller with television. They don’t give you as many red carpets. This is good.
WGTC: What was your reaction when you heard the movie was going to be here at Tribeca?
HL: I was excited, because it’s one of the best festivals you can hope to be at. I love being in New York. I’m so psyched.
WGTC: Do you have any upcoming movies or television projects that you can discuss?
HL: Oh, there’s a little movie called Battleship, based on the board game Battleship. It has a lot of battleships in it. So I’m going to be in that.
WGTC: Daryl and Zoe, where did the idea for the script come from?
Zoe Lister-Jones: We had thought that there hadn’t really been an authentic portrait of a single woman in New York City that felt raw and funny and real. So it felt like a perfect moment for that.
Daryl Wein: Yeah, so we drew on some of the experiences that Zoe had as a single woman when we were in an open relationship a few years ago. We tried to craft an interesting narrative around a single woman.
WGTC: How did you two meet and start working together?
ZLJ: We met at NYU, at acting school, and we’ve been dating for eight years. Then, I don’t know, it’s all kind of a blur, actually. (laughs) But we’ve made a few films together.
DW: Yeah, we met in school, and then we made a movie together called Breaking Upwards, which was loosely autobiographical. From there, we decided we wanted to continue making New York relationship movies. We live in New York, so it’s amazing to be in the city that we love, making movies with New York actors. It’s our first studio film, and it’s really exciting.
WGTC: Greta, have you ever been in a bad breakup?
Greta Gerwig: Sure, who hasn’t been in a bad breakup?
WGTC: Can you remember what your first one was?
GG: He was gay.
WGTC: Did you have a feeling, or were you surprised?
GG: Everyone was like, how did you not know he was gay? He does musical theater. I was like, well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that. In my mind, I just want to marry a Fred Astaire.
WGTC: Jay, can you talk a little about your character?
Jay Pharoah: I play Randy, a bartender who’s one of Lola’s friends. I pretty much stay with her during this breakup, and watch her go through this stuff.
I’m like, well, your life’s better than mine. I didn’t go to Everest (College). Maybe I should, take some online classes, and get up out of this life. All I know is bar-tending. I was supposed to be a dancer. We never really go into depth about what he’s supposed to be, but it’s obvious that he’s supposed to be something else.
He’s just bar-tending, and it’s kicking his butt. Some people have two jobs. I don’t have two jobs, I only have one.
WGTC: How did you get the role?
JP: I auditioned, just like everybody else. Well, I don’t know if everybody else auditioned, but I auditioned for my role. Daryl said, awesome.
WGTC: How does it feel to be at Tribeca?
JP: I love Tribeca. It’s one of the biggest film festivals in the world. I’m here, it’s happening, and there’s nothing better than this. Besides my job on Saturday Night Live. I love my job, but I’m glad I’m here.
That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Greta Gerwig, Hamish Linklater, Jay Pharoah, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones for taking the time to talk to us. Be sure to check out Lola Versus when it opens in theaters on Friday, June 8, 2012.