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William H. Macy, ‘Layover’ Star Alexandra Daddario Discuss Importance of Female Leads

William H. Macy landed at “The Layover” premiere at the Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles on Wednesday with co-stars Alexandra Daddario, Kate Upton, Matt Barr, and Matt Jones.

In the road-trip comedy, directed by Macy, Daddario and Upton’s characters are on a flight heading to Fort Lauderdale that gets rerouted due to hurricane warnings. The best friends find themselves in St. Louis fighting over the same guy, played by Barr.

Macy told Variety that he’s a big fan of slapstick humor and romantic comedies. “I thought bringing my sensibilities to this might result in something good,” he said. “The script is unexpected, which is what I think comedy needs.”

Macy’s acting background proved to be an added benefit in having him direct, according to Daddario.

“He knows how to communicate with actors, he understands our insecurities, he understands what he needs to say to get the right performance out of us,” she explained.

Barr also spoke to Macy’s fluency in the language of actors. “He’s such a fearless actor that he brought that to his directing. I learned how to take risks,” he said. “I’m not a comedy guy, so he taught me a lot about timing and taking the right beats.”

The film has two female leads, and Daddario said she hopes people continue writing strong and realistic characters for women.

“I’m glad that we’re having a dialogue about this more than we have before and really understanding that statistically, there are less lead roles for women, and that shouldn’t be the case,” she said. “It’s 50-50 with us and men.”

However, Macy said it’s ultimately up to the audience to decide what stories they want to hear. “It’s not our job to feature women, or brunettes, or albinos or anything,” he said.

Still, he agreed it’s important to feature a range of viewpoints. Because of that, the entertainment industry has been pushing to bring in more women and people of color, Macy explained.

“Is it important? Yeah, but it’s not a good reason to do a movie. The only good reason to do a movie is because it’s a great story that needs to be told,” Macy said.

“The Layover,” which also features Molly Shannon, Kal Penn, and Rob Corddry, opens Sept. 1.

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