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[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Wish I Was Here.]
Gad’s Noah, the brother of Braff’s lead character Aidan, begins the film shut off from his family and other people, holed up in the trailer he lives in. But as he pursues his Comic Con-attending neighbor Janine, played by Greene, he begins to express himself more, though he’s unable to reconnect with his estranged father, played by Mandy Patinkin, who’s dying of cancer. Ultimately Noah confesses to Aidan’s daughter Grace that he’s afraid and finally visits his estranged dad before he dies.
Greene says she thinks her character allows Noah to emerge from his isolation.
“She is the vehicle for him, I think, to be able to express himself and find happiness and find who he wants to be and kind of succeed,” Greene tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I think she’s a very important part to Noah on his journey to finding that. …Together I think they, kind of without even knowing it, work as a team to bring him out of his shell.”
Greene also says that her character is present in the way the title suggests the characters in the film want to be.
“She’s kind of a representation of being in that place that ‘here’ is in the title Wish I Was Here,” the actress explains. “I think all of the characters are trying to figure out who they are, what they want and where they want to be and how to be present in achieving that. I feel like Janine is a character that’s … on the right path to embracing who she is and who she wants to be and allowing her creativity to work through going to Comic-Con and dressing up.”
Greene says that she met people who do cosplay when the film’s Kickstarter backers came to the set, allowing her to get more insight into her character and fans who go to Comic-Con, which is a different side of the experience than she had attending the event with the Twilight cast.
Greene also appreciated how Wish I Was Here‘s Kickstarter campaign allowed Braff’s fans to show their support for his project before it began.
“I understand what it’s like to need and to have that fan support because of doing Twilight … and seeing the huge effect that they had on the success of our film,” Greene says of the movie’s Kickstarter campaign. “It was very interesting to see that from a different angle and see … how his fans were participating and obviously how much they believe in Zach and the work that he does. … It was nice to start out doing a film knowing you already have that built in support of the fans.”
Wish I Was Here opened in select theaters on Friday. Watch a clip of Greene in the film below.
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Jon M. Chu