The two leads in the film, Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales, are phenomenal. How did you get them on board such a quirky little project?
I’m good friends with Jillian, and Jillian and I always had these conversations about dramatic acting and respecting dramatic actors ’cause we both know that we want to go down that road at some point. We’re attracted to that road. What was really interesting is, when we were writing this, we actually had Jillian playing the alien. It’s really bizarre, but when we first started, ’cause we were playing to the comedic strengths, we were like, “Okay, comedic strengths. Let’s do this and that.”
Then Jillian said, “I really want to work with my friend Natalie.” So I was like, “Okay, that sounds great. I don’t know Natalie, but I’m a fan of her work, and let’s make that happen.” So we wrote the screenplay. Once we turned the screenplay in to Jillian and Natalie, Jillian was reading it and she called me and said, “The words of Vanessa are coming out of my mouth. I’m reading this right now, and I know that we’ve talked about me playing the alien, but when I’m reading this, this part is what comes naturally. This is what I want to do.”
Thankfully, when Natalie was reading the script, she was very attracted to the alien as well, so it was thankfully very seamless. We did a little swap, and there you have it, and I can’t picture it any other way from that moment on.
That’s an example of how this movie had to bob and weave, and it couldn’t have a studio. It couldn’t. It needed to be made by people who were just making this movie because we had to be like, “Okay, does this work? Hell, yeah. Let’s make it. It’s going to be great.”