The cast of Nicole Holofcener’s latest film You Hurt My Feelings spoke on what it’s like dealing with the realities of criticism and love.
Written and directed by Holofcener, You Hurt My Feelings stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tobias Menzies as an author and her husband whose marriage faces a rocky patch once she hears her husband’s true feelings about her latest book. According to the description, the film is one “about trust, lies, and the things we say to the people we love most.” Shadow and Act’s managing editor, Trey Mangum, spoke with Louis-Dreyfus, Menzies, Arian Moayed and Michaela Watkins.
Louis-Dreyfus and Menzies talked about what it’s like for them with accepting criticism, with Menzies saying the film made him look at criticism in a different way.
“I don’t think it changed it but it just made me look at from some different angles and kind of aerated the whole issue in an interesting way,” he said. “I still struggle with it. I suppose anyone involved in creative arts and making stuff, you’re vulnerable to honesty, criticism, or people not being straightforward about how they feel about stuff.”
Louis-Dreyfus added, “When you think about the value you place on others’ opinions and comments and how much time and energy you should give to that. I think that’s worth consideration, particularly in social media and all this crap out there, you can get really lost in what people think.”
Moayed said how the film made the push and pull between accepting and being skittish about criticism “even more complicated.”
“When you put yourself out there in any capacity and…especially [with] the people that you love, you’re hoping they give you some sort of love for it,” he said. “The expectation of what that love might sound like and then on the day, they say, ‘Good job,’ and you’re like, ‘Good job? What does that mean?’ and your mind just goes [in circles]. When you do a movie like this, then all of a sudden you start realizing, ‘Wow, this is everywhere.'”
Moayed added that out of all the characters in the film, Watkins’ character seems “the most put-together” out of all the characters. Watkins said that her character might seem less hungry for validation for other reasons.
“I’m the only one who when I need affirmation about what I do, I don’t really care about it,” she said of her character. “I’m kind of more preoccupied with how the world is kinda going to hell and I’m kinda done doing what I do, but everybody else is really thirsty for approval and validation.”
You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.