'Life Partners' Star Leighton Meester on Making a Rare Movie About Female Friendship
The 'Gossip Girl' alum also talks about struggling to balance music and acting
Since the end of Gossip Girl, Leighton Meester has played Andy Samberg's character's fiancee in That's My Boy, starred in Of Mice and Men on Broadway and played Vera Farmiga's character's daughter in The Judge, among other roles. After five years playing Blair Waldorf week after week, Meester is trying to take on different parts.
"It would just seem like a waste of time to do the same thing over and over again, not to mention a little boring," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
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The script for Life Partners, about the long-term female friendship between Sasha (Meester) and Paige (Community's Gillian Jacobs), was appropriately unconventional, Meester said.
"It was a 100-page script portraying that dynamic, which I thought was so rare — rare at all and very rarely accurately portrayed," she said. "And I think it's because it was written … by a team that's a real-life friendship between two women [Susanna Fogel, who also directed the movie, and Joni Lefkowitz] who are intelligent and have their own issues and are fairly open about [those]."
Meester was also intrigued by the character of Sasha.
"I think she's open about her weirdness and has a propensity for laziness and codependence, which I thought was a fascinating characteristic," she said.
And like Jacobs, she felt she could connect to what her on-screen counterpart was going through.
"I really could relate to where she was in her life and the concept of a person who is at this age that is this huge turning point for so many people where it's like, 'Well, you're at this age, you're not a kid anymore, you need to have at least a direction.' … In a perfect world you would theoretically have a romantic partner," she said. "And I can relate to the idea on both sides of the friendship in that there's a kind of codependence there in that you hang out with somebody all day every day and you have a real shorthand with the person and then something happens and you suddenly don't have each other every second. What do you do? You have yourself. Sometimes that's terrifying."
Meester is still struggling with balancing acting with a music career, releasing her debut album Heartstrings at the end of October.
"I think a lot of people say to compartmentalize or to schedule accordingly, but the truth is both sides of things are so difficult to time, I think acting more so. I was in the final stages of recording for the last year and then I got a play that was going to take me away from L.A. for at least six months and during that time I didn't want to do anything else. I wanted to focus as much as possible for my health and the sake of the project," she said. "Acting, you know, you get a part and you have to do it. You can't say, 'Can you push it a month?' I mean, I'm not in a position to do that. So I have a lot less control over when I work."
Read more 'Life Partners': Film Review
Viewers have been able to control when they could see Life Partners for the past month, with the Magnolia Pictures-distributed movie available via VOD, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Now, the film is also in select theaters in New York, L.A. and Fort Lauderdale, opening in more cities throughout December.
Meester said she appreciated how releasing the film on demand allowed the film to be available to a wide audience of people, especially those who wouldn't be able to see it in theaters.
"Back before this was an option, even a few years ago, I would do a film and it might never be seen if you don't get it into theaters. The fact that we're able to put this out and let people see it is great," she said.