In Amazon Studios’ I Want You Back, Emma (Jenny Slate) finds an emotional nemesis in pie shop owner Ginny, the new girlfriend of ex-boyfriend Noah (Scott Eastwood). She becomes the target of her mission with Peter to break up their respective exes’ new relationships, but as soon as the audience is introduced to Ginny, it’s pretty clear she’s not a villain. Ahead of the movie’s premiere, LA Confidential spoke with Backo about Ginny, learning to move on and the power of “Suddenly Seymour.”
Your partner in the movie is Noah. How do you get to know someone, in this case Scott Eastwood, so that you have comfortable on-screen chemistry?
I think something that definitely benefited me and was really nice for both of us was we actually got to rehearse a little bit before we started filming principal photography. So we got to get to know each other a little bit through rehearsal and just be comfortable with the scenes together.
I would say the biggest challenge was COVID because usually we'll go out for dinner and get to know each other on a personal level, but we weren't able to do that. But the nice thing is, of course, Scott, but everyone from this cast has been so just kind and giving every day when we were on set. So honestly, it wasn't super hard. We just got along because we're two nice people. It wasn't a huge challenge.
Pretty early on in the movie, Emma describes Logan and Ginny as shiny new people. From her and Peter’s perspectives, that’s a fair assessment, but it isn’t totally accurate. So how would you describe Ginny?
She's honestly just like a regular human. She owns a pie shop. She's kind, she's thoughtful, she's easygoing. She's an entrepreneur, so she's a go-getter. Of course it mattered to me in playing her and I was very happy to play her, but in this in the grand scheme of the story, it doesn't matter. I think that's what I take away from this movie and was happy to learn from doing this movie. It really does not matter what your ex's new person is doing or who they are or trying to compare yourself to that person. No matter how great they seem or not great they seem, the point is that, unfortunately, the relationship is over and it's time to figure out how to deal with that.
Did you have a favorite scene?
My favorite scene is actually when Jenny sings “Suddenly Seymour.” I think that's probably one of my new favorite moments in a film ever. Rom-com, drama— I don't care. It is the perfect blend of just heart wrenching sadness, but also she makes it so funny. It is so funny, but you’re crying at the same time and any movie moment that can make you do that has a warm place in my heart.
What do you think makes I Want You Back a great romantic comedy?
What I love about I Want You Back is that it blends everything that we know works and everything that we love about the old-school rom-coms, like late ‘80s and all the ‘90s and early 2000s, which I feel like we haven't really gotten that energy of a rom-com in recent years. Not to say there hasn't been great ones, but they just haven't felt like a classic. There hasn't been a classic in a long time. I feel like I Want You Back really is a new classic, but it's just elevated because it's contemporary and it's fresh and it's new, and I feel like all the learning we've all done from then to now is enmeshed in this film. There's no villains. Ginny is not an archetypal villain just because we're supposed to hate her. I feel like that shows growth, I think, in humanity not to get super cheesy.
I just hope everyone loves the movie as much as I do.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Courtesy Amazon Studios