So when people said he was an actor, I didn’t really think anything of it. I figured everyone’s an actor, everyone’s done commercials and stuff.Along the way, Yi meets Jasenovec’s friend Michael Cera, and romance ensues. We didn’t tell anybody to do anything, we didn’t stage any of the bits. CY: Well, originally it was going to start off as a documentary, and then we kind of came up with the idea of creating this fictional thing.Thus the film is part interview segments (sometimes aided by puppets) and part footage of Cera and Yi’s adorably strained courtship. Club sat down with Johnson and Yi—whose credits include a stint in Knocked Up—to discuss the film’s deafening Sundance buzz, love stories, and the pair’s penchant for pulling the wool over viewers’ eyes. But we were hoping, I guess, that if someone didn’t know going in what was real and what was not, maybe they would be more invested with the love story, and feel something more. When it’s over, we wanted everyone to be like, “All right.” CY: “Okay, you went for the ride, I hope you enjoyed it.” JJ: Hopefully you liked it enough, and hopefully the documentary affected the—you actually cared more about Charlyne and Mike, because you thought maybe it’s real. AVC: How did you reach the decision to meld the documentary with scripted material? But he’s actually in Toronto right now filming a movie called ‘Scott Pilgrim.’ So that’s interesting [laughs]. ” With all our friends, we kept imagining: What if it was Jonah Hill? I mean, essentially there’s a part of you in the character, but I was like, Wow, he was really good. Has your attitude toward love, which was pretty cynical at the outset of the movie, changed at all since? Through talking to people and seeing these really long relationships … And I think every time I interviewed someone I’d get chills and go, “Oh my God, that’s a really good story.” — because we would hang out with them for hours, shooting and setting up in their house. You can’t help but feel more affected than watching a fictional film because these people are real. But then we were making a list of all the young actors that were talented and we’re like, “Who’s going to want to play a character named their own name and not get paid a lot of money [laughs] and also be able to, like, play it realistic? He’s great, too, but then Nick was like, “Oh, Michael’s really good.” And he made me watch some ‘Arrested Development.’ I was like, “Oh, he is really good.” Michael is so different from his character. ” [Laughs] It’s just so silly to overreact over something like that.
"One of my best friends from childhood was like, 'Isn't that a little irrational, you're gonna go do comedy? '" recalls Yi, "And I was like, 'I don't know about that!
Park on "House," or as one of Seth Rogen's stoned roommates in "Knocked Up." These small roles might be her best known work, but Yi became a performer to take risks, not to get famous. Besides being recognized as "the awkward character" from "House," Yi has always tested her audience: by getting her head shaved onstage at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre while singing a Sinead O' Connor song, announcing her boyfriend dumped her on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" or making audience members play the dating game in a comedy club.
However uncomfortable or emotional one of her appearances is, she doesn't do things half-heartedly.
Charlyne Yi and Jake Johnson are pranksters at heart, but it’s hard to tell on first glance at their new film, Paper Heart. Charlyne Yi: [Laughs.] Half of it; 50 percent is fake, and 50 percent isn’t.
It’s ostensibly a documentary about the nature of love; Yi admits upfront that she doesn’t believe in love, and sets out on a mission with director Nick Jasenovec to chat with a variety of people—longtime married couples, scientists, children—about their thoughts on the subject. Jake Johnson: All the documentary is real, from the psychic to the kids, everybody, to the judge. AVC: What was the purpose behind creating the confusion?
And I met people with awesome stories, and I was like: “There’s so many movies about love that are fiction, what if we made a movie actually capturing true-love stories?