We recently met up with Lindsay Sloane, who, as the once and future girlfriend of Kirk, practically steals the entire film from the rest of the cast. Here's our conversation:
That last guy was a little too nice. It makes me want to be mean!
Lindsay Sloane: Oh, no! Is this where you tell me I am a terrible actress? And that my career is going nowhere?
Yes! Exactly! I would never say that. Quite the contrary. Are you the type of person who is coy or quite boisterous when it comes to the fact that you pretty much steal this film away from the rest of the cast?
Lindsay Sloane: (Laughs) You are so nice. I would throw down the gauntlet and say that Kyle Bornheimer steals this movie away from the rest of the cast. I love him so much. I thought he was fantastic. It's hard. There are so many actors in this film that come from the world of comedy. They felt very free to say and do what they wanted. Because our director Jim Field Smith was so awesome. I believe that every actor had their own moment of stealing the movie.
I will agree with you on that just a little bit. Your character Marnie pretty much comes in and dominates every scene she has...
Lindsay Sloane: That was the goal! Thank you for saying that.
On the DVD commentary, the director said that you were always worried about the size of your character. How did you find that balance of taking it big, but never quite going all the way over the top with her?
Lindsay Sloane: When I auditioned for the movie? When I read this character? I basically thought, "She is the devil!" I pictured her as someone I could go completely over the top with. And it will work. For the movie to work, you have to hate this girl. You have to see how low this guy has sunk. That he thinks this is who he should be with. When you audition, you don't get to hear the other actors. When I finally did the table read, I got to see the other actors do their thing, and I realized, "This is a much smaller movie than I had thought." Everyone was very internal. It was a very realistic film. I went to Jim Field Smith and I said, "Look, I think she can still be cartoonish." You have to really not like her. At all. Normally when you play the bitchy girl, you have to ground her in reality. And you have to find her humanity. This girl doesn't have any humanity. She is a horrible person. He kept saying, "Don't worry. Just trust me. I will let you know if it gets too big." Everyday, I felt like I was acting insane. I would turn to him and say, "Is it too big? Do you want me to bring it down?" He would say, "No. Trust me." At the end of the day, I saw it, and I thought, "Wow, I really can trust him." Because it really was big enough that it felt different from everyone else in the movie. But it also still fit in. She could live in this world with these people.
Marnie shouldn't be likable, but you somehow found a way to make her enduring. Was it easy for you to empathize with this woman as she was written on the page?
Lindsay Sloane: I think this type of girl exists everywhere. In your small towns, or in your schools. You are the hot one, you are the cool one. Then the reality hits, and you realize that you're not that person. That maybe your mom built you up to be much more beautiful than you really are. Or you are going to go to college and suddenly no guys are going to like you. Even though you were the most popular girl in high school. I think this girl is that to me. She thinks she's the shit. She has a major reality check in this movie. Her way of dealing with that is turning into an even bigger bitch. It was so clear to me. I've met this type of person before. I have seen these girls. These are the girls that always wear their jeans too tight. I insisted on having my thong hanging out of my jeans the whole time. I wanted my hair to be big, and my make-up to be bad. This girl thought she was insanely hot. She thought she was the shit. I had to get into that skin and understand this girl. She has no insecurities at all.
You imagined her as Satan. Is the swimsuit we see her wear in the film what you imaged Satan would wear if he were a woman?
Lindsay Sloane: I almost cried when they handed me that swimsuit in the fitting. Because I knew that's what it had to be. I went in, and I was thinking she would wear this really slutty bikini. Something that was super inappropriate, especially to be wearing at your ex-boyfriend's house. Then they handed this one to me. I was like, "Oh, it's clearly got to be this swimsuit." It's a swimsuit that she thinks she looks amazingly hot in. But other people look at it and think, "What the hell is this girl thinking?" That is what's going on with Marnie. She thinks she always looks crazy hot. While everyone else around her is thinking, "What the hell?"
And the fact that it's pink, too. Any other color, and you could pull that swimsuit off. But that shade of pink...
Lindsay Sloane: I don't know, I think you are being too kind. That is the worst bathing suit I have ever seen in my entire life.
If it were black, it would have looked okay.
Lindsay Sloane: Maybe. If it were black, it might have looked a little too high fashion. This thing isn't just pink. It's a horrible pink. Then the way we miss-matched that peach robe and that bad headband? It was so much fun working with the wardrobe people on this. I would ask for something, and they would say, "No! No, no, no, no, no! We are going to lose our jobs if we do that!" And I kept saying, "Trust me! The worse it is, the better it will be for everybody!"
Its funny, because that swimming pool scene is immediately proceeded by the family dinner scene. And it's embarrassing to watch Marnie. Did you ever feel embarrassed for yourself, especially in being surrounded by all of the crew members and the cast on set?
Lindsay Sloane: The first reveal is always an embarrassing moment. Because we're comic actors, everyone rallies for each other. And they root those moments on. The more embarrassed you are, the funnier that joke actually is. Those moments around the dinner table took two whole days. Those were my favorite days. It was everyone that I loved. I think Kyle Bornheimer and Jessica St. Clair are two of the funniest people I have ever met. They were so supportive of me being an ass. This movie became about seeing how big of an asshole I could be. And about saying, "Are you sure you got that on tape so that it makes it into the movie?"
The household situation that Marnie has with her new boyfriend and her ex's family is quite strange. What did you personally think of that set up, and is this an arrangement you've ever heard of before?
Lindsay Sloane: Yes, her ex's family has taken her in. We were talking about this earlier. I don't know how you move on past that. If you were that guy, how would you recover from it. I have had relationships in the past where I stay close with an ex-boyfriend's family. But that's only because it ended in such an amicable way. That is how we remained friends. Here, this guy was so clearly dumped. And his family kept her on. When I read the script, I thought, "This is the saddest thing I have ever heard in my life."
I don't even think you'd be able to go home if you were actually that guy.
Lindsay Sloane: No! Which is why you understand how come he is so messed up. You needed that to understand why this guy doesn't believe he deserves the hot, nice girl. I think this movie is less about Alice Eve's character being hot. She was really nice, and kind, and successful. There were all these other things that went into it beyond this shallow physicality.
I personally think it would be interesting to see more of this family dynamic. To me, that was far more interesting than what was going on with Kirk and Molly. It's fascinating.
Lindsay Sloane: We kept saying that we should do a spin-off movie with just the family.
You should. I would totally watch that.
Lindsay Sloane: Its so messed up. I love that they all go to the movies together. And the dad buys candy for everybody. It's all so weird.
And those awful shirt!
Lindsay Sloane: Those shirts were incredible. They need to do another movie just so we can wear those sweatshirts again. I think we needed to see this family's trip to Branson. It must have been incredible.
The climactic scene in the airport is quite well done. What was it like shooting such an elaborate chase scene? And are we seeing you do a lot of your own stunts?
Lindsay Sloane: Whether it was a smart decision or not, I insisted on doing all of my own stunts. The only moment that isn't me is when the girl gets thrown off the cart and into the wall. For obvious insurance reasons, that couldn't have been me. It all seemed like so much fun in the moment, on the morning of the shoot. I was like, "I am going to do this." I insisted on doing it. I also felt it was much easier as an actor to jump in and make those faces if you actually just hit someone. Or if you just run into them. You need to do that stuff yourself. So I did it all. There was a lot of running barefoot on a disgusting airport floor. I went home, and for two days, I couldn't get out of bed. I was so sore and so beat-up. I sent pictures to the director. My legs were so bruised, it looked like someone had physically assaulted me.
Did he apologize when he saw the pictures? Or did he just laugh?
Lindsay Sloane: He said, "You're the dumbass who wanted to do your own stunts. I told you this was going to happen." I wore them as a badge of honor. I sent the pictures home. I was really proud of myself. A lot of the time, acting is standing around doing nothing. This made me feel like I was accomplishing something with my day.
They should have put those pictures on the DVD so I could see them.
Lindsay Sloane: They should have! Maybe I will post them on my Facebook page.
You should. I want to know, when you are shooting in an airport, are travelers allowed to watch? Or are you guys sanctioned off in your own part of the airport?
Lindsay Sloane: We had to go in through security everyday. Once we got in, we couldn't leave. We had lunch in the airport. We were in the airport for seventeen hours a day. We were in one section that was closed down. But for lunch and bathroom breaks, and all of that stuff, we would use the food court and all of the public bathrooms. That was the airport we were flying into and out of every time we came into Pittsburg to shoot the movie, too. There was this weird life-imitating-art thing, and we became friends with all of the TSA people. We were playing TSA people. It's exciting when you are landing in Pittsburg, and you have to change your plane, and they are shooting a film there.
What is the catering situation like? Do you find yourself just eating at Burger King everyday?
Lindsay Sloane: They were allowed to bring in food through a certain part of the airport. They had to feed the crew. That had to happen. Ironically, Burger King was the place. We would sit around and eat burgers from the Burger King food court. (Laughs)
Were you at all worried about working with Jim Field Smith, as this was his first attempt at directing a feature film?
Lindsay Sloane: No. Those guys don't walk in with any preconceived notions of what this has to be. Or what they are used to dealing with the studio on. A first time filmmaker doesn't bring in any baggage from past film projects. When I auditioned for him, I had so much fun. He instantly got what I wanted to do. Which is funny, because I could have walked in and had him say, "That is way to broad. That is way too unlikable. We still need her to be a decent human being. He instantly said, "Push it more! Push it more!" I always go into a new project thinking, "Whether the movie is great or not, I want to have a fun time doing it." That's what I got from him. That this was going to be a great time. That this was going to be like camp. And that's what happened. And we got a good movie out of it too, which is always an added bonus.
We'll next see you in A Good Old Fashion Orgy. Which has some really great actors in it. What was a typical day on set like on that film?
Lindsay Sloane: Ah-mazing! It was the most loving and supportive experience I've ever had in my life. We filmed over a summer in North Carolina. I have never laughed so hard. I have never cried before, when a movie had ended. This is about these friends who spend every summer together at a summer home. One of the friend's dads is selling the home, so this will be their last summer together. We try to think of how we'll celebrate this moment. How will we go out big? Because every summer we throw a theme party. This time, we decide that it should just be a small intimate party with just our friends. And that we should have an orgy to commemorate all of our years together. It's a sweet, wonderful, sexy love story about people who care so much about each other. And the drama that comes up when you all decide to sleep together. I really hope this movie gets distribution soon. For nothing else, I don't want it to be a huge hit, I just want for people to see these actors. I think it's so funny. It's hard to work on a movie, and know that people would enjoy it. Yet it's sitting on a shelf somewhere.
Does this mean we are eventually going to see someone like David Koechner naked? Does it go that far?
I didn't realize the movie was on the shelf. I thought we were going to see it soon.
Lindsay Sloane: I say on the shelf because until it has a date, and I am told for a fact that this is the day its coming out, I assume that everything is sitting on a shelf. She's Out of My League took two years from the time we filmed it, for it to get released. It was at least a year and a half. Studios always have a reason for when they release things. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is in that release limbo. I just can't wait for people to see it.
She's Out of My League comes to DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, June 22nd.