"Lola Versus"
Fox Searchlight "Lola Versus"
Now both Daryl and Zoe -- their own journey kind of mimics your own, having begun by making a micro-budget feature and moving on to working with a company like Fox Searchlight. Did you feel an affinity with them and where they've come from? Is that what attracted you to their story?

Yeah. I definitely know the path that they've travelled. Their film was at SXSW, and I got my start at SXSW. I feel that they really seized upon a moment of making something of their own for very little money. I really admire that kind of chutzpah, going for it, and really doing it yourself. It wasn't specifically what attracted me, but it is an affinity I feel for them.

Rumor has it you began work on your script during your time spent making "Lola." Did they inspire you…

I can't talk about that.


No, yeah. I don't talk about that [laughs].

Why so mum on it?

[Laughs nervously]. I just can't talk about it. I'm being very good about this. I'm just not doing it.

OK...moving on. You've worked with some amazing directors over the course of your relatively short career.

I know.

"Damsels in Distress"
Sony Classics "Damsels in Distress"
Which one left the most indelible impressions on you as a writer, and as someone that wants to venture out and apply yourself in more areas?

I think one of the things that's kind of amazing about being an actor is that you get to be on so many different film sets. Directors even when they've made lots of films, have still generally been on less film sets that you have. So in some sense you know a lot more about how films sets are run, and different ways to approach filmmaking. I think more than anything I've taken little pieces from each person I've worked with. It's a personality thing. I think a lot of my favorite directors are very quiet. Woody Allen's very quiet. He's not a loud person. Neither is Whit. He's very self possessed. There's a measured, quiet, deliberate essence to who they are. That's very useful in filming, because filmmaking is so chaotic. There's so many things that can go wrong. And it takes so long that you need to have an enormous amount of patience, and ability to see things through even when things seem like they're going to become a mess.

I think as far as writing, I love reading and I love writing. Words mean a great deal. With Whit, certainly words mean so much to him. That's what I look for. I love it when you read a script and it feels perfect; it feels like a poem or something. Unlike a novel, they're sparse. There aren't that many words that end up in a script, so they have to be exactly right. I think taking that kind of care is something I really admire.

"To Rome With Love"
Sony Classics "To Rome With Love"
How did the whole Woody affair come about?

I auditioned for it. I met with his casting director and she had a feeling that maybe he'd respond to me in some way. I don't think he totally knew who I was. This is what I've been told, so I'm not so sure on all of this, but apparently they showed him some clips and stuff, and I guess he liked my appearance on Letterman. I don't know what it was.

Well if you can handle yourself on Letterman…

Yeah, I guess that's what he figured. But then I know that Whit Stillman showed him footage of me, which seemed like good auspices because he had showed footage of Mira Sorvino to Woody, from "Barcelona" to go into "Mighty Aphrodite."

I auditioned for him, then I came back. I read the script with him, then he directed me. I think a lot of people have these experiences with him where he walks in and looks at you, it's two seconds, and then he says you're hired or not. But I had a full on audition situation. I'm just happy I wasn't fired [laughs]. I'm just really happy I didn't get cut from the film. I had a really fun time making it. I would love to do one because it went by so fast.