On Nov. 25, we were on the red carpet for a special screening of writer/director Liz Tuccillo’s new film “Take Care” hosted by eOne Entertainment and The Friars Club. Liz is best known for writing HBO’s “Sex & The City,” and both the book and screenplay for “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Stars Leslie Bibb and Thomas Sadoski attended the event and everyone participated in a panel after the special screening. When a car crash leaves Frannie (Bibb) immobilized, she is brushed off by everyone she can count on. With nowhere else to turn, Frannie reluctantly calls her ex, Devon (Sadoski), for help. It isn’t before long that old wounds emerge and are made worse when Devon’s crazy new girlfriend (Betty Gilpin) shows up. Read our exclusive interviews below and a few highlights from the Q&A.
Leslie Bibb plays Frannie.
When you first read the script what did you love most about it?
Leslie Bibb: I loved this character because she doesn’t wear an ounce of makeup. Oh yeah. Leslie Bibb with no makeup. And sometimes I called my agent and was like, “This is what maybe ends my career.” No. (laughs) I just wanted to warn you. I got to dye my hair brown, I got to change! And I love the physical impediment of dealing with a broken arm and leg.
You got to be in a wheelchair!
LB: I was in an arm cast and a leg cast, and a wheelchair. So there’s a lot of physical comedy and I was really into that. I was really, really working on that impediment. And really being pretty bare. And I read the script and thought the writing was great and she was funny and kind of a brat and yet I liked her spunk. And she felt like every girl, every New York girl that’s kind of like, “I don’t need anybody! I’m on my own!” And I was like “oh, I know her.” And I was so taken with Liz Tuccillo. And I thought, “Oh please God. How fun to work with someone as talented and funny as she is.” So she wrote it and directed it. And I was like “Wow, I like that concept of a strong woman working with a strong woman.”
You said that you had to be really bare for this movie, no make up, working with impediments, not glamorous.
LB: Not glamorous. Like, hair and makeup was 15 minutes.
So did you have to go this bare for a movie before?
LB: I don’t think so! I really don’t. And I got to produce on it, so that was really a hands on experience. So I’m really proud of this movie. And it looks so beautiful and she did a great job, and our DP was a woman, and we had all these great young guys who were just out of NYU film school. So it was a really exciting time! And I loved every minute of this movie. I mean, we were hands on, in the trenches, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So what would you say is your favorite part of working on the movie?
LB: I think my favorite part of the movie was … everything. I loved working with those actors, and I love producing. I’ve produced before, but not as hands on as this. That was really cool, and being so in it with Liz was really … I mean, we were in it. Like day in and day out. And going after cast and writing letters and it was really fun to be that integral in making something.
So were you and Liz partners in this from the beginning?
LB: No, She wrote it and she brought it to me. And then when they asked me to do it, I was like I want to come on as a producer and then I did. And then I was like “oh, I’m going to get in there.” It was nice. It felt like a real labor of love.
So you want to do more producing in the future?
What kind of stuff do you want to produce?
LB: Yeah. I want to rule the world!
Below are highlights from the panel.
Moderator: From the opening scene, you really set the tone of the film with the awkwardness, the humor, and the physical comedy. Can you talk a little bit about writing the script and directing it, and doing the opening scenes the way you did?
Liz Tuccillo: I always had, or I did always have the image that it was going to be in a five story walkup, and what do you do when you have a walk up and you have to get up the stairs? It was the most basic question. So it was always my first image. And then when you’re doing it in this crazy building where people are, like the tenants are walking down…
Leslie Bibb: Literally walking down.
Liz: They’re like “why are you shooting a film in my building?” Obviously it gets more confusing, but yes, it was my first image.
Leslie: Wasn’t there a question when we were walking up and we were doing it really fast and we were like how many flights should we walk up? Four or five?
Liz: The script said six!
Leslie: By the way, that beautiful actor really does walk me up all those steps. The stunt coordinator guy was terrible and out of our budget. I just kept sliding off his back and David trekked me up all those steps, sweating like a crazy person in labor carrying a broken lady.
Moderator: Leslie, could you tell us a little bit about working the physical comedy of it?
Leslie: Well, my boyfriend had just hurt his body in a way, so he had a physical therapist. And I said (whispers) , “We’re calling his physical therapist, she’ll do it for free because she likes him!” So I said to Caroline, “She works for the Knicks and she’s good!” And she didn’t do it for free. And I told him, and he was like, “Oops.” But she was great because she gave us tips, and she was like don’t use that, she gave us all this really important information about what the physicality would be, about how walking these steps would be, how your body would be. And then you’re like “yeah yeah yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.” And then the vice grips go on. And then slowly, but surely you would see at the end of the day how atrophied my leg was. So sweaty!
Thomas Sadoski: You were disgusting.
Leslie: So stinky, so disgusting.
Thomas: You were a shell of a person. You had two withered stumps.
Leslie: Ugh, disgusting.
Thomas: You never knew beauty could disappear so quickly. (laughter)
Liz: Leslie really did go out and do preparation for it. And we mostly shot in sequence, so she could really track her injuries. But the interesting part for me was realizing that [Thomas Sadoski] had to deal with the injuries as well. As an actor who had to deal with another person who constantly had injuries and was completely immobile. That was also interesting.
Leslie: And then the sex scene.
Liz: Yup, there was the sex scene.
Leslie: Hot sex scene. Which, I have to tell you, I’ve never really done a sex scene and I got nervous. Not in usual sex, but we have to get in there and do a thing and it’s a thing and a thing.
Thomas: And the Liz went all crazy and it was like a porno. (laughter) It was like you stripped the panties off, and Ann got down with the camera and it was really close. And she was like okay, is there a way you can look more shy as you’re going in.
Leslie: This has gone crazy. This interview has gone crazy. Anyway, then I saw it, this scene, because we were editing and I was so excited because I got to produce on this. And I saw the movie and I saw the sex scene and it was this weird thing. I said, I feel like an a–hole! Because I love that sex scene so much. It’s really a very endearing scene … So they’re always very combative and weird, the sex scenes, and I saw this and it was very tender and loving, so I look at it and I think it’s beautiful in a very awkward sort of “touch this, don’t touch this I’m a gimp” sort of way. There you go.
“Take Care” opens in theaters and on VOD Friday, Dec. 5.