‘Our Good friend’ forged builds tight bonds — simply do not ask concerning the Tremendous Bowl

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On the floor, “Our Good friend” looks as if acquainted awards-movie territory: Lovely younger mom dying of most cancers, steadfast man by her facet. However there’s extra occurring right here than that. The movie, which stars Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck because the couple, contains the curveball of Jason Segel — a buddy who places his personal life on maintain to stick with them, serving to together with her care, and with their two younger ladies. Not solely that, however the movie, from director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, relies on a real-life story.

All three actors joined Zoom in early February to talk with The Envelope to handle early vital reception, how they bonded on set, and misunderstanding the Tremendous Bowl. However in case you haven’t seen the movie, be aware that there are spoilers forward.

Within the movie, you three are a really tightknit group who has to take care of quite a lot of critical emotional wrestling. What was your working dynamic like?

Dakota Johnson: Each of those guys had been capable of deliver levity and depth when wanted. All of us fortunately heard the identical music and had been ready to hang around. Generally on motion pictures, between takes, everybody form of disappears. All of us stayed collectively. As an alternative of going again to our trailers and ready, we’d hang around and play and hold the relationships going.

One facet of the movie that feels so recent is the male friendship. We see quite a lot of buddy comedies, however I don’t know that motion pictures spend quite a lot of time with guys who’re precise associates.

Casey Affleck: I wish to disagree with you. We get quite a lot of these motion pictures. What I don’t see is women and men in friendships which are difficult, until they’re going to contain intercourse. I really like the connection between Jason and Dakota. That’s one thing you don’t see a ton of.

Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck in the movie "Our Friend."

Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck within the film “Our Good friend.”

(Claire Folger/Gravitas Ventures/Common Footage House Leisure)

Jason Segel: This film did get a kind of intimacy in male friendships, the place there’s a necessity for each other — versus “we’re completely different, however we have now to be taught to get alongside.” This film supplied, like, a softness, an absence of bravado, among the many male dynamic. You don’t see males say “I need assistance” loads — and the entire premise of this film is a man lastly saying, “I need assistance.”

You all learn Matthew Teague’s essay, “My Good friend,” which the film relies on. Some dialogue within the movie is taken immediately from that essay, however there are key areas within the essay that aren’t addressed within the movie. What did you consider the variations?

Affleck: I’ve heard that matter come up. I don’t assume that the essay has some proximity to the reality that the movie doesn’t. Gabby [Cowperthwaite] by no means meant to say, “That is the story of X; that’s precisely the way it occurred.” The primary time I talked to her, she stated, “I wish to make a narrative that isn’t punishing to observe.” It doesn’t beat you over the top with the unhappiness of the occasion. And I feel she did that actually properly. The essay was kind of warts and all, courageous have a look at most cancers and die. However that isn’t the film Gabby wished to make.

But there’s a raft of movies on the market through which somebody younger undergoes a gradual, tragic loss of life. How would you say “Our Good friend” is completely different from Ali MacGraw in “Love Story” or Julia Roberts in “Dying Younger” — simply to call two?

Johnson: The levity, the comedy in it — having the ability to snort in moments of extreme ache. Additionally, perhaps the time — (pauses, laughs). You’re such a chunk of s—, Jason.

Jason Segal and Dakota Johnson in the movie "Our Friend."

Jason Segal and Dakota Johnson within the film “Our Good friend.”

(Claire Fogler/Gravitas Ventures/Common Footage House Leisure
)

Wait, what did he do?

Johnson: He simply texted me, saying, “It’s as a result of Dakota isn’t that younger anymore.” It’s true, I’m growing old. It appears to be occurring quicker throughout COVID. However [the film] actually does contact on the comedy of life, the hilarity and tragedy. Gabriela’s background as a documentarian is basically vital, as a result of there are moments which are so actual and never contrived, which are so human. It’s a devastating time proper now, and the one factor you are able to do is simply love one another and make the selection to do this.
Segel: Gabby wished to give attention to a distinct ingredient — this difficult friendship dynamic that received them by it. I feel that in all probability knowledgeable her entire option to give attention to these friendships through the years, as an alternative of simply watching Dakota scene by scene worsen and worse.

Have you ever heard from Matt or Dane, Matt’s buddy who came visiting to help?

Segel: I haven’t heard something from Dane in any respect. He’s a really personal individual. I used to be in Toronto with him and Dakota, and he appeared joyful. He’s one of many writers of the film — very concerned in it.

Affleck: Matt stated he was actually happy with it. I don’t know the way he’s felt studying the critiques, as a result of I guess that was an emotional expertise, having individuals discuss concerning the occasions in your life in the way in which individuals are used to speaking about motion pictures, which is kind of callously. It may be fairly disagreeable and blunt and snarky.

So to wrap issues up, we’re on the cusp of the Tremendous Bowl. Who’re you all rooting for?

Affleck: Tampa.

Johnson: Inexperienced Bay.

Affleck: Did you say Inexperienced Bay?

Johnson: Yeah, 49ers.

Segel: That’s not the way it works.

Affleck: Nothing you stated was proper.

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