The Knockturnal spoke with the director and the stars of the upcoming romantic comedy ‘The Boy Downstairs’ at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film, directed by Sophie Brooks, stars Zosia Mamet as Diana, a woman who moves back to New York City after a few years abroad. Upon moving into her apartment building, she discovers her ex-boyfriend (Matthew Shear) lives downstairs. Starring Sarah Ramos and Deirdre O’Connell, ‘The Boy Downstairs’ is the story of Diana reconciling with her feelings.
Interview with Sophie Brooks
Tell me a little bit about what inspired the movie.
I always knew I wanted to do a romantic comedy genre. It’s my favorite type of movie. When I was thinking about what I wanted to write, I knew I wanted it to be in that vein. A few years ago before I started writing it, I was walking across the street and I got hit by a car and then I got appendicitis ten days later. My brother moved into my apartment to help me recover because I was incapacitated and while I was recovering and I had this idea: What if the only person who could take care of you was an ex? And what would be the reason for that? It was if they were neighbors.
We can generally say that appendicitis incident inspired the film.
Tell me a little bit about your cast. You have the fantastic Zosia Mamet in this movie. Tell me about how she got involved.
She got involved really early. She was the first person we cast and was the first piece of the puzzle. It was amazing working with her. She’s so incredible with comic timing, such a wonderful improviser. We did a lot of improv and she’s just really on-board to try stuff.
How about working with Matthew?
He’s so sweet. Matt has something behind his eyes which is just an innate sincerity, so you don’t have to do that much. With any of my actors—they’re all so wonderful. He’s such a lovely person and it was really wonderful working with him.
What was the production process like?
We shot 21 days fall of 2015 in New York. It was a little spread out over five weeks because we randomly had a couple of holidays in there, which was nice. We shot two days in Westchester, and the rest just in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Just all over New York.
What else do you have in the works?
I’m writing a script right now that I want to have finished by the end of this year. I’m making a short that I co-wrote and I’m producing next month. I’m just writing. I wrote a zombie comedy that I almost finished. I’m jumping around a little.
How did you get your start in filmmaking?
I went to NYU for film and I graduated 2012.