The Creating of Ruby
"Maybe we knew each other in another life.
Or maybe we just go to the same coffee shop."
-- Ruby Sparks
Zoe Kazan might have created all the tricky layers of Ruby Sparks on the page
but doing the same
thing as an actress was a completely different challenge. "As Ruby, Zoe had to
become the heart of the
movie," notes Ron Yerxa, "Zoe plays her as a free-spirited, autonomous young
woman. Ruby had a punk
past and she's now an artist. She's sexy and attractive, but she very much has
her own mind."
Adds Albert Berger: "One of the great aspects of Zoe's writing and
performance as Ruby is that she
comes off as a real person who gets frustrated, gets bored and feels uninspired
by her situation and I think in
those imperfections we all see ourselves."
For Kazan, it was exciting to explore a character who naturally mirrors some
of her own creative
outlook but who is in other ways decidedly unlike herself. "I gave Ruby some
qualities that I probably
possess, but she's also very different," Kazan explains. "I like to be taken
care of and Ruby's much more
independent. She likes to speak her mind. She's very brave that way. It was
always important to me that she
not seem at all like a dream girl, but very real, so the challenge was in
figuring out how to do that."
"To have a couple directing a couple made a strong connection for us," says
Dano. "Val and Jon
were role models for us because they seem to get along so well all the time.
They have discussions that are
civil but very passionate about creative choices - and we looked up to that in
terms of how we wanted to
Kazan and Dano had met while doing a play together and previously acted
together in Kelly
Reichardt's western MEEK'S CUTOFF. Recognizing their real-life chemistry as a
vital resource, Dayton &
Faris tapped into Dano and Kazan's romantic past. Explains Faris: "We used the
history of how they met,
and the first time they kissed, and it really brings a believability that would
be hard to get with two actors
who didn't know each other in that way. They were able to share all their
authentic experience from when
they first started to recognize that they were heading towards a romance."
Ultimately, a certain alchemy took over. "By the time we saw the film for the
first time, one of the
first things we said afterwards was that we didn't feel like we were looking at
ourselves up there. It wasn't
Paul and Zoe but two other people in their own relationship," concludes Kazan.
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