For nearly five years, Jay and Mark Duplass have been on the cusp of the indie underground with their own distinctive style of moviemaking that got lumped in with the lo-fi DIY “Mumblecore” movement. In fact, Greta Gerwig, co-star of Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, was one of the breakout stars from that group, and sure enough, she was in the Duplass’ previous movie Baghead (We actually spoke to them back then, an interview you can read here).
Those who’ve enjoyed the Duplass’ previous two movies are really curious about their third movie, Cyrus, which shows them what they can do under the aegis of a studio, working with actors who are fairly well known: John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener.
Reilly plays a down-on-his-luck guy named John who has not been able to meet anyone new after his wife (Keener) left him seven years earlier. One night, he meets Molly (Tomei) at a party and the two quickly connect, but a few days later, he learns she has a 21-year-old son named Cyrus (Hill) and they’re disturbingly close. So close that Cyrus is not into the idea of his mother seeing John, and he’ll do anything to break them up. While it sounds like the type of high concept premise that any of these actors might do at a studio, the Duplasses have maintained their style of working by letting the actors do long takes in character and then culling the best material for the movie. Because Reilly and Hill are both very funny, and Tomei as always is able to keep up with whatever they dish out, it’s actually an experiment that works quite well in telling this often funny but sometimes poignant tale.
Last week, ComingSoon.net sat down with the Duplass Bros. to talk about their latest movie and once we got through a couple technical problems with the noisy courtyard behind us, here’s what we talked about:
* Why their first studio movie is very much like their other two movies
* Why do this movie with a studio anyway?
* How Ridley and Tony Scott got involved as producers
* How they know an actor is capable of working in their loose filming style
* Were the main actors familiar with the Duplass beforehand?
* Was it easier to get more useable stuff from the quote-unquote movie stars?
* Is there any kind of rehearsal process?
* We talk about the direction they took with the music
* Whether the movie changed since Sundance and their testing process
And more, including a little bit about their upcoming movie Jeff Who Lives at Home, which teams them with producer Jason Reitman and Paramount.
Cyrus opens in New York and L.A. on Friday, June 18 and then rolls out to other cities after that. Look for our interview with one of the movie’s stars, Jonah Hill, later this week.