Judy Greer laments rom-com decline while promoting new book
Actress Judy Greer poses for a photograph in Toronto on Monday, April 7, 2014. Greer was promoting her new book 'I Don't Know Where You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star." (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:26PM EDT
TORONTO -- Actress Judy Greer laments what she sees as a decline in the film genre she's built a career on: the romantic comedy.
"Studios aren't really making those movies right now," the Detroit native, who's known for playing the best friend or idiosyncratic confidante in many rom-coms, said as she promoted her new book, "I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star."
"The romantic comedy is kind of like, it's not having a real moment and I'd really like for it to come back, because I love a romantic comedy. I want at the end, the guy to get the girl, like real bad, you know?"
Greer pointed to "My Best Friend's Wedding" as an example of the kind of rom-com she loves and wants to see more of.
"How was I not in that movie?" she said with a laugh in an interview. "That's the one I wasn't in! But I do think studios are making giant, giant, giant blockbuster superhero movies and then there are smaller, independent movies that are getting made.
"But we need to bring back, like, middle-budget, good old fashioned romantic comedy."
The down-to-Earth stage and screen performer has been in rom-coms including "The Wedding Planner," "13 Going on 30," "27 Dresses" and "Love & Other Drugs."
Her long list of credits also includes a diverse range of projects, from "The Village" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," to "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" and "Arrested Development."
As Greer explains in her humorous and candid collection of essays, when fans approach her they often recognize her face but can't place where they know her from.
"Then you have to kind of figure it out together or ... you look sort of standoff-ish when you're like, 'I don't know, I've been in a lot of stuff, sorry,"' said the 38-year-old, whose current projects include the animated series "Archer" and her web series, "Reluctantly Healthy."
That's when she started resorting to "fan profiling," which is guessing which project the fan knows her from based on factors including gender.
With women, for instance, she often lists romantic comedies she's been in, "because chicks like romantic comedies, we just do."
"I learned dudes probably like watching maybe 'Two and a Half Men' or 'Californication,' or 'Arrested Development' was always a safe one for, like, young hipsters in Los Angeles."
"My husband is always like, 'Just say "Marmaduke. ... You probably know me from Marmaduke,'" she added with a laugh.
Greer said such conversations often get awkward, especially when she can't come up with the title the fan recognizes her from.
"Then people are like, 'OK, yeah, yeah that's it,' when it's like, 'Obviously you're just saying that so that we can both leave, but fine.' And then you feel like you've disappointed this fan."
Still, Greer is happy with the state of her career, noting she's had a steady stream of work and doesn't have to hire a huge security team every time she goes out.
"I like to be able to run errands and move around the world easily, and when you're really famous ... everything is like a production or an ordeal," she said.
Greer started doing press for "I Don't Know What You Know Me From" this week in Toronto, where the book got its start.
The voracious reader and lifelong journal writer said she was sitting on a bench in the city's Trinity Bellwoods Park while shooting the "Carrie" film remake a year and a half ago when she got a call from agents about the idea.
Greer (nee Judith Therese Evans) outlines her life in the book, from her childhood in a suburb of Detroit to her acting training in Chicago and her family with her husband and stepkids.
She also provides the inside scoop on her Hollywood life, such as her disastrous first experience at the Oscars and how she gets a chuckle when she has to use a bathroom stall next to a major movie star onset.
Then there was the time Ashton Kutcher bought her dad a Harley-Davidson motorcycle after their sitcom "Miss Guided" got greenlit in 2008.
Greer writes she felt like she never got a chance to properly thank him for the gift.
But this week in Toronto she said she has tried to rectify that.
"I texted him last night and I said, 'Is this still your number?' Because I haven't texted him in like 100 years, and he wrote back, 'Yes, how are you?' And then I sent him a really long text about my book and then he never texted back," she said, bursting in to laughter.
"But it's cool, whatever! I had a copy (of the book) sent to him so hopefully he got it and he'll read it."
After playing so many blue-collar best friends and similar supporting roles in film, Greer has concluded that Hollywood casts these types of characters for women "because they make the stars more relatable."
"Being a movie star is really hard to achieve," said Greer. "There's only so many Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullocks out there. I think of myself as like my audience and I'm just like my fans, and I don't know that my fans are movie stars.
"But my fans can be friends with movie stars just like I can be friends with movie stars."