A Delightful Chat With Amy Ryan About Starring Alongside Steve Carell And Timothée Chalamet In ‘Beautiful Boy’

09.09.18 1 week ago

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There’s no other actor I have quite the interview relationship that I do with Amy Ryan. (It might be the last name thing, I’m not really sure.) I’ve been interviewing her regularly since 2010 and, well, we have fun with these situations that, by design, aren’t really that much fun. I bring all this up because what you’re about to read isn’t “normal” and will seem maybe too familiar if you don’t know the context. Amy Ryan and I have no professional relationship outside of these interviews, but when we get our time together, again, we try to make it fun.

Ryan is in Toronto in support of Beautiful Boy, in which she stars alongside her former The Office co-star Steve Carell. (Yes, Ryan is nervous that it might take people out of the movie seeing these two together again, but, honestly, I didn’t think about it once while watching.) Based on a true story, Ryan and Carell play the divorced parents of Nic (Timothée Chalamet), a young man addicted to crystal meth, and we watch as his parents are helpless to prevent the seemingly never-ending relapses.

(Also, there’s a moment ahead where, out of the blue, I started talking about something pretty weird that happened to me over the summer. It’s certainly not something I’ve really discussed publicly, but there I am answering Ryan’s questions about it and laughing. If this were to be brought up, well this seemed like the right venue.)

Amy Ryan: [Starts laughing] Oh no.

I’m trying to be on my best behavior and you start laughing when I walk in.

I know!

And then that’s when the nonsense happens.

I didn’t know it was you coming in and it made my day. And it was just when I hit a wall. Okay, make me behave.

I have no control over that. I reread some of our interviews…

Have we matured over time?

No. In one of the more recent ones you went on a riff about Monster Trucks.

[Laughs] Okay.

Beautiful Boy is a tough story to watch.

Isn’t it?

Being a true story and a book I’m familiar with, it’s nice knowing, going in, that it has a happy ending.

Well, Wall-E is a tough watch, too.

Yeah, that’s true.

Pixar movies can be a tough watch.

I’ll admit you took me by surprise with Wall-E.

My husband was taking the night shift with our newborn and he started reading these books then. I could hear him from the other room going, “Oh god! Oh no. Oh, this is awful.” And I’m like, “Why are you reading these books?”

That has to be a tough book to read with a new child.

Yeah. And he couldn’t put it down. But I didn’t pick the books up until we started production.

How did you break that news to him? “There’s now a movie and I’m going to be in it.”

“That book I was scolding you for reading.” No, he was excited. He has such deep admiration for the writing in the book.

So I’ve been rewatching The Office. I was aware both you and Steve Carell are in this movie. I didn’t even think about the connection until after the movie was over.

Oh, that’s so good. I’m really glad. So, back to my husband, who I love very much and is very supportive of me, but he’s like, “I think that’s weird casting. I think that’s a distraction.” And I’m like, “Who are you? What are you talking about?” But I guess for a minute that did plant in my head that I hope I don’t take people out of this film.

I don’t think it does.

Whew!

Your husband was wrong.

Okay, good.

Andre Royo plays Nic’s sponsor and someone was wondering if that was intentional because of The Wire.

Oh, right! Because of Bubbles. You know, I don’t know. I guess that would be the casting director’s question.

They didn’t consult you on that one?

[Laughs] No, I didn’t have casting approval.

Well maybe on the next one.

Yes, on Steve Carell’s next film I will get casting approval.

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