'Walk of Shame' Co-Stars on What They Would do if They Were Stranded, Looking for Elizabeth Banks
[Warning: This story contains mild spoilers about the movie Walk of Shame]
Elizabeth Banks spends much of her new comedy Walk of Shame on what co-star Gillian Jacobs calls a "nightmare tour of L.A."
Stranded downtown after a night of partying that left her without a phone, car, ID or money -- and still wearing the skimpy yellow dress and heavy makeup she wore the night before -- her character, Meghan Miles, desperately tries to get to work where the ambitious anchor is up for a big promotion.
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Although Meghan's plight might seem unbelievable, fellow co-star Sarah Wright Olsen points out that the film sets up a number of obstacles keeping her from getting where she needs to go, including multiple misunderstandings and one tech-centric dilemma.
"There were times when we were shooting where I was like, 'Why doesn't she just do this?' Or like, 'Why doesn't she just steal someone's phone?' But it's funny 'cause it kind of played out really well where she really did try so many things to get back to somebody," Olsen explains.
When Banks' character finally does get a cellphone she's pauses before realizing that she doesn't actually know anyone's number, a plight Olsen finds quite realistic.
"When I was in school, I knew everyone's phone number, and then when I got a cellphone, I didn't know anyone's phone number," she says. "That moment I was sitting there going, 'Oh, my gosh, it's so true.' I think I know my husband's phone number and that's it. It's crazy that we don't … I mean, what would you do?!"
In fact, what would Olsen and Jacobs do if they were in the same situation as Banks' character?
Jacobs admits that she suffers from the same modern-day affliction of not knowing anyone's phone number.
"The only person that I could call would be my mom's cellphone," the Community star says. "But moms are usually there to save the day, even remotely. Maybe if I could just get some change and call my mom on a pay phone. I feel like my mom would helicopter in for me."
Olsen says, "I feel like maybe I would try to find a church or a school or something to try and get someone to help me, a police station … It seems like she went to a lot of those places and nothing really panned out for her."
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While Banks' character spends most of the movie trying to save herself, her two friends, played by Jacobs and Olsen, ultimately save the day.
The pair spend much of the movie looking for their leading lady, a situation similar to the one both actresses were in prior to landing their roles in Walk of Shame.
Jacobs says that while her role was different from the parts she usually plays, she "really wanted to work with Elizabeth Banks."
Olsen adds: "I knew Elizabeth was attached to it when I read [the script], and I was so excited to work with her because I think she's so amazing at anything she's ever done."
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For Jacobs, working with Banks was as good as she thought it would be.
"She's so supportive," the Community star says. "She's really smart. She's super funny; she's collaborative; she's awesome."
Olsen added that Banks' ease with the improv encouraged by director Steve Brill was also an asset.
"Elizabeth had worked with him before, and he was really great and very open to us improv-ing, going off the page and adding some stuff. It was so fun to sort of throw things in there, and Elizabeth's amazing at that so [we were] just feeding off of her energy and her drive and everything," Olsen says.
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One scene that involved a lot of improv, including a memorable joke about Robert Pattinson, was the rapid-fire quiz that Olsen gives James Marsden's character as she tries to assess whether the man Banks' character met the night before is good enough for her friend.
"We did that scene a bunch, and James and I came up with all kinds of stuff to do for it," Olsen says. "We probably did it 15 different ways, so that was so fun to sort of throw random stuff in there, like Gillian would come up with something or she would say something off the cuff … hopefully some of that's in the outtakes because we came up with some pretty raunchy stuff."
Jacobs and Olsen say making the movie was a blast, but then again, they weren't running around downtown L.A. without any shoes on.
And Jacobs admits she was challenged by some of the film's early club scenes.
"I'm not a very elegant dancer, so any time I have to dance in a club, it's pretty awkward," she says.
Walk of Shame was initially set to be distributed by FilmDistrict but is now being released via Focus Features' VOD label Focus World. The movie will be released in select theaters and on demand on Friday.
Watch the trailer below.