On Tuesday we debuted six exclusive photos from an upcoming independent movie entitled The Freebie, which is due in theaters on September 17. Later that night, I ended up speaking to the star and director of that new movie, Katie Aselton, who also stars in the FX comedy series The League. The actress is making her directorial debut with The Freebie, which she stars in alongside Dax Shepard, who was actually a last-minute replacement in the movie:
"Honestly, Dax came in at the 11th hour. I literally met him moments before we started shooting. He just came in and breathed such a beautiful... Ok, I'm not a corny person. This is what you need to know about me. Except, when I talk about Dax coming onto The Freebie, I get all weepy. It was as if the movie gods were like, 'Here is a little gift from us to you, because we think you should make a movie right now.' Dax was incredible. He just sensed that and was so genuine and sincere and sweet and authentic. He dropped every wall he had and every moment he had was just so honest and true. It was everything you could ever want, as an actor and a director working with him."
Aselton also stars in the movie as the wife of Shepard's character. When they realize how stale their love life has become, they decide to take a "freebie," one night of no-strings fun with whoever they choose. Aselton also told us that there was a different actor set to star in the movie, who she would not name. It seems that Shepard's late arrival wasn't just fortuitous because of his availability, but also because he fit that definitive style she was looking for:
"We had another actor in place and he really wasn't working out because the style is particular when you're improvising and acting. It's not like you're just improvising comedically, you're improvising emotionally, which is tricky. I certainly do not blame this actor for not being able to fill those shoes, but when it didn't work out with him, I thought I would wait until we were ready. The opportunity to have Dax come on board presented itself, which was exciting, but if it didn't work out, I really wasn't worried. I would wait until we were ready. It was very calm and very easy. My DP was incredible, my producers were incredible, my editor was incredible. I was not going to fall on my ass, because I knew that they wouldn't let me. I trusted each and every one of them to say, 'No, that sucks.' It's a great place to be."
"I think it's less funny. It's a little raw-er. Is that an adjective? Raw-er? (Laughs). It was more raw than his movies, and that's OK. It was a girl directing it and a girl writing it, so we're more raw-er than they are (Laughs).
Aselton also added that she was working on two more scripts now, which she couldn't spill any details on quite yet. She also addressed the irony in writing more, since she made The Freebie for simpler reasons:
"It's so crazy because I came up with that movie so I could have another acting job."
The Freebie centers on Darren (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Katie Aselton), a young married couple with an enviable relationship built on love trust and communication. Darren and Annie still enjoy each other's company and laugh at each other's jokes, but, unfortunately, they can't remember the last time they had sex. When a dinner party conversation leads to an honest discussion about the state of their love life, and when a sexy bikini photo shoot leads to crossword puzzles instead of sex, they begin to flirt with a way to spice things up. The deal: one night of freedom, no strings attached, no questions asked. Could a freebie be the cure for their ailing sex life? And will they go through with it? With a keen eye and fresh take, Aselton's directorial debut shines with crisp storytelling and fine-tuned performances. The Freebie is an insightful and humorous look at love, sustaining relationships, and the awkwardness of monogamy when the haze of lust has faded.