As the summer movie season winds to a close and we’ve become exhausted by explosions and superheroes and giant portals in the sky, the perfect remedy are some of the fantastic indie movies that are hitting theaters. One of those films is Joe Swanberg’s ‘Drinking Buddies,’ a romantic comedy for people who like to drink a lot of beer and generally hate romantic comedies. We caught up with stars Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson to talk about getting drunk, skinny dipping and having no idea what is going to happen next.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re pretty, ahem, wild about Olivia Wilde here at Team Glamour. She’s such a hilarious writer that she’s thisclose to taking all of our jobs, she’s beyond talented in the acting department, and she has an amazing relationship with her fiance, Jason Sudeikis. So it should come as no surprise that she was just as open and honest when interviewing her about her new movie, Drinking Buddies, a story about two couples and their intertwining lives.
Glamour: Let’s talk about Gene Dentler in the film [played by Jason Sudeikis]. I think this guy has a future.
Olivia Wilde: Yeah, I believe in him. I really believe in him.
Glamour: How did Jason come on board?
Olivia: He did me a real solid [favor]. He came to visit me in Chicago right before he went to shoot We’re the Millers. He came to set thinking he was just coming to have lunch with me, and I said, “Hey, we don’t have anyone to play my boss. Do you think you could come improvise with me?” And he’s like, “Sure, let’s do it!” He’s so good at it—just coming up with character traits and not trying to be funny. We had never been on camera together, so we kept giggling through it. I asked him to come back for another moment too that took place in the bar with Jake, and he was so good.
Glamour: Were you a Sex and the City fan? Because the first time Ron Livingston is on-screen, I thought, It’s Berger! Post-It Note Guy is back!
Olivia: For me, actually it was Swingers! Ron has been in so many things, and he’s obviously a Steppenwolf-trained actor, and we were so excited when we heard he was going to come on board.
Glamour: Your character, Kate, is such a free spirit. As much as she’s beloved by guys, she’s horrible at relationships. Why is that?
Olivia: She’s a little bit self-involved. She has an emotional tornado of her own going on in her heart and her brain, and it stops her from being an emotionally generous partner. The thing that makes Jake’s character love her as a friend is her kind of badass, low-maintenance self. That’s great in a buddy because she can dish it as well as she can take it. But that lack of sensitivity is what makes her not a great girlfriend for him.
Glamour: How are you like Kate, and how are you different from her?
Olivia: According to my friends, there’s a lot of similarities. I’m not quite as messy as Kate emotionally. I see Kate as a version of me that I could have become if things had gone differently in my life. She makes the same dumb jokes that I make, but she is just a little more reckless than I am. But I’ve had times in my life where I was reckless, and the times in my life that I was that reckless were also the times when I was just a little bit fractured in terms of my own relationships. I also [didn’t really know] what I wanted and [didn’t] have a huge amount of self-esteem. Kate is a fun person—she’s living life, she’s grabbing it by the balls, but she’s personally not fulfilling herself.
Glamour: Describe your costar Jake Johnson in three words.
Olivia: Hilarious. Loving. Professional. He’s so many more things than that. I really lucked out. I mean, what if I had gotten some douche-y actor who wanted creature comforts like a trailer or a script? It was so refreshing. I’ve been really lucky with costars, but we had to really trust each other.
Glamour: At one of the press screenings, the guys couldn’t stop talking about how gorgeous you are in this film, yet you’re not even wearing an ounce of makeup. Not fair, Wilde!
Olivia: Haha, I’m sorry! That’s really interesting. I think we can take that as a lesson because what they are responding to is her confidence and her vibe. I think I had a 1,000 breakouts because it was hot and sweaty in Chicago and we drank beer. I think it was a little concealer, and I tried to wash my hair once in a while.
In the new film Drinking Buddies, Olivia Wilde delivers the best performance of her career by painting a stunning portrait of a woman absentmindedly approaching an emotional precipice. A feat made all the more impressive once you learn that the entire film was improvised by Wilde and fellow actors, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston.
That’s the signature of writer/director Joe Swanberg and the biggest reason why Olivia accepted the role of Kate, a brewery manager who attempts to juggle feelings for boyfriend Chris (Livingston) and co-worker/drinking buddy Luke (Johnson) with little success.
I caught up with Wilde to talk about tackling this intimidating role, uncover her personal history with alcohol and find out what she makes of Josh Schwartz revealing where her character from The O.C. is today!
ETonline: What attracted you to Drinking Buddies?
Olivia Wilde: This was not a project that I did for the result, and it’s probably the only project I can say that about. I did this movie for the process. I didn’t think anyone would ever see this movie [laughs]. They approached me and I was honored they asked. I didn’t know much about Joe, I had seen Hannah Takes The Stairs and I appreciated that he embraced complex female characters, and heard that the process was really intense and fun. Like every other actor I’ve always wanted to work with Mike Leigh, but that’s a year of preparation. This was sort of the opposite way of approaching an improvised film: you show up and just jump off the cliff. I have to give credit to my lovely fiance [Jason Sudeikis] for telling me to do the film because I was on the fence about it. There was no script — that’s scary! He really pushed me to do it and I’m so grateful because I did love every part of making this movie!
ETonline: Jason knows a thing or two about improvisation. What was the best piece of advice he gave you?
Wilde: “Don’t try to be funny.” That’s an important thing. You feel a certain amount of pressure with improvisation to push so you keep people excited and interested and fill the space, but I think one of the most important parts of this movie is the silence. So relaxing and not pushing anything and not trying to make people laugh and just being. Kate is sort of like me in that she deals with awkwardness by making jokes. And that’s in there, but it was not intended to be a comedy beyond the fact it’s about the hilarious and tragic parts of life.
ETonline: Kate is very much an imperfect woman, which is an archetype Hollywood doesn’t seem very interested in centering movies around, while imperfect men are omnipresent. Why do you think that is?
Wilde: I think people are quick to assume that a woman who is emotionally unavailable is cold, whereas a man who is emotionally unavailable is damaged or brooding. I think the inability to embrace the female imperfection is a romantic concept because women are seen as nurturers, as wiser, as being somehow more evolved. But it’s so important for us not to lose touch with the fact that women are human and female characters should be as complex as their male counterparts. Joe seems to really understand that. The more characters we see like this, the more people will come to accept imperfect women.
ETonline: To you, what makes an ideal drinking buddy?
Wilde: A good sense of humor and an ability to hold your liquor. I can’t stand drunks. Keep it together people [laughs]. The real definition of a drinking buddy is someone you feel comfortable letting your guard down in front of and that’s a great quality in a friend. I think that’s what Kate and Luke have with each other — the ability to be completely themselves; messy, selfish, silly. But that’s precisely why they can’t be lovers.
ETonline: Of all the characters you’ve played, who would make the best drinking buddy?
Wilde: Thirteen on House was pretty cool. I spent the most time with her, but she’s also extremely intelligent yet doesn’t wear it on her sleeve. I think she likes to have a good time.
ETonline: Part of me thought you were going to say Brooke from Butter.
Wilde: I’d end up in Mexico with a face tattoo if I went drinking with Brooke! I don’t need that! I mean, maybe once in a lifetime. If you really want to shake things up, go drinking with Brooke.
ETonline: What’s your drink of choice?
Wilde: I like beer. So this [movie] was good for me. In the summer, I’m a gin and tonic girl. In the winter, I’m a scotch girl. I don’t get down with that whole vodka soda thing.
ETonline: Have you ever broken up with a liquor?
Wilde: Tequila and I had to take a break. It was amicable. But, yeah, we got in trouble together. It’s like that friend you hung out with in school who almost got you expelled. At a certain point you just have to say, “Maybe we shouldn’t hang out any more.”
ETonline: What was your first drink?
Wilde: My dad is Irish and we grew up going back and forth to Ireland, so it was a Guinness.
ETonline: Lastly, and totally off topic, it was recently the 10 year anniversary of The O.C. and Josh Schwartz did an interview where he revealed what all the characters were up to today, and he said Alex was dating Ryan!
Wilde: What? What! WHAT!?!
ETonline: Yeah, he said they ran into each other on a flight and are going on a date. Thoughts?
Wilde: That’s awesome. I can see that. I love how Ryan was the quiet confident dude who came from the wrong side of the tracks, and sorta suggested Alex did as well. They’re both totally independent spirits. I could see it working out!
ETonline: Who would wear the pants in that relationship?
Wilde: Oh, Alex does! Come on. She wears the pants … and the purple hair streaks and butterfly tattoo.
Olivia Wilde and New Girl star Jake Johnson visit Movie Fanatic for an exclusive interview for their rom-com, Drinking Buddies. The “dark” rom-com features the Wilde and Johnson as workers at a brewery who strike up a friendship… but does each want more?
Olivia Wilde graces the cover of “Backstage” magazine this week, and she chatted with Backstage about her role in Joe Swanberg’s entirely improvised film, “Drinking Buddies,” out Aug. 23. Pick up a copy of the latest issue on newsstands Thursday, and check out a sneek peak of the feature below!
Olivia Wilde on Working for a Casting Director:
Olivia Wilde can’t speak highly enough of her time working in casting director Mali Finn’s office, calling it “invaluable.” “Many casting directors won’t hire aspiring actors,” she warns, “because you might be burning some chick’s headshot under the table so she doesn’t get the part.” But in between watching mothers remind their child actors about dead dogs (or directors teaching child actors about the mortality of parents), Wilde was learning from the crashing and burning of even the best-trained actors.
“So many actors walk into an audition without making a fucking choice, and it would sink them,” she says. “Don’t walk in there groveling and desperately wanting to be some amorphous thing you think they want. Don’t go in there with a defeatist attitude.”
Wilde also suggests biting the bullet and finding out why you didn’t get the part. “People have nervous tics they don’t know about, and I would advise asking around,” she says. “Ask the casting director, ‘Is there something I’m doing?’ I would see people unconsciously rocking back and forth. I roll my lips. I bite my lips and roll them.”
But even all of her behind-the- scenes training couldn’t save Wilde’s audition for “Rock of Ages.” “I sang ‘I Want to Know What love Is’ at the top of my goddamn lungs with Tom Cruise in a sound booth,” she says, still laughing about the moment. “And I was so completely off, so out of tune, my voice sounded like a drowning gerbil.” She pauses, then laughs again. “But I made a fucking choice.”
You can now watch Olivia Wilde from “Good Morning America” that aired on August 19th!
Click on the link below to see the video, its hidden due to auto-play feature!
Former “House” actress Olivia Wilde and “New Girl” star Jake Johnson appear together in the upcoming film “Drinking Buddies” alongside “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick and “Office Space” actor Ron Livingston.
The movie tells the story of Chicago craft brewery co-workers Kate (Wilde) and Luke (Johnson) who are friends that occasionally flirt and would likely be perfect for each other, if they weren’t in other relationships.
Wilde and Johnson recently talked to George Pennacchio of KABC Television, OTRC.com’s parent company, about drinking beer during filming, Wilde serving as an executive producer and a warning they have for moviegoers who might see the film when it opens on Aug. 23.
RYOT News Advisory Board member Olivia Wilde, along with co-founders David Darg and Bryn Mooser, recently traveled to Potou, Senegal, a fishing village in the north of the country. The aim of the trip was to see in real-time the work of community health workers in that highly remote area and how it’s not only saving lives, but also changing the fabric of local communities.
Olivia and Ryot traveled with the 1 Million Community Health Workers campaign (@1Mhealthworkers), which is aiming to train and deploy one million local health care workers to serve their communities by 2015. One of the most impressive elements of the program is how the health workers are harnessing the connectivity of the Ericsson network to use smartphones. Through a series of apps and data collection the program is bringing modern health care solutions to some of the most remote parts of Africa.
Watch RYOT’s video below to see how 1MCHW is not only improving and spreading health care across the continent, but also helping to change the role of women in African society.
The photo gallery at Olivia Wilde Source has been updated with 665 HQ and MQ images of Olivia Wilde taping both “Good Morning America” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” and attending the “Drinking Buddies” Brooklyn Premiere all happening in New York City on August 19th.
• Olivia Wilde Source > Public Events > In 2013 > Taping “Good Morning America”
• Olivia Wilde Source > Public Events > In 2013 > Taping “The Late Show With David Letterman”
• Olivia Wilde Source > Public Events > In 2013 > “Drinking Buddies” Brooklyn Screening
• Olivia Wilde Source > Public Events > In 2013 > “Drinking Buddies” Brooklyn Screening – After Party
You can watch the interview that Olivia Wilde did on “The Late Show with David Letterman” last night below.