Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) proved to be quite the couple in Joe Swanberg’s latest film, Drinking Buddies. The two work together at a Chicago brewery where they make and sell craft beers, and flirt with one another constantly. They’d make the perfect couple, if it weren’t for the fact that both are involved with other people; Kate is in a relationship with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is practically engaged to his girlfriend Jill (Anna Kendrick). But when their significant others go out of town for the weekend, the two find themselves having plenty of alone time as we watch and see if their romantic feelings for one another come to the surface.
Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson have terrific chemistry onscreen in the film and they clearly enjoyed working with each other. Even at the film’s press conference, which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, they still were having a lot of fun with one another as they talked about Swanberg’s unusual approach to making movies as well as the world of craft beers.
Check out what they had to say below!
Your characters drank so much beer throughout this movie. Were you two actually drinking beer or were you drinking something else?
Olivia Wilde: It was beer.
You actually drank beer?
Jake Johnson: We did. That was part of the pitch from the director. He wanted it authentic (laughs).
Olivia Wilde: But we were really lucky because we were shooting in the Revolution Brewery that we were pretending to work for. We were so embraced by that community. They were helping teach us about the different varieties of beer, and we began to learn about which ones we preferred so that we could talk about it in our improvisation. So we had to learn about them to be able to talk about them.
Jake Johnson: And it makes going to work a lot more fun (laughs).
GQ published an article earlier this year about how to score a workplace wife or basically an office wife. Have either of you had a workplace spouse and where would you draw the line in terms of a platonic relationship?
Olivia Wilde: It seems really weird that you would want to score a workplace relationship (laughs).
Jake Johnson: It’s counterintuitive.
Olivia Wilde: I’ve never had the experience that Luke and Kate have with work. I’ve had friendships in the past where you wonder “is this the person I’m supposed to be with?” As you get older, you start to really ask those questions like “is this the road I should be walking down?” Every decision seems more final as you get older and I think it raises your level of anxiety about all things. But what’s so interesting about these characters is the thing that makes them such good friends is exactly what makes them bad lovers. Kate’s lack of sensitivity is what makes her such a good buddy to Luke; they can hang, she can dish it as well she can take it, he doesn’t really have to worry about her because she’s low maintenance, and he’s the same way for her. But when you’re in a romantic relationship of course, there’s a lot more compromise and you have to be a lot more unselfish, and she is not really sensitive or maternal or nurturing enough for him.
Jake Johnson: I would personally draw the line anywhere where you wouldn’t get in any trouble (Olivia laughs). I think every relationship is different and you don’t want to do anything that offends your partner because that’s the person you’re with, and you don’t want to be in a relationship where you feel like you’re in a cage because then you’re gonna bust out. So somewhere in between the two worlds where you’re not sleeping in somebody else’s bed but you’re also not feeling trapped.
Your chemistry onscreen is so natural. What did you two do to bond and did you get drunk together a lot?
Olivia Wilde: We didn’t have a ton of time in preproduction to get to know each other, but I think we just got lucky.
Jake Johnson: And we had similar friends. We both did a charity event called Big Slick in Kansas City which was a bunch of good friends getting together and drinking and doing an auction. So there were a bunch of people I knew who really vouched for Olivia both as an actor and a person, so going in it felt like we were friends because we knew so many of the same people. Then right away we had the same attitude about the movie in the process, and we decided before we started Big Slick to get each other’s back and connect with each other in case we didn’t like the director. You know, you’ve got to cover your ass. And then we happened to love the director so we didn’t have to conspire in a corner. We got lucky.