“For a Good Time Call …” Breakout Star Ari Graynor Talks Phone Sex and Vintage

Spencer Cain
Photo Credit: Ryder Sloane/Focus Features

Photo Credit: Ryder Sloane/Focus Features

If you’ve turned on a television in the past two weeks, you’ve likely seen the trailer for For a Good Time Call …, hitting theaters this Friday nationwide. Frankly, it’s hard to miss. Whereas most films about twenty-something gal pals in New York City tend to shine light on the glamorous worlds of PR, fashion, and art, this flick showcases a different way of making rent: phone sex. And if you recognize the movie’s blonde star Ari Graynor, you have good reason. With a slew of memorable roles under her belt (how could you not remember Meadow’s insane roommate on “The Sopranos”?), this film is poised to take her career to the next level. We caught up with the hilarious Graynor in the midst of her whirlwind press tour (which caused her to tweet, “Newsflash: Hell just froze over. I am sick of talking about myself.”). Check out highlights of our chat here!

StyleCaster: Congratulations on a hugely successful year! Can you tell us what we can expect to see with this upcoming film and what you’re most excited about?

Ari Graynor: It’s sort of a female friendship love story set in the world of phone sex loosely inspired by the lives of the writers Lauren Miller and Katie Anne Naylon. It’s such a fun movie. It’s so rare now to really be able to have such a good time in an hour and a half, and escape your life feeling great and have a lot of laughs — and it’s surprisingly sweet. And for me, I love the character of Katie who is fun and outgoing and bawdy and brash on the outside, but when you dig a little deeper, she’s really quite vulnerable and insecure. Oh, and we got to have phone sex with Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen.

This movie definitely marks an awesome transition into a leading lady role, and you also have Ten Years coming up, which is definitely more of an ensemble cast. How does it feel to be transitioning into the role of a leading lady?

It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve been so lucky to work in the films that I’ve worked on, with incredible people and really exciting supporting characters. But it’s a different story when you’re able to carry a movie, and take a character’s journey from start to finish and really have that character go through their own story rather than just being there to support whoever the lead is. But there’s nothing to hide behind this time.

Since the subject nature in the film can lead to some questionable situations, did you have any funny or embarrassing moments while you guys were filming?

On set, you sort of become immune to all of the dirty words, and the props guy is asking whether you wanted the dildos in or out of the shot, and — you know — “Dildos in!” But the first thing we shot in the movie was my side of the Kevin Smith phone sex call. That was quite a way to meet a crew! You know, you walk in, you’re so nervous, shake everybody’s hand, and the next thing you know you’re on a bed on all fours talking dirty to a phantom Kevin Smith.

You’re going to be in David West Read’s The Performers with Henry Winkler, where you play a porn star. How is that going?

We haven’t started rehearsals yet but I’m really excited about this character. Her name is Peeps, and she’s just sort of this open book. She’s all heart and wide-eyed and she’s unlike any character I’ve ever read or seen and it will be so much fun to play her onstage every night.

You’ve carved out quite a niche for yourself in the comedy world, even voicing characters on Family Guy and American Dad. Is drama something you’d be interested in in the future? 

It’s more that I’ve just fallen into comedic roles in the past few years. But I will say that I am dying to get back to some drama and will hopefully be doing so after the play. Comedy is far more difficult than drama in some ways and can be more satisfying, but the other part of my soul is really craving to do some different, more transformative work.

Who is your dream cast mate? 

Meryl Streep, Michael Fassbender … I would love to do a movie with Woody Allen. That would be a dream come true. Oh, and Dianne Wiest. Maybe I could play her daughter!

Describe your personal style, and how you are most comfortable when it comes to fashion. 

I wear a lot of vintage and I like an eclectic look. I like some feminine pieces mixed with some more men’s-inspired looks. For me, the ’50s silhouette works really well — nipped-in at the waist and the skirt to the knee. I’m trying to get out of my schlubbier twenties look now that I’m in my late twenties. I’m trying to class it up a little bit. I like a lot of different pieces coming together at once. I like a big hat, but with a leather jacket over a vintage dress with a wedge.

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