Sundance 2012 Interviews: 'Community's Alison Brie on 'Save the Date'

Posted Wed Feb 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM PST by

by Luke Hickman

Each year there seems to be a reoccurring theme that pops up in films at the Sundance Film Festival. 2011 was all about religious fanatics, and 2012 seems to have been heavily influenced by 'Bridesmaids.' 'Save the Date' is one of the many great R-rated female-centric comedic dramas at Sundance this year. Lizzy Caplan stars as an aspiring artist who has to take life's changes in small steps. As if moving in with her boyfriend wasn't traumatic enough for her, when he proposes to her in front of a large crowd she freaks out and ends the relationship right there. Alison Brie plays her sister, the encouraging and supporting figure in her life. Halfway through the festival, Alison sat down with me to talk about 'Save the Date' and the uncertain fate of her network series 'Community.'

HDD – Luke Hickman: So how has all the media been?

Alison Brie: I love the movie and I forgot how fun it was going to be to talk about it. We haven't been talking about it every day since we shot it – it's not like we call each other on the weekend and talk about it. (laughs)

HDD: When did you shoot?

Alison Brie: Recently. Summer. Like the end of July.

HDD: Playing sisters, did you and Lizzy know each other before shooting the film?

Alison Brie: We did not. We got together and had dinner once before [shooting] and had one rehearsal. We did one sort of crash-course rehearsal with just the two of us and [the director] in a plain room, mapping it out. And I don't even think we rehearsed every scene, just the key scenes – outside the bridal shop and outside the club in the beginning where Lizzy first gets proposed to. We talked through the dialog to make it our own. It was more about making sure that we were all on the same page about what was happening in a scene. It was more talking it out than reading it and working at it.

HDD: Well, it works really well. You two are great together.

Alison Brie: Thanks! And you saw [the movie]!

HDD: Of course I saw it!

Alison Brie: It was funny doing the interviews on the first two days when people were like, (in a low dumb manly voice) "Soooo, what's it about?" Which is fine, just funny because people were asking us about something they knew nothing about.

HDD: You've seen the movie, right?

Alison Brie: Yeah!

HDD: I spoke with Mark Webber a few days ago about 'The End of Love' and we talked about him having three movies up here this year and he said he hadn't seen one of the movies yet. I can't remember if it was this one.

Alison Brie: It must be 'For A Good Time, Call …' because we had a "cast screening" [of 'Save the Date'].

HDD: And it's a very funny movie!

Alison Brie: There were laughs in places where I didn't expect them to be, like when it shows my character's mom at the bridal shower. Everyone cracked up [at the premiere] and I thought, 'That is kinda funny,' but when we were in it, it seems to have more depth and to be more dramatic because we were just playing the reality of these scenes. We weren't (in a vaudevillian voice) "playing it for comedy." We weren't bringing that (in a vaudevillian voice again) "comedy razzle dazzle." (laughs)

HDD: I've got to ask – any word on the return of 'Community?'

Alison Brie: Hmmm.

HDD: We need it back.

Alison Brie: Thank you! We're still shooting episodes, so we're finishing up the rest of the season. We have three more episodes to shoot and [NBC] keeps on saying vaguely, "It may come back in March or April." It's going to depend on what's going on with other shows. They really want to air the rest of the season. We're all feeling optimistic because it's better to feel that way than - uhh - the other way. The fans have been really great about it. The flash mobs have been awesome -

HDD: - the beard pictures -

Alison Brie: - the beard pictures! People have been sending in a lot of letters to the network. It's been really awesome. I feel like – I've never been prouder of our show than witnessing how it's affected all these other people.

HDD: I interviewed Brit Marling about 'Another Earth' and she talked about how great it was to appear on 'Community' because the writers have had the freedom to do whatever they want.

Alison Brie: Yeah! They do! [Creator] Dan Harmon really fights for that. He's got such integrity when it comes to his work. The network had been great to let us get away with a lot, but they also take a lot of prodding from Dan let him get the things that he want onto the show. [NBC] is such a great place for supporting really creative shows.

HDD: What else are you working on right now?

Alison Brie: I have a movie coming out in April called 'The Five-Year Engagement' with Jason Segal and Emily Blunt and Chris Platt.

HDD: I love that cast.

Alison Brie: Yeah! It's another wedding movie. It's all about wedding movies right now, it seems like. (goofy voice) Girls be getting married.

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

Tags: Luke Hickman, Fun Stuff, Community, Alison Brie, Sundance 2012, Sundance Film Festival (all tags)