“Crazy, Stupid, Love” brings together some of Hollywood’s best-known but unlikely names for a different take on the romantic-comedy genre.
In his forties, Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is told by his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) over dinner, that she wants a divorce. After drowning his sorrows, ladies-man Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes a flailing Cal under his wing in an effort to get him back in the game. Cal isn’t the only person dealing with love and rejection, the intertwined lives of those around his (from a supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, Emma Stone and Kevin Bacon) prove that nobody has it quite all figured out.
Moviehole’s Tim Johnson caught up with the cast and found out what creepy routine Julianne Moore admitted to in attempting to lure a guy, who Ryan Gosling had practiced Dirty Dancing moves on and why Steve Carell decided to put on the producing hat for the film.
The things we do for love; makeovers, public embarrassment and jumping out of cars. For Steve Carell, the latter which takes place at the beginning of the film, drew him to this script and to sign on as producer, no doubt helping add weight to drawing the stellar cast.
“As I was reading it I thought within the first couple of pages, he jumped out of a car! She gives him this information and he jumps out of the car and I thought that I’ve never seen (and) the fact that I could take part in the casting … because usually as an actor you come in and the script is done, the directors are set, all the other actors are set and you just walk in and do what you need to do … In terms of casting we got all of our first choices, everyone we wanted to be in the movie, also wanted to be in it.”
One of those stars was Julianne Moore, who herself remembers the days where she herself had let the crazy side of love reign.
“When I was younger, I was queen of the drive-by … if you’re worried enough that you’re driving by someone’s house to see if they’re home, it’s never going to work out. Going by in a car and flashing your lights is pretty bad.”
Emma Stone, who plays the object of Jacob’s (Ryan Gosling) affection hints at something a little more explicit as her crazy side.
“I would not want to say that on tape, you know what I mean? I think falling in love alone can be crazy. Did Julianne tell you about the drive-bys? I haven’t done a drive by.”
Like Steve Carell it was the film’s opening scenes which attracted Julianne Moore to the role.
“When I first read the script, on the first page of the screenplay she says, ‘I want a divorce,’ and I’d never seen anything like that and I laughed out loud. And the script just continued to be funny and that inventive. It really started with a bang.”
Moore explains that it hadn’t occurred to her that this role is the third in a row where her character steps out on her spouse.
“Oh yeah. There must be something about me! I think it’s just a coinkidink as they say. I like movies that are about relationships and human behavior and explorations of that and it just happens to be an interesting thing to explore in films.”
Ryan Gosling and the film’s directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa describe Emma Stone as ‘owning’ the room when she auditioned for the part, while she had a much different view of the audition day.
“I have decided to just say… f*** it! When you go in there, just have fun, it’s your one chance to play the character so you might as well just go balls to the wall and just enjoy it and not really freak out too much. I just wanted to have fun because she’s nuts after she’s had a couple of drinks and those were the scenes that they wanted me to read.”
While the cast and crew credit Ryan Gosling’s comedic performance, a genre he has little experience in, he explains that taking on the role was not a natural choice for him.
“I’d never done a comedy before, I had never done a film like this before, so that was scary. I did it because I love Steve Carell, I just love him.”
But even praise from his idols and fellow cast members wouldn’t convince him to take on an opportunity like hosting Saturday Night Live if it was offered, a fact that frustrates co-star Emma Stone.
“He’s so annoying, I hate that he said that in an interview. He’s not too scared, put him on the show, ugh; he would be great, great. Whatever, it makes me so mad. He would be so great on that show, I just think he would kill it and I want to go and do a little sketch with him. If you get the opportunity to do something like that, why wouldn’t you do something like that?”
Stone’s frustration comes from the much-credited and extensive improvising that the two played in their first date scene, much of it making the film’s final cut including the famed Dirty Dancing move which Gosling infused from his own experience practicing on, of all people, his friends.
“Well when I go out dancing with my friends and we get drunk, we try and do the Dirty Dancing lift and that’s where it came from and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ve never used it on a girl, I just do it with my friends. And I tried to do it on Emma Stone but she wouldn’t let me, she was too scared, she thought I was going to drop her. I kept trying to lift her up and then her whole body would turn into a bag full of rats and I was trying to wrangle it and then she was like, ‘You’re going to drop me, you’re going to drop me,’ and then she said, ‘Prove it.’ We got a stunt lady in and I did it ten times in front of her, never dropping this young lady and when it was over, Emma was like, ‘Well now that you’ve done it ten times you’ve got to be tired.’”
The film also features Marisa Tomei as Cal’s bounce-back fling, who Carell says was a hoot on set.
“She is wild. She is so great. And the first scene that she shot was a scene without any dialogue, she sitting in the bar kind of scoping the bar looking for men. And she said so much, without saying anything, just the camera following her eyes, she’s primping a little bit and checking other people out and slightly uncomfortable but completely open to advances. She’s so funny and such a good actress and just went for it.”
Also featured in the film is singer Josh Groban who Emma Stone agreed, was a name that at first seemed out of left field.
“Well, he came to the table read and I was like, ‘What’s Josh Groban doing here? … The guy with the voice?’ So he read Richard and everyone was dying, he was so perfect. It’s Josh Groban, that’s awesome! He is so funny and he did so much improv that didn’t make it into the movie that just would blow your mind, it was so… like curse word-filled rants. This whole improv tangent that they let him do, he was so funny, everyone was dying; they were like laughing over the takes which is probably why they didn’t use them.”
For Julianne Moore, working with Steve Carell also formed an unexpected friendship.
“He’s great, I love him. We really hit it off, it was so easy to be with him, we had a lot to say to each other, we have a lot in common and it just felt nice. He’s insanely talented and he’s as nice as he is talented and he’s got a connection and a soulfulness that obviously the audience feels and I could feel as well.”
”Crazy, Stupid, Love” is now playing in theaters.