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Snippet of Aubrey Plaza and Lawrence Michael Levine

Last Played: May 13, 2021
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Listen to this snippet of producer Aubrey Plaza and writer and Lawrence Michael Levine discuss the film "Black Bear". Discover where the inspiration for this film came from and why Aubrey wanted to not only act in it but have a creative voice in becoming a producer.
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Lawrence. There's a director statement for the movie where you say that it sort of started from your subconscious, that you said the movie sort of wrote itself, and I'm kind of wondering what you what you meant by that? It sounds pretentious, but unfortunately it's true. And I'm not going to stand up here and lie to you. Mark. The initial kind of gist of part one of Black Bear at least came from a dream that I had. So the dream, if I had called didn't unfold the way that the movie does, but the general vibe of it, and even just like the colors and the just the whole tenor of it came from a dream. Yeah, and then how do you sort of shape that into the screenplay of what becomes the movie? I know it was really intuitive process, like I worked for the five years prior Toe Black Bear. I had worked on a lot of more commercial conventional stuff, and I got pretty good at just normal three act structure, just kind of conventional screenwriting. But this movie I just I let myself go. I didn't really have a plan at any given point it was. I surprised myself every day I would go to the office not knowing what was coming next. And I just kept coming up with stuff. And, uh, so in that sense, it was the easiest script that I've ever really written. I know outlining events, just the kind of vibe of the dream and the characters. And now, Aubrey, when you first get the screenplay, what's your response like? Well, I guess in some ways the morning what were your initial questions to this sort of unusual piece of work? Well, I think my first reaction was just that it felt so unique and that I had never read anything like it before. And of course, I had a lot of questions about just logic and what came first one or two or is there an answer to that? Are these up for interpretation and things like that? I think my first question was like, How the hell do you think that I'm gonna be able to do this? Like I think when Larry gave it to me, I was very flattered that he believed in me so much that he felt like I could handle the material. And so I think that was the biggest question for me is like, I don't know if I can pull this off, but I understand it on multiple levels. So it all felt very familiar to me, and I was very connected to the character and material right from the start. And Lawrence, how did you sort of answered that for Aubrey? Like, what was it that you saw in her that made you want her for this part? Yeah. I mean, when I got when I started to get to know Aubrey, I realized that she spoke like one of my characters. So my writing style, my approach is that I really have characters were difficult to pin down, and they're always What they're saying is not the whole story that a lot of what they convey is via body language and and subtext, and that oftentimes, languages used as a weapon to keep people off balance to kind of established boundaries and stuff. So as I got to know her, I thought, Wow, this is really cool. She talks like one of my characters should just be like a perfect person for one of my movies and then Aubrie, As you said, you kind of felt connected to this right away, obviously enough so that you wanted to also be involved in the project as a producer at this point in your career for you, how important is that to you that you be allowed to sort of, in an official, unassailable way, have a voice in the creative process that you're a part of making a movie by being a producer? It really depends on the project. I don't necessarily feel like from this moment forward, I shall produce every film I'm in. Um, it's really about the peace. And I think for me, this movie is, ah, movie that you really you really have to believe in to even attempt to make it because I had a lot of people read it and I won't name names, but people that didn't necessarily believe that the movie was marketable or sellable or, you know, I don't know. This is an interesting script, you know, But if anyone's gonna bet, you know, put money into this. So I think it was a new organic kind of decision. Thio for me to come on as a producer, just to kind of help get the movie made. And then also, just as an actress, this kind of scripts for me, it was very clear to me that I was gonna have to be in a very vulnerable position as an actress and go to a place that was uncomfortable. So it was important for me to have some kind of level of control and to feel like, you know, my opinion mattered when it comes to certain decisions, in terms of casting and in terms of hiring people and, you know, in terms of how we're gonna pull this off. So I think that it's unique, you know? It depends on the project. I don't think I always necessarily have to produce, Ah, movie that I'm in. But it just made sense for this one.
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