Judy Greer is sassy. She's brash and bold, silly and ditzy - she can pretty much do it all.
Surely you'll remember her turn as Kitty in Arrested Development, where she played a largely incompetent but "well-endowed" secretary/assistant to the Bluths.
In her latest role, the talented Mrs. Greer joins Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Dean Norris and the stacked cast of Paramount's Men, Women, & Children - a tense and timely social media drama releasing today in theaters nationwide.
Greer plays Joan Clint, the mother of high school cheerleader and bombshell Hannah Clint (played by the lovely Olivia Crocicchia).
Greer gets her usual laughs, but this one has more meat on the bones than your typical Adam Sandler-starrer. At the forefront of the discussion? Social media, and the relationships we build on the web. Without spoiling too much, mama Clint lives vicariously through her daughter, pushing a career in acting she never had. But how far do you go to bask in the starlight? Involve in the interwebs and you open up a can of ethical worms our humble hearts haven't the stomach for.
How well do we know the people we think we know? Is social media changing how we connect with people? We asked Judy Greer in a sit-down interview.
Moviepilot: I checked out Men, Women & Children. I loved it. I was a huge fan. I had the sweatiest palms I have had in, like, years – it made me really tense, it was very impressive.
So you play Joan Clint, mother of Hannah Clint, you end up in the story with a pretty interesting moral dilemma.
Judy Greer: I have two step-kids, one is 14 and one just turned 18 and will be in her first year of – so that’s happening. And the 14 year old is a freshman in high school.
MP: So the material was very relatable, I imagine, for you
JG: Very relatable, yeah. I found it really disturbing, and I don’t know, I think it’s important to kind of believe it.
MP: So what do you think of social media? Do you think it’s making us less social?
JG: Oh, a hundred percent I think. I think there’s a lot of the clichés like cyber bullying, where instead of walking up to someone and saying, “you’re fat,” and seeing them crumble in front of you, you have no idea the effect your words can have. Also, I’ve noticed that so much self esteem is based on how many likes you get on Instagram, and how many followers you have, and Facebook friends you have; all of that bullshit. It’s so much more important to kids these days than I think even having real genuine interactions with their small groups of close friends.
My stepson asked me recently why I didn’t have any pictures of them on my public Instagram account. Because I don’t want people seeing you, there’s weirdos out there – I haven’t had any problems, but you just never know. 'Well, we’re private though.' 'Yeah, but you’ll say yes to anyone who wants to add you, you just want followers.' And he smiled and kind of laughed because he knows I’m right. Kids aren’t that discerning. They’ll be like, 'Oh my God, I got 45 likes in an hour.' They’ll tell me about posting, and posting at certain times of the day. They are dialed into this! It’s...I don’t know, I’m sure we had something similar, I can’t remember what it was but it’s interesting how this has become their pastime.
Even me, when I’m really busy and can’t hang out or see someone and then they see a picture of me and another friend on Instagram and they’ll be like, 'Oh, well you weren’t too busy to hang out with that person, because I saw a picture of it on Instagram.' It’s like, ‘Dude!' It’s kind of intense and I’m not even a kid.
And this isn’t really “social media” but I notice the conversations I have over text messages with my kids, and younger people that I know are totally different than the “in person” conversations that they’ll have. It kind of bums me out! I want my kids to shake hands, and have fun conversations and interactions. I don’t know, it’ll come back around; I mean everything does. People are just buried in their phones. And by the way I am too. I’m not claiming that I’m not. If you saw me on set, you’d always see me on my phone. I’m not being "holier than thou,” I’m just as guilty. But I already have and have developed the skills I need to have to converse with people in person…I just worry for the kids who haven’t.
Men, Women & Children hits select theaters today with an expansion planned for the next few weeks.