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Ry Russo-Young Discusses John Krasinski's First Sex Scene and Collaborating With Lena Dunham for 'Nobody Walks'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire October 16, 2012 at 10:41AM

Ry Russo-Young may have worked with her highest profile cast to date for her third directorial offering "Nobody Walks," but that doesn't mean she's softened up. Working off an incisive and surprising screenplay co-written by "Girls" sensation Lena Dunham, "Nobody Walks" explores rocky emotional terrain much like to her breakout sophomore feature "You Won't Miss Me," while making no apologies for the wayward heroine at its center.
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Nobody Walks

Did he say that to you? That he was excited to have sex on screen?

Yeah he told me he was nervous actually. He told me, "This is a big thing for me." In the first rehearsal we blocked the sex scene because we were just like, "Let's get it out of the way. Let's get the nerves off the table, so we can just work." But, yeah, I felt like all of the actors were really incredible because they all like stepped up to the plate.

How was working with a cast of this caliber?

"Rosemarie DeWitt would say things to me on set and I'd be like, 'Holy shit, you're making my brain hurt, lady.'"

In some ways it's really intimidating because they're so smart. Rosemarie DeWitt would say things to me on set and I'd be like, "Holy shit, you're making my brain hurt, lady." In a way, I feel like I just want to feel like the most unintelligent person on set and I want to be surrounded by people that blow me away, which was the case in this movie. At the same time, when I was shooting this movie, I don't have time to think about being intimidated. It's just like, "Get the job done because you have 10 hours to shoot this and you gotta shoot out the kid by, you know, in 2 hours, and you have to shoot this thing." And it becomes like this survivalist kind of just get it done and do it great. And that's what it becomes about. So, it was like a huge honor and I was really excited to work with all of them, and I feel continually lucky to text Rosemarie and be like, "I love you!" But yeah, it's just about making the best movie possible.

Those coming into this cold might be surprised to learn you co-wrote this with Lena Dunham.

Because it's not funny?

Nobody Walks

Well, it’s not a comedy. Not only that, but she has a self-deprecating wit that seeps into everything that she does, that’s not apparent in “Nobody Walks.” What led you two to collaborate?

What led us to collaborate is that we met before she made "Tiny Furniture" and we really got along as human beings together, and I think we had a lot of the same kind of – we were thinking about similar things, like what it is to be a young female artist in the world and sexual relationships. I think, we both have a very intense interest in sex, but come at it from different ways. She comes at it much more from a younger girl perspective (she’s younger than me, so it makes sense) and I have this woman thing that I'm fascinated by. So it felt really natural, and for her writing seems to come so easy. It's amazing to me how she can sort of crank it out like pasta. Like a machine, that just spews out for her in this incredible way. She's like a force. I'm like, "Oh my god. You're so brilliant." And I think, at least initially what was appealing to her was that we would write something together that I would then direct.

Do you see this as the beginning of a collaborative relationship?

I kind of feel like I'm going to collaborate with different people on different films. There’s like a new energy that comes from working with somebody else – you know, the film is what it is because of the kind of chemistry between the two voices. I'm interested to work with somebody else now on a new movie because I think that what we generate will be different. And I think if Lena and I tried to write another movie it would be "Nobody Walks" (laughs).

This article is related to: Ry Russo-Young, Lena Dunham, Nobody Walks, Interviews, Sundance Film Festival






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