Vanity Fair caught up with The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt after the film’s premiere in Los Angeles, and spoke with the magazine about casting for his new film and why Mary was his muse in Smashed:
VF Daily: How much of a say did you have in casting the film?
James Ponsoldt: Huge say. All the people were the people that I wanted. I wouldn’t make a movie with actors I didn’t love. It was collaboration—we work with casting directors, we work with the producers. But no, these were all people that I adore and have wanted to work with. Shailene since The Descendants, Miles I had seen in Rabbit Hole and Footloose. Brie [Larson] since Rampart and 21 Jump Street. Dayo [Okeniyi] was a discovery. He’s amazing.
And Mary Elizabeth Winstead?
Yes! The star of my last movie.
Is she your muse?
[Laughs] She certainly was for Smashed. She and her husband are an aesthetic ideal of romance personified, and in that regard romance is alive. They’re a muse to my antiquated notions of romance.
You can read the full interview by checking out the link above.