Much like the characters they portray, the cast of Damsels in Distress is articulate, witty and fun – able to laugh at themselves and each other. Whether sharing on-set secrets or dishing about their real lives, there is never a dull moment when engaging this exciting talent. Working Authorspoke with Hugo Becker, Analeigh Tipton and Adam Brody to discuss working on the movie and with each other.
Sitting tall and razor sharp, Analeigh Tipton describes the film as she would to friends. With certainty she states, “It’s witty. It’s smart; it’s layered. What’s fun about it is you get to watch it and then go back and find a bunch of hidden jokes you didn’t see initially.” Adam Brody agrees. He describes Damsels in Distress as an, “intellectual romantic comedy, set at a college; dry, humorous and theatrical in its staging.”
The chin-holding, watch-tapping, blazer wearing Hugo Becker is excited about most anything, especially romance. When discussing the love triangle in the film involving him and costars Tipton and Brody, he shares how a woman might attract two men. Becker believes it starts with, “the way that she looks at people. I think you feel attracted to somebody when this person pays attention to you. He (his character Xavier) feels that she looks up on him. But, it’s the way she looks at people.”
Animated, thoughtful and charming in his casually polished way, Adam Brody has ideas on what attracts two men to the same woman. “Being beautiful helps,” he admits, but then focuses on other aspects like a come-hither stare.
With sincerity Tipton explains, “Initially, in conversations with (Director Whit Stillman), I brought a different idea to the character. He meant Lily to be a plastic representation of something that is too shallow or too ignorant to think for herself. I came in thinking she was just a sweet, small town girl. It ended up where we combined the two.” She places both hands on the table for emphasis. “We took out the shallowness, in a way, and replaced it with a skepticism. So she questioned whether anyone else was better than anyone. It made her nicer because she was not intending to judge anyone.”
Regarding stunts he’s done in the name of love Becker confesses, “I’ve done a lot of things. It felt cool at the time. Even now it sounds cool. Fireworks from the rooftop…. They weren’t the most phenomenal fireworks on Earth. But, it was fun. I could tell you my whole life story. I don’t think it’s very interesting.”
On playing a college student Brody scratches his head and candidly admits, “I didn’t go to college. I only know it from television and film. I always viewed college and this movie as a microcosm of society as a whole and draw a parallel to group social life. Even in other movies, (Last Days of) Disco, there’re always cliques and different groupthink.”
When addressing the film and its portrayal of college life Becker adds, “It’s very exaggerated…and accurate. In colleges, people have very specific activities. They’re a part of a club. They want to make themselves look special. They want to be in this group and a part of this way of thinking and way of life. It’s very true, even if it’s very exaggerated. That’s why it’s funny”.