Gillian Jacobs knows a good script when she sees one, having made a name for herself as Britta Perry on "Community," with an upcoming stint on the fourth season of "Girls" and a Netflix original series from Judd Apatow looming in her future.
So the 32-year-old Juilliard graduate felt right at home starring alongside Leighton Meester in "Life Partners," a fresh and funny new comedy opening Friday about codependent best friends who find their tight connection tested when Jacobs' Paige begins a serious romantic relationship.
"A lot of these conflicts were familiar to me; either ones I'd gone through or I'd seen people I know go through," Jacobs says. "It's always refreshing when you feel like something hews closely to your own life and experience."
The film, directed by Susanna Fogel (who co-wrote with Joni Lefkowitz), rings true thanks to the precise ways it illustrates the bond between Paige and Meester's Sasha and the small details that define their characters.
"We were given such great writing that gave you a peak into their world; they like to have slumber parties and drink pink wine and watch 'America's Next Top Model,'" Jacobs says. "And then from there you shade it in with your own dynamic, which you don't know what it will be like until you're actually doing the thing."
Of course, the chemistry between the stars holds the key to a story like this; if they don't work well together the whole illusion collapses. Fortunately, there were no such issues here.
"I just really enjoyed being around her. She's an easy person to spend time with," Jacobs says of Meester. "And you just kind of find yourself goofing around and joking. You don't always feel that way about everyone you work with. We didn't have trailers on this movie and sometimes trailers are nice because you can go hide and be by yourself. It ended up being really beneficial to us; we all grew closer and I really got to get her know her better and discover the things that I loved about her just by hanging out."
There will be a lot more Jacobs on screens big and small in the coming months. In addition to the aforementioned "Girls" stint and the Netflix series, she has a big role in "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" and will of course be there for season six of "Community," which premieres on Yahoo Screen next year.
"If anything, I feel like they're trying to have more production value in this sixth season. We didn't really go on location or go outside even for the last couple of years. We were having to shoot everything on sets built inside. And so I think, rather than make it look like, 'Oh, it's a webseries now, Chris McKenna and Dan Harmon want it to feel like it has more scope again."