Writer-director Nikole Beckwith spoke with Solzy at the Movies about her new film, Together Together, starring Ed Helms and Patti Harrison.
Together Together premiered earlier this year during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
What was the genesis behind the screenplay?
Nikole Beckwith: Just curiosity. I was just curious what it might be like for two complete strangers to embark on something so emotionally charged and intimate and to also be assuring each other into the next phase or chapter of their independent lives. But doing that together, I just was curious to see what might happen.
When you were writing the script, did you ever think that you were going to get Ed Helms and Patti Harrison in the two leading roles?
Nikole Beckwith: No, of course not. No, not at all. Even when we sent the script to Ed—we sent it to Ed first. It’s like, Alright, we’ll shoot for the stars, send it to our fav, and then you send it and immediately start thinking about, Alright, well, who are we going to go to after he says no? And then to get the phone call where it’s like, oh, Ed wants to have coffee and talk about it. I was like, Are you kidding? That’s great news!
Same with Patti, you send it off and then when I got the call, I was like, Oh, Patti likes the script and wants to meet. It was like, Oh, wow! That enough was a celebration for me. And then to go deeper and that the two of them actually came aboard and did the film was like, wow, that’s crazy! Just having coffee with them would have been compliment enough.
What was the most challenging part of the production?
Nikole Beckwith: We shot the bulk of the film in 17 days in Los Angeles and so time. I think time is always the thing. I think a big Hollywood movie, you’re shooting half a page a day. On our movie, we’re shooting five or six pages a day or 11 pages a day. So yeah, that was the most challenging.
How thrilling was it to get admitted to Sundance?
Nikole Beckwith: Oh, it’s so thrilling. It’s such an honor. I couldn’t believe it. I feel very lucky and very grateful for the support of Sundance for both of my films and it was so fun. It’s so incredible to get to make the phone call and you’re like, we did it! We’re going to the place. I think there’s no greater affirmation of what you’re doing than to have an institution like that smile down on you and lift you up.
What do you hope people take away from watching the film?
Nikole Beckwith: It’s such a big question. I’ve already been asked it a couple times and I don’t get better at answeringg it. I think if they can carry the film with them out of the theater and it stays with them for a little while, that’s the greatest dream of making a movie—that it stays with you. Hopefully, in that way, you’ll get many things out of it at different times when you’re reflecting on the film. I do think of it as a love letter to impermanence and a love letter to a different kind of love. There are so many different kinds of love out there and we’re obsessed with romance. It’s a feminist film. Shocking! Oh, no, I said the F word. But yeah, that it’s a feminist film and feminism is for everybody.