Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Date With Rashida Jones

I always title these web chats that I get to do as "My Date With Such And Such..." because I like naming them that way and it makes me feel like I at least have dates every once in awhile. But this one was one I really wish was a date! Rashida Jones?! You kidding me?! I was so excited when I was invited to take part of this web chat because in addition to her being beautiful, I'm a huge fan of hers! Parks And Recreation. I Love You, Man. The Office. Our Idiot Brother. That's just to name a few things...and probably my favorites of her work. And now, "Celeste & Jesse Forever", which was what this web chat was all about on Spreecast. And I will add that to the list.

If you haven't seen it, first of all, maybe you should stop reading my blog and go watch it. Well no not literally, read the rest of this and then like a couple more posts...but then go watch it. It's a more serious movie but is also really funny. And it's Rashida Jones's first writing credit. Which was one of the more interesting aspects to me. She plays all these comedic roles and then branches out and does a role with more drama and seriousness and crying (she even talked about that)...but she wrote this role for herself!

(Check it out! I made her laugh! Most proud I've ever been in my life, and I once caught all 151 original Pokemon!)

So, I asked her about writing this movie (which she wrote with Will McCormack who co-stars) as it was her first writing credit. I asked her if this is more her writing style, different from her usual roles, the more serious approach, and if she thought if she were to write more, is this what we should expect. She said that the romantic comedy genre has always interested her and she loves movies like that (mentioning "Annie Hall" as one) and she really wanted to tell this story. She went on to explain, that on this topic "I've said what I needed to say" which I thought was pretty damn well put. But she likes stories of relationships she told me and thinks maybe in the future she could do some stories that are about families or something high concept and in explaining this to me made me think, she would probably write in the tone she wrote this movie in.

So, yes you see her as Zooey teaching her fiancee Peter Klaven, how to talk in a Jamaican accent. Or as Cindy helping her partner's brother Ned, break into his ex's house to steal his dog back. Or as an executive letting Jason Segel and the Muppets put on a show. So, you're probably used to her making you laugh, but if you watch her as Celeste going through her ex's garbage to see what sorts of things he's been buying, yes you'll laugh again, but you might also cry. And if you don't cry there, whether it be from laughter or true sympathy for her character, you will most probably get teary-eyed at the very least at some other point in this true and honest portrayal of moving on after a break up. I feel secure enough to admit that I did. You know, a tiny bit.

I'd like to thank Momentum Pictures for hooking me up with this web chat and everyone involved with it and most of all I'd like to thank Rashida Jones who in addition to answering my question answered plenty of other questions in the half hour the web cast lasted. She gave some inspirational advice.....to just write. So plainly put but so plainly true. But she said the only thing separating you from the writer you want to be...is to just write. And just do whatever you have to, to get an idea made, produced, etc. She said they made "Celeste & Jesse Forever" for under a million dollars, which is quite impressive. I was inspired, to say the least, and will keep up my writing every day. Maybe some day I'll be able to produce "Celeste & Stevie Forever...But For Real", it will be a sequel to the original in which Celeste finds a new love, played by me, just cause I don't have to pay myself and can save money that way. Eh eh? What do you think, Rashida? OK, new writing challenge...accepted!

And if you want to watch the actual Spreecast with Rashida, click here!

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