'He's Just Not That Into You' features a massive ensemble cast including female stars like Jennifer Anniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore examining the in's and out's of dating in the 21st century. Ginnifer and Scarlett recently sat down in Hollywood with Buzzine to chat about the film, their own personal dating advice and some of the benefits of being a girl's girl...
Izumi Hasegawa: Ginnifer, you give a great performance, and yet your character could have been so annoying. Was this difficult as an actress?
Ginnifer Goodwin: It's interesting because I've been asked a lot about the neediness and the annoyance, which is something I clearly never thought about because I don't know that anyone thinks she's needy or annoying. But in playing her 'open' and 'resilient,' and choosing to have her walk boldly -- even in the wrong direction -- I think it certainly can come across as desperate and clingy, but I think that our entire goal with Gigi was to play her as intelligently as possible, because I thought it was important that she not stumble out of ignorance, because none of us can relate to that. Doesn't every woman think that she's brilliant? I hope that's not just me being narcissistic... But I think every woman thinks that's she's brilliant but that we make decisions given the information we have, and the point for us is that the information she has is misguiding, and therefore her falling on her face with commitment should be humiliating in a very relatable way. So it was actually great fun, and I didn't feel that I had to walk any particular line. I am rejected on a daily basis in what I do for a living, and so it was easy for me to play a character who embraces rejection herself in her personal life. I had great fun just always being in the moment and not playing the end of the story, which is knowing that she would be okay, because I think that is what we always see in movies and that's what I find incredibly boring and what was so refreshing about this script.
IH: I read the book, and the movie had a sweetness and non-judgmental factor to it. How did you feel about these characters?
Scarlett Johansson: Even though there was somebody that was being hurt in the process, I think that the two characters really like each other. I mean, they connect, so you can't really hate them because its not like they're being vindictive; she's not looking to steal a married man; he's not looking to have some affair, and they're both going into it knowing that there's somebody else -- a third person in the relationship -- that they really feel like maybe this is a point in their life.
I mean, even Drew's character is saying that at times these things happen and you don't want to miss the boat. Who knows? This could be the person that you have children with and get married to and have to spend the rest of your life with, and I think that these two characters feel that way about each other. They make such a connection through Bradley [Cooper]'s character's fault in just not being able to man-up and really commit because he has so many weaknesses. I think, because of his character's weaknesses, what could have been something ends up being... I think she sees that he's not willing to, or he's just not able to be truthful and commit, and she sees that weakness and then it all falls apart. But I think you can't hate them because they don't go into it with malice; they don't go into their relationship with a purpose to hurt somebody. So is life, I guess. These things happen. Don't they?
IH: Scarlett, you just got married. What does that mean to you?
SJ: I have no perspective on that. I think you should maybe ask me that question in 25 years.
IH: Have you read the book? And was there one piece of advice you really wanted to convey in the movie and do you feel like you succeeded in doing that?
GG: I bought the book. It was important for me because my character can't have this information until the end of the story. My character still doesn't get the point throughout her "lessons" from Alex the bartender. She becomes obsessed with the sign-reading and wasting life in that way. I did buy the book and I did a lot of other homework, but I didn't read the book until I was done with the film, and I'm glad I hadn't read it before. I did read it right after we wrapped the film. I don't think you can read that book without gaining some inner strength and becoming maybe a little less tolerant of foolishness. I did not want to have that strength in my heart while filming.
IH: Ginnifer, what is your advice for getting over a broken heart?
GG: Well, I'm a girl's girl. I have honest-to-God had girlfriends and sisters come pick me up from break-up locations. I have actually said in the middle of break-ups, "I'm so sorry, I need to call my sister: 'Can you please come and get me and bring me some Starbucks?!'" I have the best girlfriends in the world and I have learned about myself that it's absolutely fine to have a certain level of co-dependence. That is: I might need to slumber-party for a week straight and eat an awful lot of boxes of cookies. Yeah, I'm just all about embracing girlfriends.
IH: Does your personal life carry over in your on-screen persona?
GG: I don't think that we have a choice.
But I can tell you, and I think on behalf of this particular cast, we're all extremely discreet. Surely your opinion of a character is affected by what you know about the person in real life, so the very nature of the question would sort of ruin what it is we're trying to do in representing the movie here and talking about how we express our characters and why, because truly we're playing other people and we're hoping that you empower us.
SJ: I think also the whole process is: you don't want to see the man behind the curtain. Our process is a very introspective one, and it's strange to share that with the general public, just as you probably wouldn't want to tell us all about your own therapy sessions. In a way, acting is a very cathartic experience; you're imparting your own personal experience into the characters you play, and I've never quite been able to grasp the concept of giving away all your secrets, in a way, and wanting to describe and talk about your method and your process. It's one thing if you're part of the Actor's Studio and you're working with a bunch of other actors and you're discussing these types of things, but, guaranteed, no other actor is going to ask you what you're drawing from. So just in that same regard, it makes no sense, to me anyway, why we would want to share that with anybody else, certainly.
IH: This is such a star-studded cast. Did you know each other, and did you have any preconceptions?
GG: We all pretty much did know each other in different ways, absolutely.
IH: Girls, did you ever have a really bad romantic experience that now you can laugh about?
GG: I do every day, and now I get paid to put it on screen! That's what I have to say. I misread signs everyday, and now I get paid to put that on screen!
IH: Were you grateful that there aren't any real graphic bedroom sex scenes in the movie?
GG: Well, we clearly didn't need to, did we?! I think that's the beauty of the script, because the script is so balanced and so subtle, and I don't think that the message could have been so powerfully imparted if it wasn't so subtle, because life is subtle and that's what makes it so relatable, right?
IH: Has there ever been a guy or a girl who has not been that into you?
GG: Yeah, we've all had only totally amazing experiences in love.
IH: What is it like having films take place in Baltimore?
SJ: Baltimore is awesome. I love Baltimore. I actually walked around kind of, "I could live here." It's really a great city, and I have a lot of friends that have come from Baltimore and lived there, and the music scene... It's just a really happening spot. It's a great, great place. We went to couple of really cool museums. It was visual, and the aquarium was huge.
'He's Just Not That Into You' from New Line Cinema is out now.