They talked about working together, doing improv, do they really think friendship can survive sex without feelings, what is it really like to film sex scenes, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read a transcript or listen to the audio: Otherwise, the complete transcript is below. And if you missed the red band trailer for the film, click here.
No Strings Attached opens this weekend. Why do I always get these? So it was probably that. Natalie, you were an executive producer on this movie. How do you balance being the producer role and being the lead star in this movie?
Well, it was a really exciting process to get to be involved for the first time, so early, working with Liz [Meriwether] and Ivan [Reitman]. I came on a couple of years I think before the project.
We have to get them moving, on the road. Do you guys think that friendship can survive sex without feelings? So all the really successful, happy relationships that I know of, the people that are together are friends, anyways.
So, did you do anything to make her feel more at ease, or did you just tease her mercilessly and punk her? How did that work? I learned more from Natalie in one day of being on set together than I can ever possibly teach her in a billion years. Did he tease you at all? It was mostly height jokes, and then she would get very much upset with me. She looks like my child when we stand next to each other. I asked if she could reach the pedals in the car one day.
Natalie, did you create a back story for this character, to sort of figure out how she got to this point? This is for Liz and Ivan. So did you write it with that in mind? Really this is a studio decision on what the most benign date is for a particular movie. Do people go to the movies on January 21st? Look, this movie has been in development for a good three years.
Two years where the three of us have been working and then Ashton got involved about a year ago. Although, I think they should create a holiday for friends-with-benefits relationships. Thanks for advocating safe sex in the movie. We have so much separation between feeling, and the emotional and the physical side of sex. They really do belong together. Yes, condoms were fake used in the fake sex scenes in this movie. Even from an educational level.
And I do a lot of work on human trafficking and I connect a lot with girls that come up and end up in this trade, if you will, and partially because of a lack of education about sex in the country. I think that sometimes we get to make films that sort of open things up and make things that people can talk about.
So from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that is empowered with her own sexuality I think is a really powerful thing. I think if we can give teenage people something to think about from a sex perspective, I would say that it would be to start opening up a conversation where women are empowered with their own sexual experiences from an educational level, as well as an entertainment level.
Any challenge for tackling this type of genre for you? It was a pleasure. Making this film was a pleasure. I think I got lost in making science fiction movies for a while. When I started working with Liz on this thing I just loved the words.
I loved the situations. I loved the comfort of being able to direct really fine actors in rooms where they just talked to each other and I really wanted to do that again. So I thank him for that. I had suddenly this extraordinary screenplay and I was able to find these wonderful actors, starting with Natalie and Ashton. I found that sort of very exciting to do and very satisfying.
There are so many funny moments in this for you, Natalie. How much of what you did was improvised? Well, I have to say that Liz wrote ninety nine percent of what you see onscreen. Everything is really, really there in the script. It was really a very, very funny script, always. We had a lot of pumpkin related jokes that were going on for a very long time.
I also believe that improvisation is really just a directorial tool. Because, you do a lot of takes, you do a lot of coverage and the actual locations, the actual props, the real performers doing the scenes—informs new ideas. Ideas are coming from everywhere. Liz was on the set all the time.
We had very smart producers and the actors were very smart about their own characters. This a question for the entire group. I am very excited. The first sex scene is pretty unflinching. Can you tell us about shooting it, and Ivan, why did you decide to shoot it in a pretty static, two, close-up, very realistic and stark?
This is a movie that really starts with them having sex and then seeing what that relationship is going to evolve like, and I just really believed in their chemistry. I thought there was something much more powerful about watching really close their facial expressions than trying to go for anything else. By just sitting on it for a while and letting it go a little longer than maybe is comfortable, would sort of give it the power that it deserves. But, you know, the nice thing was that we did the scene pretty deep into the shoot, so we had already a comfortable sort of…as comfortable as you can be in that scenario relationship and the respect — Kutcher: I was wearing sweatpants.
Are they going to call cut? How far are we taking this? It would take me much longer than this. My background is in music. I have a bachelors in music. I thought that I was going to be a composer, long ago when I first started. So it was amazingly fun to do those two routines in the film.
They were shot very quickly. So much about this movie is about sex. Do the two of you have perimeters about that, do you have to look at the rushes afterwards or the dailies and how you do approach those scenes and get through them?
So I think I get pretty embarrassed easily. So I checked a little. I just start by apologizing. You sort of try to set some ground rules and apologize for them. Can you talk about what a Best Actress Award would mean to you? Also, can you comment on your impending mommy-hood? The company in which it puts you even to be mentioned among these other women is a huge, huge honor and a huge compliment. Natalie, Emma clearly rocks at mini-golf. So I was wondering how your own game is and how much luck or practice or multiple takes is required to put together that montage?
Can I take credit for it, Ivan? You know, maybe not big person golf, but little person golf, I rock. That was very fun, to get to have that evening. Is this by accident or design and how do you feel about all of this?
Well, you have heard that the apocalypse is coming, right? I thought that I would get it all in right before. It was a great opportunity to get to do a lot of different things in a year. So it was really interesting. I feel bad for boring people with my face for a while, but in terms of as an actress it was really an exciting thing to get to work on all of these things, almost back to back. Why do you think that this is a subject that people are interested in telling stories about relationships right now?
I think in a lot of romantic comedies it ends with a kiss, and I feel like in modern day relationships, and maybe just my own experience, it starts with a kiss and then all sort of falls apart and then comes together. And yeah, ours is the best.