Lea Haben of SmartFem is granted an exclusive interview with the directors of the upcoming movie Ruby Sparks.
In 2006, Little Miss Sunshine became a runaway hit bringing critical and commercial success to small independent film making. The dynamic duo directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris led the project which earned four Academy Award nominations and two wins. Now the directors return to direct their follow up movie, Ruby Sparks. The film stars Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) as Calvin Weir-Fields, a once successful writer struggling with writer’s block. Calvin overcomes his block with the help of his muse Ruby Sparks (played by the film’s writer Zoe Kazan) who visits his dreams. His writing flourishes up until the point when his muse comes to life.
At the film’s Scottsdale press day (and in an exclusive interview with Smartfem), I sat down with the incredible duo to discuss this romantic comedy and to see what they have been up to for the last few years.
All photography is courtesy of the very talented Rachelle Apostol of Apostol Photography LLC. For full sized and more exclusive pictures of Ruby Sparks directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris visit SmartFem.AZ on Facebook.
SmartFem: What was it about the script that made you decide to do this film?
Faris: “It dealt with the real dynamics between men and women and their relationships.”
Dayton: “Movie projects are a commitment and they take about two years off our lives, so we need something that we can work on repeatedly but still find something new and fresh.”
Faris: “If a story is well constructed there is so much you can do with it. You work hard on something and it’s fun to see the way it comes together especially when you cast the right people for the characters, that’s when the story is really fun and takes on a life of its own.”
SmartFem: Your leading characters don’t embody the usual Ken and Barbie Hollywood leads.
Dayton: “We like our characters to be real people and sometimes eccentric. They feel more real.”
Faris: “I really like that our characters are flawed and imperfect… as I feel people can relate to them and I find it endearing. Some of our favorite friends are eccentric and not your cookie cutter type and really off the grid.”
SmartFem: Any new projects coming up?
Dayton: “We’re [going to] do a pilot for HBO. We’re hoping to do… it’s still in the works. It’s called THE LANDLORD and it’s written by comic book artist Dan Klaus from Oakland. He’s written a lot of movies.”
Faris: “He wrote GHOST WORLD… and he had a comic book series called 8 Ball. He’s an incredible comic book writer.”
Dayton: “The Oakland museum has a retrospective of his work. He’s very talented and has written a really funny plot.”
Faris: “We enjoy movie projects but HBO is a good place for us right now. We will always entertain doing a movie at the same time. We aren’t in talks about any at the moment.”
SmartFem: What’s it like working with HBO?
Faris: “Incredible as they are very supportive. They make their choices based on whether they think a show is good or not and not so much about ratings.”
I would like to thank Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for taking the time to speak with SmartFem on Wednesday. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to view a special screening of Ruby Sparks in Scottsdale and meet some of the cast. Look for SmartFem’s exclusive movie review and photos.
I remember growing up and watching shows like Batman, Superman and so many other of the male super hero shows that dominated Saturday morning. It was a pleasant surprise for me when I happened to stumble upon Deidre Hall and Judy Strangis starring as Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. Up until then women were mostly portrayed as mothers and daughters but rarely had roles as strong independent women. They were simply extensions of the starring males.
I didn’t see Deidre again until I was in high school and saw her portraying Dr. Marlena Evans in Days of our Lives on NBC. Once again she played the intelligent strong woman which, I have to say, was still pretty rare in the late 1970s.
I recently had the pleasure of reading her new beauty book with co-author Lynne Parmiter Bowman called How Does She Do It? I, like many other women, have devoured every how to beauty book on the planet consisting mostly of regurgitated tips we already know. This book, however, is different on so many levels, it’s not only funny, engaging, and practical, but also is a great story between two life-long girlfriends. I was so impressed with the book that I set out to get an interview with Deidre Hall.
I met Deidre and her BFF/co-author, Lynne, at the Arizona’s Ultimate Women’s Expo this past weekend and was able to interview Deidre for SmartFem magazine.
As a member of the press I meet celebrities all the time but it’s rare that after spending time with them I become more impressed. It wouldn’t be right to start off this article without discussing my first encounter with Lynne, her co-author and friend. It was clear to me right off the bat that these women are not only co-authors and partners, but that they are best friends. Lynne looks out for Deidre and I would be remiss if I did not mention her or their incredible friendship which instantly reminded me of my own lifetime best girlfriend.
What impressed me most about Deidre Hall is that the strong, caring, and intelligent woman she always portrays is simply who she is. I couldn’t help but notice that close up she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, and after a few minutes talking, I realized her real beauty comes from within. She is a mom, a career woman, and a person who deeply cares about world affairs and our planet (Her book is made from recycled paper and soy ink). She is forward thinking, conscious of our environment, and helpful to those in need such as autistic children whom she is devoted to helping in the real world as much as she was as Dr. Marlena Evans, on Days Of Our Lives.
She is passionate about women and their rights and is enraged that men are still making decisions about a woman’s right to make choices regarding her own body. I was impressed with her candid nature in regards to politics and current events as well as her wit and sense of humor. I laughed when she told me the name originally discussed for the book title was “Does this Mascara Make My Butt Look Big?’ My impression of Deidre Hall is that despite her celebrity status she is real and has the same worries and concerns that the rest of us do.
I whole heartedly recommend her new beauty book, How Does She Do It? In fact, you should buy two copies as it’s a fun, easy, and informative read that every woman and her best friend should have.
For more exclusive photos from the Arizona’s Ultimate Women’s Expo this past weekend look at our Facebook Page.