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Nicholas Stoller has had a long run of success at a young age, with credits including co-scripting The Muppets and serving as the writer-director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Get Him to the Greek and the new comedy, The Five-Year Engagement. If you’re looking to follow in his footsteps, there seems to be just two important rules: embarrass your best friend incessantly (in Stoller’s cast, Jason Segel) and make sure you make time for lunch.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s premiere at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival, Stoller gave a very in depth explanation of how they write together — which seems to mostly involve eating.
“We sit down and we kind of list every horrible thing that could happen over five years for a couple, some of them based in truth, some of them just things we’re making up, and we’ll do that for a while,” Stoller said. “And then we’ll order lunch. Either sandwiches or maybe burritos or salad, something like that. Maybe pasta, maybe steak. It depends how we’re feeling. We might order a soup.”
He was just getting started.
“We might order Thai, it depends whose house we’re working at. Korean food — there’s some good Korean food near my house. And then we’ll wait for the food to get there, and then the food will arrive, and we’ll eat it,” Stoller continued. And after a discussion about how he and Segel split the writing work, and then re-write scenes together, the culinary conversation continued.
“I don’t think sushi travels well. Sometimes we’ll take a break and go to a sushi restaurant and we’ll eat the sushi, and once we’re done eating the sushi, we might get the ice cream that’s in the dumplings, and we’ll eat some of that. The mochi ice cream,” he explained, quite helpfully. And when prompted on chips, he offered that, “Fritos are amazing. I recently had them, and you always think of Fritos as plain, and they’re delicious. And they only have three ingredients in them: corn, oil and salt. I’m not joking, look at them.”
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