David Gordon Green chose to follow up his critically-lauded George Washington with a simple, romantic film, All the Real Girls. He showed the film to Penn students at The Bridge on March 19, but made some time to talk to Street beforehand with co-writer and star Paul Schneider. PS: Do you want a lager this early in the day? No thanks. So was it nerve wracking coming up with your next film after George Washington? DGG: This was written first. Expectations, no. PS: But what expectation is there? Those are conceits that don't really affect you when you're actually making the film. DGG: This is a movie we're making for an emotional investment. You don't make this movie because it's going to beat Daredevil at the box office. You make this movie because you have to make this movie at this point in our lives regardless of the circumstances and obstacles that we will face in the world. Any studio offers? DGG: I'm doing a little indie movie now and a studio movie next, which is of a greater profile than anything I've done before, but not Michael Bay exactly. It's something that I've wanted to make since I was fifteen. It's based on this book, Confederacy of Dunces, a novel I'm obsessed with... It'll cost a few bucks. Any acting offers for you, Paul? DGG: Paul's headed to Hollywood next week. PS: I actually passed on something for television that I thought was silly. I'm going to LA in April to be in a film...It's a process of searching through the fucking bullshit that you get, and ideally you find something that you respond to, in a way that's not desperate... I don't have to be on Saved by the Bell. I get to be young. DGG: Like Screech. PS: If you make these decisions solely on finance, then what happens when you go backstage at your favorite band's show and the drummer is like, "Oh, you're the guy from that stupid, stupid show." You're fucked. And you're off the creative radar altogether. The idea is not to make decisions based on money, because what do we need, a fancier cell phone? New jeans? DGG: These socks cost a dollar for three pairs. PS: These jeans I burned on a radiator and got fixed for twelve dollars. I don't need anything fancy.. Where'd the story come from? DGG: The point was to make a movie in the age where the characters are. Most people make movies about young love... typically they're a fifty-year-old looking back on the times, and thinking about what it was like. That's one approach. It brings a level of sentiment and nostalgia to it that I wasn't particularly interested in. How many times can you see the good looking guy and girl? I mean, of course they would wanna hook up, they're both hot. And they both always say the cool thing. They're perfect for each other, from the get-go... There's a handful of movies, like there's moments in Say Anything that mean the world to me because Cameron Crowe and John Cusack capture that value of awkwardness and sincerity, and the speechless moments where you don't know what to say and how you feel. So we were under the clock to get it out before I could grow a full beard. PS: It was important to ventilate this feeling and get it out. The same way you write a song, maybe nobody sees it, but you feel better about it after it's done. Or you do whatever you do. You get ripped and try to cover up your life with more sex that doesn't mean anything. Our movie tried to do that, but you know, it just didn't work out.
Where did the title come from? DGG: The guy that did the music for the film, the composer David Wingo, has been my buddy since the third grade, back when we saw The Karate Kid. He was living down in Austin. Honestly, I think he had fallen in love for the first time. He got burned real bad, and wrote a song called "All the Real Girls," about this being not the plastic girl, the girl he could share his scars with. It was a little too poppy for the movie, but a really good song. Should've put it in on the soundtrack PS: I wonder why we didn't. DGG: That's dumb. How is it working together while writing and while acting? PS: It's apples and oranges, because the writing process was five years and the filming was six weeks. A lot of the directing on set was David going "Ehh," and me going, "Ugh, roll!" DGG: We read all the books and then we learned that's the most effective way. PS: David would be stressed out and I'd be like, "Dude, do you want me to fucking rock or do you want me to really fucking rock?" And he's just like, "Fucking rock, I guess. Okay, roll!" That's how it was directed. Do you read the reviews? DGG: I don't. This is a movie we made for very personal reasons, and one of the reasons was to share these things... We worked really hard on it and I want to like it. I don't want to read a review that has a smart point, and is criticizing it, and have me like, "Yeah, that's a good point, I fucking hate my movie." Where are you in your professional lives? PS: There were certainly moments in my life, and still are, where I think to myself, "Why didn't I just go to graduate school, why don't I get my shit together?" But then, every time I'm going to do something vaguely logical, my friends say, "Hey, wanna be in a movie?" I'm like, "Yeah." What can you do, say no? DGG: We're at a point where we can have responsibility at minimal levels. We don't have wives and kids and mortgage payments. We can take risks, and we can make movies... We're at a point where we can be a little less responsible. PS: I mean, we're probably fathers, but we don't know it... So until we get that phone call, we only have to feed ourselves. Have you gone to any other colleges? DGG: Yeah, we've gone to quite a few, that's really fun. PS: If somebody saw us at a college today, we're not the smartest people... In the room, even. DGG: No shit, yeah. PS: Our little sisters are smarter than we are, and I don't even have one. The idea is that if we show up, and they're like, "Those dorks are making movies? I think we can figure this out." Why isn't this film as popular as other romantic comedies? PS: People have been conditioned to see things a certain way. People don't want to see what's close to home... Maybe people are pissed that they're spending four, five or ten dollars to see people that they grew up with. I think that's amazing. But, maybe people want to see hobbits, or fucking... DGG: I like hobbits. PS: I like hobbits too. There's room for both. I think there needs to be a human-slash-hobbit love story made. DGG: Walking out of one crowd, I heard a couple talking, this one couple that didn't like it, and they were like, "It seems like the actors didn't know their lines very well." I was just like, "They didn't. Not anymore than you know what you're going to say when you get home and your husband walks in on you taking a shit"