In a new interview with the East Valley Tribune, director James Ponsoldt was asked how he came to the decision of casting Mary in his film Smashed.
Can you tell me a little bit about the casting of both Mary and Aaron?
I’ve loved Mary as an actress for years – specifically “Scott Pilgrim”, though, which I really loved, I saw it a few times in the theater. What I really dug about her was that she’s been in all these genre movies – action movies, horror films – and she’s really diverse. Here’s this character who at times can feel like a sad clown, but the movie doesn’t pity her and (she does) not feel broken or fragile or beyond repair because, you know, we wanted her to be somebody that the audience could relate to and see themselves or their sister or their best friend. So I really loved Mary’s strength and sense of humor and just her sense of fearlessness in incredibly awkward scenes, and playing very sincerely in times that could be severely uncomfortable.
And Aaron, I, like many people, just love from “Breaking Bad” and he’s just a super, super nice, thoughtful guy who has this incredible voice and intensity about him but he’s really a gentle person.
When I got Mary and Aaron together, I sort of set them up to get lunch together. Initially I talked to them afterwards and they were both just really, really excited. It was important to me that they both believed they could be married, that they could continuously be interested in this other person for the duration of a shoot but perhaps for longer. It’s worth saying that Mary is married and Aaron is engaged but it was just super important to me. I saw them as total collaborators, so I just wanted them to be as excited as I was. Once they spent that time together, I just found them endlessly watchable and wanted to create scenes where I could just push them into intimate and uncomfortable places, and, you know, they’re game for anything.
Also, in its third week of limited release, Smashed made $44,436 this weekend, bring the domestic total to $149,949.