You know Judy Greer and you probably love her, even if you don’t realize you do.
She is one of those “familiar faces,” who is so good across such a wide spectrum of movies and TV shows (“Arrested Development,” “The Descendants,” “Archer,” “13 Going on 30,” “Married,” “Ant Man,” the list goes on and on) that she’s become one of the essential actors, even in supporting parts.
This is a big moment for the mainstay, whose directorial debut, the ensemble comedy “A Happening of Monumental Proportions,” is finishing up its weeklong run at Cinema Village before heading to streaming services. She’s also starring in Showtime’s “Kidding,” opposite Jim Carrey, and in next month’s “Halloween” sequel directed by David Gordon Green (“The Pineapple Express”).
amNewYork spoke with Greer about directing big stars from Common to Katie Holmes, Allison Janney and Keanu Reeves, and more.
Why go behind the camera for the first time here?
I loved the script so much; I had been reading a lot of scripts with an eye to direct something for a few years before this one came my way. For me to direct, for anyone to direct an independent film, it really takes a year of your life and you basically make zero dollars. It had to be the perfect thing and this felt like a good fit. Some of the things that I thought actually would make it easier for me, ended up being kind of challenging in a good way.
What were some of those?
Well, I thought, because it took place in one day and everyone would then be wearing the same clothes, for some reason in my mind I was like, “Oh, it will be easy to edit. We can kind of move things around because everyone’s wearing the same outfit.” It was actually a huge undertaking . . . I realized the trick of trying to wind these plotlines together seamlessly was challenging.
What were the challenges in relating to your acting peers as a director? It’s a different relationship, of course.
I didn’t really feel like I was relating to them differently. I’ve always fantasized about having a film company, where we’re all the same, making a project together. That’s very idealistic, but that’s a fantasy I have of how I’d love to work with people, to be like this collaborative process. . . . That’s kind of how I felt, especially in this situation I didn’t really have to give a lot of direction, because I had these amazing people.
What was it like to make “Halloween” with David Gordon Green as your director?
It was way funnier than I think it would have been with other people. We had so much fun. I can’t remember a time when I’ve laughed so hard. . . . It felt really collaborative but it also just was fun. We just, as a group, kept trying to heighten the stakes, you know? That’s what you’re always trying to do.