Netflix’s newest YA rom-com, “Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between,” required stars Jordan Fisher (“To All the Boys 2,” “Work It”) and Talia Ryder (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”) to dig deep within themselves — and their past relationships — for the film.
Based on Jennifer E. Smith’s 2015 novel of the same name, the film follows high school seniors Aidan (Fisher) and Clare (Ryder), who share a whirlwind romance but vow to break up before they go to college. However, things get complicated as they each grapple with their true feelings while reliving their relationship during one last date.
With several intense scenes during which Aidan and Clare just can’t seem to get on the same page, Fisher and Ryder knew they would need to truly get to know each other to be able to inhabit their characters. Though both at different stages in life — 28-year-old Fisher just became a father, while Ryder is 19 — being vulnerable with each other off-screen about life and love proved to be their secret to success.
“When we started to work on the script, we really kinda dove into our past relationships with each other and asked each other a lot of questions,” Ryder tells Variety. “[We] were both mutually really curious to figure out our own love languages and how that translated into our roles.”
Below, Fisher and Ryder discuss all things “Hello, Goodbye” with Variety — from Fisher’s debut as an executive producer to Ryder’s connection with Clare — and even profess their platonic love for each other.
How did you first get involved in the project? What stuck out to you about it?
Jordan Fisher: I was working on “To All the Boys 2” in Vancouver and my producing partners for “Hello, Goodbye” — Max Siemers, Matt Kaplan and Aubrey Bendix — got this great idea. [They said,] “This novel that we love, we want to make it into a YA rom-com. There’s this real human element to it, I think you’re really gonna dig it.” I read the book and was sold on the story and that was enough for me — really just seeing the human nature of not only the relationship, but just the slice of life that they were in. That time, that specific period of transition that’s so honest and so real life — I’ve never seen anything like that geared for the YA demographic. The way that I latched on as a creative is simply by saying, “I want to help make it happen. I want to help develop it.” And thankfully, they believed in me and we were able to put a cast together that was so real and honest and authentic.
Talia Ryder: I was sent the script by my team, and I remember them being like, “Put this one at the top. We just read it and it’s really cool.” I love reading scripts, so I immediately read it and … that opening monologue that Clare gives when they’re about to kiss when she’s just like rambling and has all these feelings, but also has this vision of her life and plan for herself and is so conflicted and confused… I just related to her in a lot of ways. Like Jordan is saying, there’s a real authenticity about growing up that this story captures. I really connected with the character.
Fisher: She was an angel sent from heaven. It was difficult — truly, the role is hard. Clare, as a role, is so difficult to embody.
Ryder: She’s a difficult girl.
Fisher: We all have layers, right? But Talia brought a warmth and heart and soul and effort and take on the role that’s really hard to describe. It’s hard to describe the relief of watching an actor walk in with a freaking take that honestly is what breathed life into the movie, in my opinion.
Jordan, this marks your executive producing debut. What made you want to take on a creative role within the film?
Fisher: For this to be my producing debut and for it to be a project that is so rooted in humanity — that’s like my whole thing as a mental health advocate, as an expecting father in literally just a matter of days (Riley William Fisher was later born on June 7). The world slowed down when I found that out, and even more so years prior, discovering the stimulation that I felt the very first time I had an idea for a show — it was a high-profile one that will remain nameless — that kind of saved the day for a second where I went, “I had an idea and it worked and people listened. That’s how you do it!”
Michael [Lewen], our director, is so wonderful and collaborative and he’s always down for an idea. Whether it’s good or bad, he’s down to throw things at the wall and see if they stick, and that’s filmmaking. He was down to do that with everybody, so everyone really got to put their heart and soul into their work with their characters.
Aidan and Clare have such a unique chemistry — they’re a bit awkward, but ultimately they balance each other out. How did you develop that?
Ryder: I think a lot of creating an on-screen bond is having an honest and open relationship in real life. Jordan and I, as soon as we knew that we were making this movie together, just started to become friends and talk to each other. When we were filming in Vancouver, we had to do two weeks of quarantine when we first got over there, because we filmed this during the peak of COVID… But we really used that time. My mom and my siblings came out with me, I had just turned 18 at the time and I didn’t want to quarantine alone. Jordan would FaceTime us every night and we’d have family movie nights and game nights, and that really gave us a huge foundation.
When we started to work on the script, we really kinda dove into our past relationships and asked each other a lot of questions. [We] were both mutually really curious to figure out our own love languages and how that translated into our roles. I didn’t really know about love languages and attachment styles and all those sorts of things before this movie. It was really interesting talking all of that through and figuring that out about myself and looking back at my past relationships and being like, “Oh, this is anxious attachment and that’s why Clare’s doing this.” It was really bringing parts of our own histories and lives into our roles, and then when those moments in the film came up that we really closely related to, [Jordan] knew when Clare and I had those moments in common.
Fisher: 100%. There were always those intersections, and they were fun to discover.
Ryder: It was cool being on set and being our characters, but also knowing each other and knowing how certain things were really personal. We just kind of had an unspoken understanding.
Fisher: Chemistry’s hard. Straight up. It’s hard to make those really intimate moments feel like you’re a fly on the wall but that you’re supposed to be here and you’re invited — and as a viewer, you’re comfortable watching two people, whether they’re having really intense conversations and arguments like Clare and Aidan do in the film, or if they’re making out one of the hundred times that they do. It’s hard to make that believable, and you can only do that with trust. I have mad trust issues. I’m a mental health advocate, right? So it’s hard for me to open up to brand new people. It’s hard for me to enlist my trust in someone brand new, and Talia made it so easy. There was no choice but to lean in fully because of her openness and curiosity and yearning to make this the best it could be. As an actor, you can’t ask for anything more in a scene partner.
Ryder: You made it easy to be vulnerable and talk about uncomfortable things. Like, love is an uncomfortable and scary thing to talk about and sometimes a sad thing to talk about, and we dove into all of that with each other and I feel like that shows.
Fisher: I love you.
Ryder: I love you, too.
This interview has been edited and condensed. “Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between” is out now on Netflix.