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Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones on Moving From Microbudgets to 'Lola Versus'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire June 11, 2012 at 12:47PM

The last time Indiewire caught up with Daryl Wein, he was about to unspool a very tumultuous period in his relationship with actress Zoe Lister-Jones via his mico-budget romantic dramedy "Breaking Upwards," which they both wrote. Unlike the couple in "Breaking Upwards," Wein and Lister-Jones are still very much an item (they just bought an apartment together in Brooklyn) and have continued to collaborate together, leading to their second film together, the romantic comedy "Lola Versus" starring Greta Gerwig.

Is there a specific reason you don't pop up for a cameo appearance in "Lola," Daryl?

Wein: I auditioned for Lola. Fox just said no [laughs]. No, I just wanted to focus more on directing. It's my true passion. I get so insecure in front of the camera. I'm just too aware of everything that's going on. It makes it hard to be in the moment.

Was it weird not sharing any screen time with him Zoe, and having him just tell you how to do better?

Lister-Jones: We were sort of acting out our relationship which was a really meta, strange experience. But I was also aware that when we were acting, he was probably directing me in his head. So I think it's more comforting as an actor to just know that the actors around me are solely acting.

"Lola Versus"
Fox Searchlight "Lola Versus"
Is he nicer to you than to the other actors?

Lister-Jones: I don't think so [laughs]. I think he's probably harder on me, because he knows my tricks. He don't take no bullshit. I think because we know each other so well we have a shorthand for him to tell me how to shift something.

Now Zoe, your character Alice has the best lines in the film. Coincidence?

Lister-Jones: I know! I feel bad that people think this is just so nepotistic. A lot of people say that. The character is awesome. We didn't write it for me. Initially we thought this was going to be a micro-budget, "Breaking Upwards"-esque endeavor. We thought that in writing this movie we would make it as a passion project and that we'd write our idea of another studio movie and that would be our 'in' in Hollywood. Our agents were like, no it's the relationship movie that is the studio movie. So when it was in the micro-budget idea in our minds, I was going to play Lola and a friend of mine was going to play Alice. She's a really brilliant comedienne and zany person, so a lot of those lines were written for her. Once Fox Searchlight came on board, obviously Greta was an amazing fit and I was really excited to play Alice. She has some pretty great lines [laughs].

Was it weird playing the supporting role in something that you had conceived for yourself as a lead vehicle?

Lister-Jones: Not really. I never felt that attached. The process of making this film was actually really fast. But even just getting it on its feet. We wrote it when "Breaking Upwards" was coming out. We wrote it in two months, then Fox signed on really quickly after. So I didn't have a lot of time enviosrning myself in the role. I think we were both just so thrilled that we were getting this opportunity that everything was just so exciting, rather than a bummer.

"Lola Versus"
Fox Searchlight "Lola Versus"
What do you two have planned next?

Wein: Well we're developing another script with Searchlight which is tentatively titled "Motherfucker." It's about a guy who falls in love with his girlfriend's mother. It's a May-December romance.

You hinted at a thriller in the works last time we spoke. Will that ever see the light of day?

Wein: That's like my dream passion project that no one wants to make. I think as filmmakers, writers, we're always just looking for whatever seems relevant now to us and what seems interesting. "Breaking Upwards" and now this, a lot of people are pushing for us to make movie like that but in a bigger way. But i think we'd love to also spread our wings a little and dabble in other genres as well.

Are you planning to return to acting anytime soon, Daryl?

Wein: Maybe in the sequel to "Lola."

Lister-Jones: It's going to be called "Lola Vs. Daryl."

This article is related to: Interviews, Lola Versus, Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister Jones

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