How did you build your onscreen chemistry with Ruffalo?
We were fortunate enough to film things mostly sequentially for the first half of the film, so we stayed in character together on set. Without sounding overly Methody about the whole thing, we just related to each other as Ned and Felix. If it was a scene where we had to be really tender with each other, we would sit together in closer proximity than actors might normally do and tell each other personal stories, so that when the cameras were rolling, we didn’t suddenly have to affect something. It was coming from a place that we had already created.
This is such an emotional role for you. Was it difficult to leave Felix behind at the end of each day?
I don’t want to let go of Felix. Usually by the time I’m done [with a role], I’m like, “OK, let’s close that chapter and move on,” but I don’t want to let go of him because I think he changed me for the better. I grew from getting to play him. What I love about their relationship is it is so symbiotic, because Felix is having trouble with his authenticity but is also incredibly available to intimacy and a real relationship. And Ned is this firebrand who’s completely authentic, and comfortable with who he is, but is terrified of intimacy. Together they help heal each other.
There was a moment when Mark and I — after we finished the wedding scene, which I think was the last thing we filmed together — just held on to each other and sobbed for a good 15 minutes. Not because of anything we had done but because we were a part of this story that was so much bigger than us, and because we knew that this was how a generation of people had to say goodbye to each other. Taking in the gravity of that moment was really overwhelming. It was just one of those things you don’t ever forget.
You can read the rest of the interview here.