Kiss and tell

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - AN­DREW DRUM­MOND RUBY SPARKS Now show­ing State Cinema and Vil­lage Cine­mas

PAUL Dano didn’t kiss his girl­friend for a fort­night lead­ing up to the mak­ing of his lat­est film Ruby Sparks.

Act­ing op­po­site real- life part­ner Zoe Kazan, the 28- year- old wanted the cou­ple’s on- screen in­ter­ac­tion to be real, yet fresh.

‘‘ Hope­fully we were able to bring in­ti­macy and chem­istry to it in a way that would have been much harder with some­body I didn’t know and didn’t love,’’ Dano says.

‘‘ We also had to do things . . . we didn’t kiss for two or three weeks lead­ing up . . . just ’ cause you have to get that [ new] sense.’’

Not a ro­man­tic com­edy, but rather a ‘‘ fan­tasy’’, ac­cord­ing to co- di­rec­tor Jonathan Day­ton, Ruby Sparks is a round­about love story be­tween dys­func­tional but suc­cess­ful au­thor Calvin ( Dano) and the char­ac­ter of his lat­est book Ruby ( Kazan, both pic­tured) who ma­te­ri­alises one morn­ing in his kitchen.

In a sub­se­quently sur­real and some­times dark world, Calvin moulds and shapes Ruby as he de­vel­ops her char­ac­ter in his typed nar­ra­tive.

Kazan, 29, set about writ­ing the script with no in­ten­tion of her­self or Dano, her longterm boyfriend, star­ring in the pro­duc­tion.

‘‘ It was very early in my writ­ing process when I showed Paul and he asked me if I was writ­ing it for the two of us.

‘‘ And when he said that, it seemed re­ally clear that’s to­tally what I was do­ing, but it took him point­ing it out for me to re­alise,’’ she says.

For Kazan, it pre­sented a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to write into Dano’s char­ac­ter a be­hav­iour of his she would like the world to see more of: his smile.

‘‘ It’s the only thing I re­ally did,’’ Kazan ad­mits, of her oth­er­wise ob­jec­tive writ­ing, which she says is not based solely on her life.

‘‘ When you love some­one you see the best in them and I wanted other peo­ple to see the best in Paul too.’’

Oth­er­wise Kazan says she is hap­pier act­ing than writ­ing and was con­tent to hand over her script to di­rec­tors Day­ton and Va­lerie Faris, who are also re­spon­si­ble for an­other of Dano’s films, the com­edy Lit­tle Miss Sun­shine.

Star­ring as a char­ac­ter based loosely on him­self in a pro­duc­tion writ­ten by his girl­friend, Dano de­scribed Calvin as be­ing ‘‘ afraid of life’’.

But he’s not tak­ing that as a per­sonal criticism. ‘‘ If there was any les­son for me to learn, I missed it.’’

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