In 2009, Lynn Shelton shook up the festival circuit with Humpday, an improvised comedy about male friendships and gay panic starring Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard.
In 2011, Shelton and Duplass launched their new collaboration, Your Sister’s Sister, at the Toronto Film Festival.
A more serious (but still very funny) work about a grieving man (Duplass) spending an awkward weekend with his best friend (Emily Blunt) and her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), it’s a major step forward for Shelton – and something of a high-wire act for Blunt.
Mark, you’d worked with Lynn before on Humpday and made your own similar films, but Emily, this was the first time you’ve tried anything like this. What was the experience like for you?
Emily Blunt: It was just very different. It wasn’t necessarily an easy adjustment…. I think it does require guts to do a film like this. All of us just had to be kinda gutsy about it.
Mark Duplass: Emily said something after our first big take together: “Wow, that was like jazz.” It’s kinda corny, but it’s very similar to how our process goes. We’re playing an old standard song in a key we all know, but the little pieces, the way we interpret it, happen freely, in the moment, because we’ve all done our homework. Literally within two minutes she was right in there. It was awesome.
So here you are with another little character piece…
Lynn Shelton: There are only certain kinds of stories you can tell in this way. You really can’t do your big period piece or a sci-fi movie. Or if you have a kazillion locations, it’s gonna be hard to do that with no money. But if you’ve got a very small [project] that’s really based on human beings interacting with other human beings, you don’t have to wait for somebody else to give you permission to make it.
Blunt: You know those arcade games where you have the soft toys in the bin? You’re waiting for the claw to come down and summon you, and you’re like, “Is it my turn? [laughs]”
Duplass: [waving arms like a Muppet] “I’m here!”
Blunt: You’re just waiting in this oversized crowd. So I think that’s what was exciting about this. We just got up and we went. And it was such a relief.
Duplass: We were the motherfuckin’ claw!
You can listens to Emily’s interview over this website.
Source: Now Toronto