“You Hurt My Feelings” writer-director Nicole Holofcener was joined in a conversation with her film’s stars, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies, at the Variety Studio presented…
“You Hurt My Feelings” writer-director Nicole Holofcener was joined in a conversation with her film’s stars, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies, at the Variety Studio presented by Audible, to discuss how her feature evolved into the Sundance selection.
Holofcener’s “You Hurt My Feelings” stars Louis-Dreyfus as Beth and Menzies as Don, Beth’s husband, and follows the couple as they work together to refine Beth’s follow up memoir. As the work progresses, Beth overhears Don admit that he, actually, doesn’t like the new book. Utterly betrayed, Beth vents to her sister, even though their loving committed marriage has lasted for decades, this immense betrayal has destroyed her perception of their relationship and his devotion to her and her work.
Louis-Dreyfus explained that for the co-stars it was critical to depict “a marriage that was completely working,” until the film takes its pivotal turn. The actors wanted to present the marriage “in a way that wasn’t sappy or unrealistic.” Louis-Dreyfus immediately thanks Holofcener for her script, but also credits her immediate “chemistry” with Menzies and their unified understanding about how to approach the characters’ relationship.
Menzies explained the two’s unified understanding was fairly unspoken, “we actually didn’t talk that much about it. We just sort of like went with it. So I think sometimes not talking about it too much can be quite useful.”
Although the focal point of the film is the marriage between Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies, Holofcener explains that the script was once completely different. Holofcener turned to Louis-Dreyfus and recalled an earlier iteration of the script, “remember when I was writing…. where you were the mother,” Holofcener continued “and your son had a child and his wife wouldn’t let you hold the baby.” This prompted Louis-Dreyfus to slowly recall earlier iterations. But as Holofcener detailed the writing process she revealed there was never going to be script without Louis-Dreyfus, pointing at the actress and stating, “it’s always been her.”
Although her fourth Sundance feature had two acclaimed actors attached, Holofcener acknowledged the present day difficulties the independent film industry faces, declaring how difficult it remains and how filmmakers “definitely need names in your movie for the most part.”
Additional stars attached to the film include “Succession’s” Arian Moayed portrays Beth’s brother-in-law Mark and Michaela Watkins portrays Beth’s sister Sara.