INTERVIEW: SAFTEY NOT GUARANTEED: MARK DUPLASS AND AUBREY PLAZA
We had the chance to sit down with Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass stars of the movie Safety Not Guaranteed during SXSW 2012. Here's what they had to say.
So if you had to sum up the movie in the three sentences, what would it be?
AP: Girl is sad.
MD: Boy is crazy.
AP: Girl and boy time travel.
So you were borderline crazy the whole time trying to decide if we could believe you were crazy or if this was real. How did you strike that balance?
MD: Well the script is very, very good. So it wasn’t like I was thinking about it all the time or having to tow that line. The dynamics are all in there. The key for me was to really play the bourgeoning relationship with Aubrey’s character. There’s two stories at work here. Yes, there’s a funny, interesting time-travel movie but it’s also…there’s an emotional core about these damaged people who feel they need to time travel in the first place…it’s an interesting profile, when you feel you need to escape. So I leaned a little bit heavier on I just tried to play it straight and not go for too many jokes and the level of crazy…that almost takes care of itself because of how the script plays out.
Both of you have a background in improv, was the movie primarily script based or did you have a lot of room to improvise you scenes?
MD: It was very script based.
AP: It was very script based, but we definitely played around with some stuff.
MD: There’s a scene where we’re on the beach, just after our first training together. We knew what that scene was about, and so we got to play with the dialogue and find new moments. Particularly in the later scenes, when you know your characters well, you can throw out little surprises but the DNA of the story and of the script was the same.
Aubrey, your role was written specifically for you, did you know the writers?
AP: No. I mean, no. I didn’t know them
MD: Just like writers do…I do it at times. You just hope that she will like it.
So they just approached you with the script and said “please, please, please”?
AP: Yes. We have similar representation also, so I heard about them, but I didn’t know them personally. They just gave me the script and I read it and loved it. So it worked out.
So what about the movie? What made you [Mark] produce it?
MD: I just loved the script. Very simple. The idea of a time travel film that is kidn of a sensitive, odd-relationship oriented time travel film, it was very exciting. I had never seen that before. I loved Aubrey and Jake’s work. It seemed like we could be helpful to the movie in that they’d been waiting around a while to get the amount of money to make the film and Jay and I have made a career out of NOT waiting and just taking the available materials and just getting it made. It just seemed like the right fit.
In terms of shooting the movies, what was your favorite part?
MD: I liked having weird breakfasts together with you in the morning. You getting your panic attacks.
AP: Those were nice.
MD: Those were really fun.
AP: Those were fun.
MD: Aubrey and I worked out a couple of times, in the gym, though there may have been fleas in there.
AP: I got bed bugs.
MD: That was super cool.
AP: It was pretty fun being on the actual time machine. Those days were really awesome. There was an actual time machine and we got to go on it.
MD: The day we actually traveled to 1963 was also amazing.
AP: Yeah, I watched my parents being born.
You train for your voyage in the movie learning martial arts and shooting guns, how was that?
AP: I was really freaked out using the guns. We shot it really fast and I had never done that before…just shooting guns in the forest. It was scary, but it was fun.
MD: It didn’t help that I was running all around you while you were shooting. You kept yelling, “I’m going to shoot you, STOP MOVING.”
AP: He was really going for it.
MD: I grew up in Oregon, so…guns…psh.
[To Mark] You lived in Austin for a while, what’s your favorite breakfast joint? I love a good breakfast joint.
MD: Yeah I lived here for 6 or 7 years. My favorite restaurant of all time here is Polvo’s. I lived there.
AP: What kind of food is that?
MD: It’s Mexican. It’s just the best.
AP: What? Why didn’t I go there?
MD: I don’t’ know, don’t get mad at me.
AP: No one told me about that one.
MD: Yeah, Polvo’s is the shit.
****Safety Not Guaranteed opens June 8th in Portland, NY, LA, and Seattle****