Josh Radnor and Kathryn Hahn discussing Afternoon Delight
"Television is like boot camp," declared actress Kathryn Hahn. "You have to make choices really fast. It helps you trust your gut in a way that's not indulgent. You don't have a lot of time to talk about it, which I love. I like to jump in."
Hahn and co-star Josh Radnor were in the Daily Buzz studios to discuss their roles in Jill Soloway's Afternoon Delight, which premiered here at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the week, and the topic had turned to the relationship between television and American independent film.
Radnor also remarked on the speed required by both mediums: "Studios, it seems, have abandoned films about recognizable people going through recognizable problems and the independent film world has picked up that baton. But you only get 23, 25 days to shoot these things. And you work so fast in TV. It's not a big deal to shoot five to seven pages a day in a television show... so someone who knows how to shoot that quickly [can handle it.]"
Both actors have a background in television. Though Radnor has directed two films that premiered at Sundance, he is best known for his starring role on How I Met Your Mother. Hahn got her start on Crossing Jordan and recently appeared in several episodes of Lena Dunham's Girls, perhaps today's best example of the indie-TV crossover. Afternoon Delight's writer-director Jill Soloway also has a history in the medium, having written for Alan Ball's Six Feet Under and Diablo Cody's The United States of Tara (are we seeing a pattern here yet?).
Radnor praised what he saw as the flexibility television had taught Soloway: "You can really tell she's worked in TV because I think TV writers are used to being rewritten, so she's not precious with her stuff. She wrote a whole scene for us to do and it wasn't working and she said: 'you know what, let's just throw it out.' And we came up with another thing that was so much more pure. She trusts the in-the-moment process and she trusts us as collaborators."
And with a growing roster of television auteurs who got their start in independendent film—among them Mike White (Enlightened), Michael Cuesta (Homeland), Todd Haynes (Mildred Pierce) and the aforementioned Lena Dunham (Girls)—as well as television to indie film stories like Radnor's and Soloway's, the lines between the two worlds seem poised to only blur further.
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