On Sept. 16, whodunnit comedy Confess, Fletch hits theaters, bringing to the screen a charming-as-ever Jon Hamm as the titular Fletch, a former investigative reporter turned book writer. While on the hunt for a stolen art collection, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young woman and sets out to prove his innocence.
Wrapped up in Fletch’s chaos is girlfriend Angela, played by Lorenza Izzo. Ahead of the movie’s premiere, Izzo spoke with LA Confidential about creating Angela, working on comedy projects and the joys of producing.
You’ve talked about how coming onto Confess, Fletch you weren’t worried about the previous movies, so much as focused on diving into the novels. What essential insight did you get about this story and your character from reading the book the film is based on?
When I signed on, I wasn't familiar with the Fletch universe at all, so that was the first really fun thing for me. I'm very into older movies. I love murder mysteries. I think Clue was one of the first movies that really wanted me to get into it. There's something really fun about the genre of murder mystery. Not that Fletch is a murder mystery, but in the universe of Fletch, our main character and is like a wannabe James Bond type and more of an investigative journalist and always finds himself in these really wacky situations and he's in the center of them.
I think what was so cool about this is that it had the mix of the comedy and the wackiness and very subversive main character who has to untangle himself from a very, very gnarly knot. And each novel had a whole different role. So in regards to my character, it was really freeing because I wasn't trying to match anything in particular. I could do whatever I wanted. They gave me the freedom to create Angela in however way I wanted to. And that's all thanks, obviously, to Jon being the producer and Greg Mottola being the director that he is and wanting to give me all the freedom to just play around.
What sort of person did you build Angela into?
She's a really frickin’ cool woman to live in her shoes, I have to tell you. She's a person who understands who she is in a way that I found really refreshing in terms of she knows what she deserves and she has no qualms about demanding it. And I think as women, it's hard to traverse in that world. I think a lot of what happens to us in society is that we're scared to ask for what we think we deserve because so much of us is being quiet and taking what we can get because whenever we act up, even a little bit, like, “you're crazy, you're demanding you're a diva.” So it was really freeing for me to live in those shoes.
Why does Angela make a good counterpart to Fletch?
I think they're very different energies. Jon/Fletch lives in a vibrancy, in an energy level that's very grounded. He has a very intellectual humor about him. He's very nonchalant. He's so sure he's gonna get himself out of situations and, to me, to Angela, he's like this screw-up guy in her mind. In reality, he's one step ahead of her all the time. So I think it's really funny, for me at least, watching these two energies: her presenting so sure of herself, but really doesn't have it together and him presenting like he doesn't have it together, but inside knows exactly where he's at. And more than where he’s at, he just knows he's gonna figure it out.
What experience do you hope audiences have watching this movie?
I consider myself audience first, performer second. I got into this because I love consuming film and stories in all shapes and forms. I think it's been a while since we've had this type of movie. You have to keep in mind it lives in a budget bracket that doesn't usually get financed. It’s the type of movie that was built in a way that doesn't usually happen. I love big superhero movies, but I also love small, independently-made movies, and I think this lives in a cool in-between we haven't seen in a while.
You also have Panhandle coming out later this month. Is your character, Vida, pretty different from Angela?
I've always wanted to live more in comedy. I have been wanting to explore that genre. It’s something that scares me a lot. I think it's one of the hardest things to pull off as a performer. It's difficult and I really enjoy that it's scary to me.
Panhandle is just really wacky, again with a lot of mystery surrounding murder. Vida is a very passionate, as well as strong-willed woman. I can't say much more about it, but I'm excited that people will be watching something that's also unique and quirky.
You mentioned how working in the comedic space can be scary. Have you always been fueled by nerves throughout your acting career?
I think so much of my career is being so scared and doing it anyway. I think the biggest chunk of my career is rejection. Rejection is a constant, the yeses and the being on set are the surprise. And every time I go into an audition, every time I do a chemistry read or I go to meet a director, there's so many nerves that I have about performing or giving the right thing or just being present. So much of it is just nerves about being present, which I think we can all relate to in all of our jobs. It’s not particular to being an actor, but it has definitely taught me that that's my fuel. The more they say no, the more I want to keep going and the more nervous I get, the more I want to do it.
A green light comes along and you keep doing it because that chance you get, those times on set are worth it to me— that 20% that's incredibly gratifying and satisfying. That’s the gift. The job is the rejection and the nerves, and the gift is on set getting to grow and learn and get better.
Do you have any other roles you’re excited about?
I'm currently developing a project from the producer angle, and I can't talk about it, but I do want to talk about how much I'm loving producing and how excited I am going to be when I get to talk about pushing forward this wonderful script.
I got into producing with this film called Women is Losers and that movie was a huge success for me because it was super independently made with very, very little money. And it was a first-time, Latina, female director and within a Latina, female lead myself… We ended up selling it to HBO Max and that whole journey of that script really got me hooked and in love with the process of producing from the seed. So I'm getting to do it again. Because it is so small and tiny, I don't want to jinx anything because it takes a lot of sweat, blood and tears for real to get those types of projects out, to get those kinds of stories out.
My personality is very type-A, perfectionist— not that you need those qualities for producing. But there's something about pushing a project from the seed…When I come on a project as an actor, it's all about how do I service this story? How do I push the story forward? I'm going to be embodying that dialogue. When you come out and from a producer angle, you're like, “How do we get this story made in a way that we're servicing the vision of the director and a writer?” That's a whole different aspect. You're not holding their hand, you're not telling them what to do. You're giving the tools, the experience you have and the connections you have to make sure that that vision comes to light.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Confess, Fletch is also available on premium video-on-demand and will be available on Showtime on Oct. 28.
Photography by: Photo by Lucas Passmore