Hey, Freshmen! ‘For a Good Time, Call…”
When you freshmen realize the Stanford Calling Center is really just pimping you out, maybe you, too, will have the sense or the entrepreneurial spirit to start your own phone sex line out of Larkin or wherever else it is you live. Write a script about it with your roommate and you’ll be the next Katie Anne Naylon. Naylon, who ran the sex line 1-800-FSUTITS out of her Florida State dorm room, called her script “For A Good Time, Call…” and it finds an unlikely roommate pairing, Katie and Lauren, operating a phone sex line from their New York citadel when hilarity ensues.
In the semi-autobiographical comedy—perhaps the best comedy of the summer and at least the greatest comedy about working girls since “9 to 5”—Katie’s part is played by Ari Graynor, whose inebriated performance in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” caught the eye of co-writer, co-star and real life FSU roomie Lauren Anne Miller. Intermission was lucky enough to speak with the two riotous comediennes about this hearty pro-chicks but not chick-flick flick.
Here, Intermission interprets Graynor and Miller’ reflections on the film as lessons for freshmen.
It’s freshman year: plan all you want but save perfection for the senior one
Lauren Anne Miller (LAM): What’s great about comedies is finding something in them, finding what’s funny, and we do that through improv. So a lot of these comedies have these takes where it’s long and going on and on and on and they can find all these funny jokes, but we did not have that luxury [shooting in only 16 days] and had to spend a lot of time ahead of time working on things…. We didn’t get more than three takes most of the time. We had to be tight with it…as soon as something felt good we moved on.
Ari Graynor (AG): We wouldn’t have it any other way, but we just wouldn’t do it that way again [laughs].
Good things come from different roommates
LAM: The most autobiographical portion of the story is the dynamic between Katie and Lauren. Katie and I were very different people and we met in college. We were a random roommate match, and she would make fun of me because I would ask where the recycling was, and Katie is Katie and lots of jokes and lots of talking and whatever. So we weren’t the obvious best friends right from the very beginning. The movie is in no way this phone sex documentary or the real true story of Katie running her own line. It’s the backdrop to a story about friendship and two girls figuring out who they are as individuals together.
AG: All of the phone sex calls and the men’s coverage—that was improvised. Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen and a lot of Justin Long’s stuff was almost completely improvised. We sort of found this balance between this dynamic that Lauren and I had worked on before we got to set, trying to keep that in line and certainly let there be room for discovery. But in terms of the script, it was more about letting the other people go off the rail more.
Lose yourself, but find yourself too.
AG: I think every character that I play has been an extension of myself. I recently read a quote, I forget from who, saying that rather than lose yourself in a character, try to find yourself in a character. There’s a lot of Katie’s spirit that I love and appreciate and think that I have…presenting myself with a certain amount of confidence but really having that mask a lot of insecurity…and at the same time my general life vibe is really different from Katie…The script that the real Lauren and Katie had written was so smart and so clearly drawn that it was easy to fall into the world that they had written.
And explore your sexuality (and the SHPRC)
AG: I think there were some by-products that while we were working on [“For a Good Time, Call…”] were certainly not the focus, but we want to put in there that it’s important to own your sexuality and to embrace that part of yourself as a means to better get to know yourself. By opening yourself up to someone else, you also get to know yourself better.
Sasha lived in Larkin as a freshman and can be reached at 1-800-LSJUTIT.
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