'Consumed' Premieres in L.A., Raises Awareness About GMOs

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Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein

"I've been doing so much comedy in the last couple of years, it was really nice to flex a new muscle — to do something dramatic about a subject I'm pretty passionate about," Zoe Lister-Jones, who penned the script, said at the event.

Writing duo Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein hosted the Los Angeles premiere of their new film, Consumed, at Laemmle Theaters in Beverly Hills on Wednesday. 

The movie, a political thriller about the potentially harmful effects of using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, attracted politically conscious celebrities of all types. Castmember and Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar was in attendance at the event, as were Whitney Cummings, Helen Hunt, Grace Gummer, Busy Philipps, Brett Gelman and James Van Der Beek. 

Lister-Jones, who also stars in the movie, said she was excited to play a more dramatic character than her Life in Pieces character Jen Short. 

"It was so fun," she said. "I've been doing so much comedy in the last couple of years, it was really nice to flex a new muscle — to do something dramatic about a subject I'm pretty passionate about." 

Nayyar, who plays a concerned scientist named Serge Negani, talked about first seeing Lister-Jones back in 2006 in an off-Broadway play she performed in with Nayyar's Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki. He was impressed with her acting back then, and a few years later, was immediately drawn to the script she and Wein worked on.

"I read the script, and I was immediately fascinated by the content. Because it's so prevalent, and not a lot of people are talking about it," Nayyar said at the event.

Married couple Wein and Lister-Jones seemed relieved to finally get their message out after seven years of developing their project, which Wein jokingly referred to as "a journey that almost killed us."

He also discussed his choice to make the film a political thriller instead of a documentary. "Documentaries attract a certain audience, and a movie allows more people to be able to engage in it because it's a narrative, and it's a story, and there's characters for people to really invest in," he said. "I think they can really connect to [it] emotionally, and it's entertaining." 

Ultimately, Lister-Jones considers the goal of the movie to inform people while still entertaining them. "I hope that it sparks a conversation around this subject matter: what's in our food in this country, and starting a larger discourse around GMOs," she said.

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