Krysten Ritter – Life Happens to the B—- in Apt. 23
by Jay S. Jacobs
Originally posted on April 10, 2012
It’s a good week to be Krysten Ritter.
On Wednesday night, her buzzworthy new sit-com Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, in which she plays the title character,premieres on ABC. Then Friday, her first starring film Life Happens – which she also co-wrote, opens in New York, LA and other selected cities.
An impressive week for any actress – but not a huge surprise for anyone who has been following the pretty brown-haired actress’ career. She’s been stealing scenes in supporting roles for years, popping up on shows like All My Children, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls and an acclaimed arc on Breaking Bad. In the meantime, she has played a series of gorgeous best friends in romantic comedies like She’s Out of Your League, What Happens in Vegas, Confessions of a Shopaholic and 27 Dresses.
It was time for her to take the lead in a film. However, Ritter didn’t trust just anyone to launch her career. Therefore, she and her friend Kat Coiro got together to write a screenplay called BFF and Baby – which eventually became Life Happens. Ritter plays Kim, an LA party girl who has a wild life with her two besties (played by Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson) until she gets pregnant and she has to deal with the shock of being a single mom and how it changes her personal and professional life.
Then as she and Coiro (who directed the film) were getting Life Happens finished, Ritter was cast for Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23. Ritter gets to play the hysterically anti-PC Chloe, a New Yorker who cons women by having them move in with her, then scares them away to keep their rent and security deposit. She finally meets her match with June (Dreama Walker) who won’t scare away so easily. The series is turning out to be one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the spring.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Ritter also has the lead in the upcoming Amy (Clueless) Heckerling comedy Vamps co-starring Alicia Silverstone, Richard Lewis and Malcolm McDowell coming soon.
About a week before her two debuts, Ritter gave us a call to discuss both new projects.
I don’t believe you have children. What was it that inspired the film for you?
Kat and I are long time friends – my co-writer and she also directed it. We always wanted to do the female Swingers. We loved Wedding Crashers and felt like there was definitely a void of female-driven content. We ran into a lot of double-standards, where the girls come off slutty or stupid or ditzy. Kat went and had a baby in real life. One day we were driving around, eating some burritos. Some cute boys pull up next to us. And the baby cried. We literally looked at each other with chills. We were like, “Oh, my God, that’s the movie.” So that’s how it came about. That’s how it was born, the whole thing. (laughs)
Like you said, there are lots of male sort of buddy comedies out there, but before Bridesmaids last year, there were very few about women. Were you trying to show that women can be just as wild and crazy as the guys can?
Yeah. I always think that girls behaving badly or truthfully is funny. It’s real. It’s pretty authentic. The dialogue in the movie, some of it has come out of our own mouths. So, yeah. It’s crazy to me that it’s taken this long. Thank God for Bridesmaids.
In Life Happens, you weren’t just the star, but also co-wrote the film. What was that experience like? Did it make it feel different acting out your own lines? Did you have more invested in the making of the movie?
It was interesting, because a couple of weeks before the movie was starting, maybe not even that long, there was a time that I stepped away as a writer. So did Kat. She went off and did her shot list and her storyboarding, and I went off and worked with my acting teacher on the work. I approached the character as if I didn’t write it. I broke down the scenes. I found the beats. Sometimes I found things that I didn’t even know were there, because that’s what you do as an actor. Even if you don’t write the script, you go through and you mine for these seeds that the writers planted for you. It becomes your own. You make your choices. It takes on a life of its own. That happened, even though I had written the script. I found things. I was like, “Oh, my God, I’d never even thought of it that way.” So, it was really fun. It was really a challenge, but also the most rewarding experience, ever.
I read that you while writing the film, you were originally planning to play Deena, not Kim.
Yeah, and [Kat] wasn’t going to direct it. In the very early stages, we were just writing to write. Then the script started getting some attention, so we were like, “Okay, this will go out and at least we’ll have a writing credit. I’ll play the best friend.” Whatever. At least we’ll get it made. Then after the whole development of it all, we ended up making the original version and I starred and she directed. I think it’s kind of perfect how it all worked out.