When Lauren Anne Miller and Katie Anne Naylon sat down to write what would become "For A Good Time Call...," they had one specific goal.
"We wanted to make a movie that we wanted to see," Miller, who co-wrote, co-produced and co-stars in the film, told HuffPost Entertainment. "As a young filmmaker, just starting out, that's an important way to go. It's smart to do that. If I was going to write a movie about aliens taking over the world? I don't know about that."
What Miller and Naylon do know about is female friendship ... and phone sex: After becoming friends in college, Naylon revealed to Miller that she worked as a phone sex operator.
"She came into my room clutching her pink fliers, and she was like, 'I have to tell you about something I did last year,'" Miller recalled. "She told me the whole story. I said a line that was cut from the movie: 'Keep it quiet, keep it in your room, I don't want to know about it.'"
Now, of course, everyone knows about Naylon's former day job. "It was always a story that whenever she told it, people obviously had so many fun questions. It seemed like the perfect place to set the world of our story," Miller said.
Miller, who is married to Seth Rogen in real life and cast him in a minor role in the film, spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about making "For A Good Time Call...," why "Bridesmaids" was so important and why Twitter is so intimidating.
The film pushes the envelope pretty hard. When you were shopping the script around, did people want you to tone down the language or sex? It seems like Hollywood has a very uncomfortable relationship with sexually confident females.
You know, I don't think the pushback came from the sexuality. It was just from the general place that a female-driven, R-rated comedy had not done well in a really long time. There was a wave in the '80s of incredible female comedies with Bette Midler, Shelley Long and Diane Keaton, but I think movie genres go in waves. There was a much bigger rise in romantic comedies. The way girls were funny was by falling down and finding a man. There's certainly a place for those movies, but there hadn't been a movie that had broken through yet that was women being dirty, being real -- an accurate portrayal of the way women speak. This was a pre-"Bridesmaids" time. People read the script and they loved it: We must have had 50 or 60 meetings with people, who were quoting the script, talking about how much they loved it. We would be like, "Great, you should make it." And they would say, "Well ... we can't because R-rated comedies don't do well." That's what eventually pushed us to make it on our own. Then "Bridesmaids" came out and was huge and we were so psyched. "Bridesmaids" proved there was an audience there that we knew was there. It proved that women go to the movies. They want to see story about themselves.
That's been proven this summer with female-fronted comedies like "Ruby Sparks," "Celeste & Jesse Forever" and "Bachelorette."
"Bridesmaids" really greased the wheels. Women are excited because before it was like, "Sure, we like romantic comedies. We like bromances too." Girls will go see anything. They're open and excited to go to the movies and laugh. I think these things are in the ether. I think it just proves that audiences were ready for these movies. All of these projects were in the works before "Bridesmaids." It just happens that we're all getting to benefit from the proof that there's an audience there. I hope it means it'll keep happening and happening in a bigger way. That studios will continue to make movies like this and it won't happen in an independent way. Because while there is a wave of these movies, most of them have been done independently.
Were you always intending to star in "For a Good Time, Call..." as well?
Certainly I had the dream in the back of my mind, but when we were going to make the movie in a studio world there was no version in which I would have come close to the role of Lauren. I have to say, that was the reason we made it on our own. A year and a half ago, I was traveling and in a hotel room and had a "Lost in Translation" moment, in which I just took a hard look at my life and thought, "What am I doing with my life? If I want to be an actor, I need to make things happen for myself. We have a script, the character's name is Lauren, it's loosely based on me -- if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it." I sent Katie an email and I said, "Look, we have to make it on our own and maybe Ari Graynor will be in it and maybe we'll get into Sundance next year." And that's what happened! We certainly got extremely lucky, but it's a good lesson at taking your destiny into your own hands.
Seth Rogen has a great cameo appearance -- it's actually one of the most important scenes in the film for your and Ari. Did you give him the choice of cameo appearances or write that with him specifically in mind?
He had his choice, but I'll say this: We didn't know he was going to be a pilot when we shot our side of the call. You know, you make an independent movie, you've got to do whatever you can in the moment. We didn't have that location. We knew he was going to be in a bathroom, but we didn't know what the bathroom would look like: If he was going to be in a truckstop, if he was going to be in a mall, if he was going to be in an airport. We got that location and it looked like an airport bathroom, and we were like, "All right. Pilot!" Thank God it worked. Everything was scripted at one point, but certainly we let them run with it. We have over an hour of footage with Ken Marino. Same with Kevin Smith. Because you never know, when you let people who are so talented at improv go, what you're going to get. You don't want to strangle them with your own words, because probably what they're going to say is way better.
You're on Twitter now. What do you think so far?
I'm so stressed out by it! I'm trying really hard. I had gone silent for the past few days. I don't know. Everyone sees it. That's what's crazy. I didn't realize that at first. It's out there. Everyone sees it. And you don't delete it. I feel like I'm still in the cherry-popping phase of Twitter. Maybe once I get my feet a little more wet I'll be more active.
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