Examiner.com had the opportunity to see Radius-TWC's latest release "The One I Love," which hits theaters on Aug. 22, 2014. Today on Aug. 10, 2014 we are excited to share our exclusive interviews with the cast. Charlie McDowell scores gold in his directorial debut of this drama/comedy. After premiering months ago at the Sundance Film Festival, the indie film gained great recognition. Lead actor Duplass, who also executive produced the film and Moss certainly served romance on a bizarre bed of self-discoveries while at a weekend getaway meant to save their marriage.
In an effort to reconcile some marital issues, Ethan (Duplass) and Sophie (Moss) take up the advice of their therapist to “reset the reset button” at a beautiful vacation house for the weekend. In what started out as an exciting escape from their problems soon became a bizarre twist of the viewer imagination. Done with the simplest of eloquence, McDowell is effective in his depiction of how relationships can instantly turn around for the better after taking a real good look in the mirror. The themes behind the young couple bring a burning reference of the most common arguments involving matters of the heart except played out in a more visual kind of way. You won’t be able to gasp for air until the 91 minutes are up.
Read our exclusive interviews below:
Can you tell us what some of your inspirations were behind the themes in the movie.
I felt it was a story that hadn’t been told in this way before, and it’s hard to do that now. I was really inspired by guys like Charlie Kaufman for example, these guys who take relationship movies that are sort of basic but take you on a completely wild ride in a world that you don’t really know.
What was it like working with this cast and team?
We all got along, we all were creatively on the same page, so it was just about putting our heads together, and we trusted each other. We were able to go to places where people wouldn’t normally go, because it was very safe environment.
So I thought the movie was genius, why did you choose the particular route for Ethan and Sophie as the climax?
For me it was Ethan being the male character, he was something I could relate to and kind of understanding his path and art as a character it was something that I could sort of pull stuff from my own history. And it was a really collaborative film so we ended up all getting in rooms together, Me, Mark, Lizzie, Justin, Mel and talk about the story and Lizzie and Mel would really focus and concentrate on kind of the female point of view so we made sure that everyone was kind of created equal, but yet it was still a real relationship movie at heart.
So how was the whole casting process?
Well we developed the script with Mark so we kind of wrote the part specially for him and then with Lizzie, Mark suggested her and said that he knew her a little bit and he texted her "you wanna read this little script?" and he sent it to her and it all went over text message and she liked it a lot and she agreed and we shot it in two weeks and that was it.
So how long did it take to come up with this great script?
We developed it with Mark and then Justin and I kind of developed the plot and characters further and then he went off and wrote the script and then the whole process along the way was really a collaborative thing and it was great it was really fun.
What about that amazing location?
It's up in Ojai, which is where I grew up in that town so we shot a mile away from where I grew up which was really cool to see the mountains in the background that I looked at my whole childhood.
With the following success since Sundance, what are your hopes the film?
I hope it makes people think and talk. That’s what it seems to have done since the festival, and I hope it continues to do so.
Speak about collaborating with Elizabeth and forming that on screen relationship.
We were buddies before we made the movie. We had shot this movie together called "Darling Companion" with Lawrence Kasdan and we were like the only two non-famous non-legends in that movie and we were living in Park City for six weeks so we bonded over pizza and beer and hanging out and we talked about wanting to make a movie together and then when I started putting this movie together I knew I needed someone who could do the Rom-Com thing very well, like be sweet and endearing and likable but at the same time when the movie shifts, I needed someone to also be very dark and mysterious and strange and she could do both those things.
So how was it working with Charlie?
I love Charlie, it started out as kind of a mentor-mentee relationship and by the end of it he really took the reigns of the movie and he’s a very loving, smart kid and he’s going to make a lot of great movies.
Out of all the crazy amazing moments in the movie which one is your favorite?
I can’t talk about all of them unfortunately ... we’re trying to keep that essential plot under wraps, but my favorite part in general of the whole process was I never played a role like this before its never been demanded of me to play this many shades, this many sides of a person, so it really brought out new things in me as an actor that I hadn’t been asked to do before.
One specific thing that was brought out in you?
The specific thing was that it was all the shades being in one movie you know the ability to be light and funny and endearing, but strange and evil and dark and all the things that were required, it was demanding.
How was it working with Charlie?
It was awesome when you work with a first time director I think the mistake that you expect is that they think that they might know everything or that they’re afraid to ask questions or they’re afraid to collaborate and I didn’t feel that with Charlie and that’s something that you often don’t get with directors that have been working for twenty years so I think he has a real gift for what he does.
Sophie she was a little unpredictable, which side did you like the most and why?
I think that what was really important to us was to present a real couple and a real person and what was interesting for me was finding what were those elements in a partner that a man looks for and what are the traits that you present at the beginning of a relationship that maybe you don’t really maintain after a couple of years.
If you were in an Uber Thursday, Aug. 7, night and you drove past the Vista Theater on Sunset Boulevard and Hillhurst Avenue, you would have told your driver to stop the car immediately so you could check out why there was such a long line to get in. Fast forward now you're inside the theater and director Charlie is giving you a synopsis of how it all came together. From the collaborations with the script, to going back to his old neighborhood of Ojai to shoot, to how insane it was to have his first film screened in a theater he used to watch movies at all the time.
At this point you're at the edge of your seat, you can't wait for the movie to start. To help with the anxiety, you grab some popcorn and a beer. Just as you take your seat, the lights cut off and the movie starts. After the screening we headed to the after party at Umami Burger.
Now you're at Umami Burger and the scene inside is incredible. You've been to Umami Burger before, but you've never seen it look this cool. Waiters walking back and forth carrying trays packed with Hatch burgers, fries, ketchup and who could forget the beer. "House of Lies" breakout TV star, Ben Shultz was attendance along with many industry influencers. So from the long line of the Vista Theater, to the thunderous applauds immediately following the film, to the awesome after party at Umami Burger, I think we could all agree it was a fabulous LA premiere.
Over in New York, Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass and Charlie McDowell attended a special screening of the film on Aug. 5., 2014 at The Crosby Hotel. They were joined by Lenay Dunn, Jeremy Kost, Jake Lacey, Max Lugavere, Michael Mailer, Alex Marshall, Rory O’Malley, Maxwell Osborne, Imogen Poots, Ry Russo-Young, Mary Steenburgen, and Tara Subkoff. A fun party continued at Ken & Cook.
Sade Graham + Hakeem Animashaun contributed reporting.