Franklin and Bash star Breckin Meyer recently spoke with Solzy at the Movies about The Enormity of Life and Clueless.
Eric Swinderman directs the film from a script he wrote with Carmen DeFranco. Meyer, who won the Best Actor Award at the 2021 Paris Art & Movie Festival, stars alongside Emily Kinney and Giselle Eisenberg. Debra Herzog, Allen O’Reilly, Bryant Carroll, Aubrey Stone, Katherine DeBoer, Chris Bohan, Cindy Fernandez-Nixon, and Ann McEvoy round out the rest of the cast.
Clueless just celebrated its anniversary this past week. The Amy Heckerling film remains one of the best Jane Austen adaptations.
The film touches on some serious topics including suicide, school shootings, and mental illness. It’ll be available through virtual cinemas and Digital/VOD on July 22, 2022.
What was it about The Enormity of Life that drew your interest in the role?
Breckin Meyer: When I read it, it was a really unusual script. It was something that I hadn’t seen before from that angle—dealing with kind of a romance at the same time dealing with mental illness, dealing with this very interesting character who has this very unusual affliction of Anhedonia, meaning feeling no pleasure, no pain. No pleasure in money, women, sex, life, men, anything. How does that person go about their day to day activities? That was intriguing to me.
What do you typically look for a character when you’re reading a script?
Breckin Meyer: It depends. It really does. One of the first things I look for is, did I just play this? Because I tend to like to do something that I didn’t just do. I hadn’t played a guy like Casey in ever, really. The director and I spoke and we kind of were on the same page as far as where’s this going even including—not to give anything away—the very specific ending of the movie that I wanted to make sure we hung onto. Normally, in characters, I look for things that I can pull, real people, and especially in a movie like this, I look for something that just rings genuine and this did. Good or bad, this read genuinely.
Was there anything in particular that you did to prep for the role?
Breckin Meyer: Not anything specific. When you’re dealing with mental illness or a character who suffers from a certain mental illness, you delve into that, you read into that, you look into that, and research that. But then you also figure about how to apply it to yourself and what parts of you are similar to this character. I don’t suffer from Anhedonia like Casey but there are similarities and I dealt with mental illness through my family and relationships. It was kind of pulling from my real life to make the fake life.
With such a minimal cast and the film touching on serious topics, what was the atmosphere like on set?
Breckin Meyer: It’s funny. Usually with very dramatic subject matter or sensitive subject matter, you tend to keep the set pretty light, which helps you make it through the day so not everyone is walking around super morose and tragic like we’re on the Lost island or something. It was pretty much me, Giselle, and Emily for the whole run. Giselle, I’d never met before and was just fantastic. Emily, I didn’t know either but I was a fan of The Walking Dead. We all had a really good time. We actually kept the set pretty light so that when we went to work, it wasn’t too dramatic.
The film played a number of film festivals. How honored were you to take home an award for Best Actor?
Breckin Meyer: That was pretty neat. The director called me about that and told me. I didn’t know that so that was kind of a neat little bonus to doing the movie.
What would Jared Franklin think of the attorney in the film?
Breckin Meyer: (Laughs) Jared Franklin would probably figure out some way to get more of a cut of the inheritance than this lawyer did. I think.
— E! News (@enews) March 23, 2019
I’m not sure if you remember the Clueless reunion panel during C2E2 in 2019 but I was the person that asked Paul Rudd about his secret to not aging.
Breckin Meyer: (Laughs) Oh, so you’re the one who prompted me to admit that he eats babies and steals the blood?
Breckin Meyer: It’s true. That’s what Rudd has been doing forever. I mean, I think technically Paul is 342 years old. He’s Hollywood’s Lestat is how I like to refer to him. He’ll be around forever. We have many, many, many more millenniums of Paul Rudd movies.
At any point during filming, did you ever think that Clueless was going to be a special film?
Breckin Meyer: No. At no point did I know it was going to be a successful film. I knew a special—yes, in the sense that I was really enjoying it and so was the cast. We could tell we the chemistry was there. We definitely we knew this was going to be a fun movie but you never know. You have no idea. You knew that it started with the best of intentions and knock on wood, it actually turned out pretty well. But yeah, you never really know. I just knew that it was fun. I knew that we were having a great time.
It’s definitely one of the best Jane Austen adaptations I’ve seen.
Breckin Meyer: I couldn’t agree with you more. Yeah, I completely agree.
If you could go back in time and offer yourself advice early in your acting career, what would it be?
Breckin Meyer: If I could give myself advice, I probably would remind myself to focus, stay in it, and just stay committed to it. There are things I look back on in my 20s where I was like, Yeah, I could have worked a little harder. Things like that. But also, that’s what your 20s are for. I’d probably tell young me to stay focused. Also, I would tell him to wrap up his ankles before he gets on a skateboard because I kept screwing my ankles up.
What do you hope people take away from watching the film?
Breckin Meyer: First of all, I hope people enjoy it. I hope it starts conversation, which would be great. I hope people debate about it, debate about the ending, and debate about the characters. But really, I just hope they enjoy it. I hope it’s a story that they follow from beginning to end and join us for the ride because I think it’s an interesting journey.
It was so nice to meet you over Zoom and nice talking with you.
Breckin Meyer: Awesome, you too. Good to see you again.
The question heard around the world.
Breckin Meyer: I was about to say keep them coming.
Bayview Entertainment will release The Enormity Life in virtual cinemas and on Digital/VOD on July 22, 2022.
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