Actress Ari Graynor is no stranger on the big screen these days, and with a roster of recent co-stars including Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and Anna Faris, the 28-year-old's comedic star is rising -- fast.
Though this weekend's box office left much to be desired -- Hollywood hit its lowest sales in three years -- Graynor still shined opposite Hill in the raunchy comedy "The Sitter." She spoke to The Huffington Post about her own adventures in babysitting, starring on Broadway in Woody Allen's"Relatively Speaking" and completing what she calls her "Jewish trifecta."
Complete this sentence: Jonah Hill is...
Hilarious and delightful, and surprisingly a very smart and serious businessman.
"The Sitter" revolves around an unprepared, college-aged babysitter. Did you ever babysit when you were younger?
I did, but I preferred the instant route. I loved baby dolls when I was little. I preferred to not have to deal with actual children, because you have to entertain them and listen to them and do actual activities.
Did you ever check out the homes you were babysitting in?
I would raid the kitchen and I would do a little snooping. I never found anything that good. I wouldn't go into any space that was overly personal. I would never dare go into an underwear drawer but I would look through shelves, walk through rooms, medicine cabinets... Why not take a peek?
Your first movie was 2003's "Mystic River," directed by Clint Eastwood. Did you realize what a big deal that was at the time?
Yes and no. I did, in a way, but I think as you get older you realize it's pretty remarkable that that was my first film. It was all very exciting. I just wanted to take it all in and not say anything to embarrass myself or get in anyone's way.
I had a scene where I was being interrogated by Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne, and I come from a theater background. [Films and theater] are two very different beasts. I didn't know that I could move around. I had chosen a very specific way of sitting on the couch and for almost two hours I didn't move my legs. Finally Clint Eastwood came over to me and said, "You know you can get up. In fact, it might be better if you do."
You just filmed "My Mother's Curse" with Seth Rogen. Are you the new go-to gal for comedies?
I've been very lucky in the past year or two to be part of this comedy community. I don't consider myself a comedienne so I'm constantly learning. I'm doing a Woody Allen play ["Relatively Speaking"] on Broadway right now. I think when that's done, I'm looking to do the opposite of everything I've been doing lately.
"My Mother's Curse" also stars Barbra Streisand. For a Jewish girl like yourself, was it like working with her?
It's been a Jewish dream this year to have worked with both Barbra Streisand and Woody Allen. It doesn't get much better for the Jews than that. You should also know, for opening night of the play, Woody Allen gave us all mezuzahs. So I now have a mezuzah that's been blessed by Woody Allen.
Woody Allen? I had no idea he was interested in Jewish culture.
It's tongue-in-cheek Jewish humor. To work with both of them -- and then I met Bette Midler very quickly backstage one night -- so now I feel like my Jewish trifecta is complete.