Ari Graynor Talks 'What's Your Number,' Working With Woody Allen & 'Bridesmaids' Comparisons
There's no denying that Anna Faris' "What's Your Number?" shares a few similarities with Kristen Wiig's summer hit "Bridesmaids." Both films are female-driven comedies that are somewhat based around a wedding. What is perhaps more perplexing is that they open in very similar fashion.
Both Ally (Faris) and Annie (Wiig) wake up early before their sleeping beaus, tip-toe into the bathroom, freshen up, brush their teeth, put on some makeup and climb back into bed before their guys awaken to announce how beautiful they look in the morning. Film critics were not as amazed by the similarities.
Film review site Screen It! critic Teddy Durgin wrote, “I liked this movie the first time ... when it was called 'Bridesmaids.' " Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote, "What's Your Number? fills the waiting time with a level of chick-style raunchiness that only enhances Bridesmaids' reputation as the current paragon of a top-quality, universally appealing, female-driven comedy."
However, the two films couldn't be more different -- according to actress Ari Graynor, who stars as Ally's soon-to-be-married little sister Diasy in "What's Your Number?" The Huffington Post spoke with Graynor about her new film, the female role in modern comedies and what it's like to work with her idol, Woody Allen.
I have to say, everything I've been reading about the film compares your film to "Bridesmaids." Personally, I love seeing more female-driven films getting made, but are you tired of the comparisons already?
It's all just one female comedy goal! I love Kristen Wiig as an actress and as a person, and the success of that film really made me excited for her and all of us funny ladies trying to get female-driven comedies made. I think they are really different movies at the end of the day. It's just one of those unfortunate things that happens when one film does well and then every film after that gets compared to it. It's like when "Sex and the City" did well and then everything after it about female friends was like, 'Think 'Sex and the City' but set in high school!' I think there's room for all kinds of different funny women.
Now, the opening scene of "What's Your Number?" is very similar to the opening scene of "Bridesmaids." Could you even believe it?
I know! It's so crazy how that happens!
I have to know. It's been driving me crazy. Do women actually do that? Is this a big trend that I'm missing out on?
Well, I guess the fact that it's now been in two movies means that somebody must be doing, right? Although, I've never done it myself. But somebody's has got to be doing it.
Okay, well, this makes me feel better. I mean, personally, I would want him to know, that, this is what you get, buddy.
[Laughs] I know! Me too! Why try to hide it, right?
You're also starring is "The Sitter" with Jonah Hill, which has a completely different comedic approach. Did you always have a knack for comedy?
I was a precocious only child, and then I went through a fat, awkward stage for several years, so I learned to fall back on my humor and personality when I was growing up. It's how you survive, so I think it was more of a natural progression for me, developing into comedy. But it's a really exciting time in comedy now; there's just so much that can be done. Right now I'm working on Broadway in Woody Allen's new play, called "Relatively Speaking," which is three one-act comedies with Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Elaine May. I happen to be in the Woody Allen one, and I mean, talk about comedic figureheads. They are three of the most influential voices in comedy. Woody Allen's comedies are so different than the comedy in film now, so I feel like I'm getting the best education in comedy, learning different techniques to make people laugh.
I can't think of two comedies that are more different than "Annie Hall" and "The Sitter." One's a rom-com and the other's a raunch-com.
I know, right? That's why it's such an exciting time for comedy. There are just some many different kinds of roles out there. Regardless of what kind of film, the number one rule of comedy is to never take yourself too seriously and then the next rule is you can't have any self-consciousness, otherwise it kills the laugh, and that will never change.
That's like a dream role, to work with Woody Allen.
Yes, it is! It has lived up to every hope, dream and expectation. He's just as wonderful and as funny and self-deprecating as you would expect him to be.
You're parents must be so proud!
They are [laughs], although they wish I was home for Rosh Hashanah. They were like, this is the most Jewish show ever, why are they having rehearsal on Rosh Hashanah? The show must go on, mom!
Graynor is currently starring in "Relatively Speaking" on Broadway, opening Oct. 20, and "What's Your Number?," which is in theaters now. The "The Sitter," starring Jonah Hill and Graynor, opens nation-wide Dec. 9.