PARK CITY: When Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours unspooled at the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night, one of its opening credits sort of jumped off the screen: co-star Aubrey Plaza is credited as one of the film’s producers. The next night, at the premiere of her other Sundance movie Ingrid Goes West, there was that credit again: “Produced by Aubrey Plaza.” Aubrey Plaza is a power player now! Who knew?
“I don’t know how I became a producer. I don’t remember!” she confessed in the Q&A following Ingrid. “I think I just… wanted that money!”
She got involved in Ingrid first, before going to Italy to shoot The Little Hours, and it’s not like she was looking to put up a new shingle. “I just read the script as an actor, and loved it so much,” she recalled. “I just wanted to be involved. I read it and I was like, Hey Matt, we’re doing this movie, REMEMBER? I really just wanted to do it. So I think it was just an organic kind of thing, I wanted to be involved in casting, and I think it was helpful for me to take on that role, especially having just gone through The Little Hours.”
Her producer role was smaller on that film, she stressed: “I am a producer on that movie, but I’m not like Liz Destro, who is like the real producer for that movie. I helped with the cast on that movie, but that was kind of a lighter credit. But on this movie, I was involved in every step.”
Co-writer/director Matt Spicer then took the mic to clarify her bonafides: “Aubrey’s being modest,” he said. “Aubrey went to film school, and she is a filmmaker. People know her as an actor – I didn’t know she went to film school, but she really does think like a filmmaker. And it was really helpful; some actors, they only worry about their contribution to the project, and I think Aubrey was really thinking about the big picture. She’s in every scene, almost every shot of every scene, and it was really helpful to have someone there who was thinking about her part but also the whole thing – and who had the experience. This was my first feature, I didn’t know what I was doing, really. It was helpful to have someone who would watch my back.”
Plaza’s two actor/producer efforts will play at Sundance all week. She will also appear in the forthcoming FX series Legion.