Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interview: Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen Talk Liberal Arts

Interview: osh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen Talk Liberal Arts, Written by: Karen Benardello College is a fulfilling experience for many young adults, as it offers students one last chance to debate new intellectual ideas before they enter the real world and become mature adults. It also allows them to explore romantic relationships with people happy to debate these ideas, and defend those they agree with and question those they oppose. Once these students graduate from college, they often struggle with their strong feelings of nostalgia for their education and youth, even though they couldn’t wait to grow up when they were younger. This is certainly the case with the main characters in the upcoming comedy drama ‘Liberal Arts,’ which was written and directed by actor Josh Radnor. ‘Liberal Arts,’ which will be released theatrically and on VOD on Friday, follows newly single Jesse Fisher (played by Radnor), a university admission counselor in his mid-thirties living in New York City. He returns to his Ohio alma mater for a retirement dinner for his favorite English professor, Peter Hoburg (portrayed by Richard Jenkins). While back on campus, Jesse has a chance meeting with 19-year-old Zibby (played by Elizabeth Olsen), a precocious undergrad who loves classical music, improv and the ‘Twilight’ books. Meeting Zibby awakens long-dormant feelings of possibility and connection in Jesse, as the duo strikes up a long-distance romance. Although Zibby is mature behind her years, the large age difference between the two heavily weighs on Jesse’s conscience. As he debates starting a relationship with Libby, Jesse becomes torn between moving forward in life and holding on to the memories of his own unforgettable undergraduate career. His life is also put into prospective after he meets upbeat party animal Nat (portrayed by Zac Efron); depressed student Dean (played by John Magaro) and his former, feisty Romantics professor, Judith Fairfield (portrayed by Allison Janney). Radnor and Olsen generously took the time to sit down and discuss what it was like filming ‘Liberal Arts’ together during a recent roundtable interview at New York City’s Crosby Hotel. Among other things, the two actors discussed the chemistry they quickly developed together on set, how closely they stuck to Radnor’s script while filming and which books have influenced their lives. Question (Q): The two of you had some really great moments together, and the chemistry seemed really natural. Was that something that did come naturally between you two, or did you have to work at it? Elizabeth Olsen (EO): I don’t think we worked much at it. You know what, the first time I auditioned, and we read through every single scene in the script together, it was naturally fun. We worked well together. Josh Radnor (JR): Yeah. That’s what you’re looking for when you’re trying to cast a movie. EO: That was our first time meeting each other. JR: Yeah. Chemistry’s not something you want to point out if it’s there. You just want it to be there. If a script’s well written, truthfully written, and the right person shows up on both sides to play the scene, there will be chemistry there. Even if the characters are fighting, there’s going to be the right chemistry, because everyone’s appropriately inhabiting the part. I think that’s what was going on with us. Lizzy’s so perfect for the role that people think I must have written it for her. They even share a name, Elizabeth. EO: No one calls me that! (laughs) To continue reading this interview, please visit Shockya.

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