Once dubbed “the godfather of mumblecore,” Andrew Bujalski, in his fifth movie “Results,” used actual movie stars for the first time in his career.
Bujalski's earlier films, including the debut “Funny Ha Ha” and quasi-experimental “Computer Chess,” used amateur actors and involved characters that were educated, but had trouble articulating their feelings.
Speaking by phone, Bujalski says “Results,” in part, came from his fears and anxieties of doing a film with professional actors.
“It always throws me off in movies when you see a certain kind of glamorous person cast in the role of a down-on-their-luck schlub,” he says. “So instead of pretending, why not let them be gorgeous and let that be the vocabulary of the movie?”
So, in “Results,” Guy Pearce plays Trevor, who runs a growing fitness business, and Cobie Smulders plays Kat, one of his top trainers.
They become involved with Danny (Kevin Corrigan), a flabby, pasty guy who recently inherited millions and half-heartedly tries to get in shape, but instead becomes attracted to Kat.
Bujalski wrote the role specifically for Corrigan, a character actor with small roles in movies like “The Departed,” “Superbad” and “American Gangster.”
“It appeals to my ego to think that I can give something to Kevin,” Bujalski says, “but the reality is that he's giving something to me. He's doing me a favor by showing up and giving me this performance.”
Known for writing characters close to people he knows, Bujalski says even though he doesn't personally know fitness nuts, he does know the basic types.
He explains that he has always liked optimists like Trevor: “The spark of this thing was thinking what actors I wanted to work with,” he says, acknowledging Corrigan and Pearce. “At that point, I was laughing to think of what movie could possibly absorb both of their energies.”
He needed someone to “put in the middle of them.” He adds, “They're both such internal actors. I needed another kind of energy. I didn't know who could complete the picture. It was a mystery, but I couldn't be more blessed to find Cobie.”
So, after four acclaimed indie films, is Bujalski worried about selling out?
“If anything, I'm worried the opposite,” he laughs. “According to the early reviews I've seen, if I'm selling out, I'm doing a really bad job of it! There goes my Hollywood career!”
IF YOU GO
Starring: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Anthony Michael Hall
Written and directed by: Andrew Bujalski
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes