Zooey Deschanel discusses the Bechdel Rule and more about “My Idiot Brother”

We were pretty psyched to hear Zooey Deschanel and Rashida Jones were going to play girlfriends in the new Paul Rudd movie, My Idiot Brother, but weren’t sure quite what to expect, aside from our dreams coming true just a little bit. But the film just screened at Sundance, and we’re starting to get a better idea of Deschanel’s “flaky, bisexual” character.

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Deschanel joined Rudd and the movie’s director, Jesse Peretz, for an interview at the festival last week to discuss what drew her to her character, Natalie. She said:

I liked her internal conflict and that she can’t make a decision. And that is something that everybody struggles with in some way or another, but hers is bigger than everyone else’s in a weird way. There are, like, major decisions she can’t make: her sexuality, her commitment to her partner, all that stuff.

The video with the interview also features a clip of Rashida in action.

Zooey spoke to New York Magazine last week (along with her other co-star, Emily Mortimer). They brought up the “Alison Bechdel rule” about movies, and mused over Rashida Jones’ cute lesbian hipster outfits, and more.


The Alison Bechdel rule, according the NY Mag, says that in order for a movie to get Bechdel’s recommendation, it has to star at least two women who talk to each other about something other than men.

“Um, I think we get gold stars, then,” Deschanel says. (Ha ha, she said gold stars.) She goes on: “Yes, my character talks about women. Girl on girl! It’s not men, so we’re good.”

Mortimer chimes in: “We’re good! Thank God for the lesbian character.” That’s what we’re saying, girl!

Asked whether she worried whether her character would be sympathetic since she’s cheating on Jones’ character (who, apparently, plays a really adorable lesbian hipster), Deschanel says no, because she prefers to “play characters that need to be redeemed a little bit.”

It’s more interesting. If you can make a character likable that’s not very nice, that’s the challenge of the job. I thought that this is an important time in her life, because she’s struggling with her sexuality and trying to make a decision about committing to a person and making some huge mistakes. But it’s these times in people’s lives that make people who they are, and these big decisions will affect the rest of their lives. That’s what’s exciting to watch.

It does sound exciting to watch, doesn’t it? My Idiot Brother has been picked up by the Weinstein Bros. for $17 million at Sundance. It will have a wide release sometime this year, so expect to see it near you soon.

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