Exclusive: Writer/Director/Star Whitney Cummings & Cast Talk ‘The Female Brain’ At LA Premiere

If you’re a “crazy” girl or a “neanderthal” guy – this film can tell you why.

Have you ever caught yourself doing something and asked yourself, “why?” Or questioned why women are constantly called emotional and bitchy while men get to be competitive and bold? I mean are we really that different- that and more is answered in Whitney Cummings’ film The Female Brain. Based on a book by the same title, Cummings dives into what makes us – us on the most natural level. Back to brain basics. The Knockturnal’s Nicolette Acosta got to interview Cummings and costars Toby Kebbel and Deon Cole at the Los Angeles premiere and dive into love, logic, and lessons to younger selves.

Nicolette Acosta: How was filming with this cast, they seem super lively super fun…

Toby Kebbell: You know I spent all my time with Whitney and I was just so lucky to do that. She was directing and she’s a phenomenal actress and she had me in stitches. For the first time ever someone did an English accent, or an American girl did an English accent to me.

NA: Did it seem legit?

TK: It was SO legit! It had me weeping yeah. It was hilarious.

NA: Did make you want to go out and try your American accent more often?

TK: I was trying it! That’s the embarrassing thing! I’m trying it in the film!

 

NA: Excited to see that! What was a dating inspiration you brought to the film? Did you channel a date or a girlfriend or crush?

TK: No, but when Whitney asked me to be involved, I said, ‘But look I don’t want to play just handsome guy number whatever, like he’s a contractor so I’d like him to not have brushed hair and grow my beard and wear my cap,’ like an actual contractor you know? And she was so up for that sort of activity, she wanted to make it as real as possible. It was a blessing all around, she’s a genius. I don’t know how she’s not the biggest star on Earth.

NA: There’s still time don’t worry. Speaking of the reality that film brings, do you think it shines an honest light on relationships-at least how we view relationships?

TK: Yeah absolutely! That’s all it’s about. I mean, right now you’ve got a film where you can get whipped and married and have lots of money or you can watch this and learn about real life. So yeah, I think that this should be the choice for Valentine’s Day or for everything.

NA: Did this make you reconsider how you look at relationships or romance at all?

TK: It taught me so much. I realized I’m a bumbling fool when it comes down to it. But you know…that’s how love is.

NA: I like that, plus at least you know now right?

TK: Exactly! Yeah, now I know!

Nicolette Acosta: I think the last advice I heard you give is to “get on Tinder and Bumble”?

Whitney Cummings: Yeah to her? (points to girl in background) Stay active, keep swiping. Never stop swiping. In any part of your life.

NA: (laughing) I love that mentality! Now we just need that for every other aspect of our lives!

WC: Yes! Exactly!

NA: When you were reading this book for the first time after you got into it, did you see yourself making this into a movie? When did it first strike you like, “Oh my gosh, this needs to be shared, this needs to be on film!”

WC: It’s weird! It’s like I’m still not sure- I’m still in denial that we made it, so when somebody’s like, “When did you think you were going to make it?” I’m like wait did we make it? It feels so weird that a movie got made, that’s about science, that’s called The Female Brain like it doesn’t make sense. I think that as soon as I put the book down I was very passionate … like I needed to spread this somehow. And I started talking about it in my standup and people went crazy and I would be like, “Has anybody ever read the female brain?” And they’d all be like, “YEAH!” And I was oh, there’s something going on here where people want to know about neurology and they just haven’t been given the opportunity to ingest it in an interesting or funny or entertaining way. And then I started doing some research on it. There’s a Ted Talk on neurology and it’s got 40 million hits! People want to know about it, people are interested, so it’s like yeah, let’s make something! A popular fiction book can be made into a movie, let’s make a popular non-fiction book and I guess I just wanted to create an experience for people that mirrored the experience that I had reading the book; which is that of relieve and empowerment and like, “Oh God I wish I had known this ten years ago!” So I kind of made this movie for my 20-year-old self and for all the men and women out there who are feeling lost and don’t understand the opposite sex and are trying to figure it all out. This movie is for every man that thinks that women are crazy. Basically.

NA: What was the biggest relationship lesson you can recall from your past? You say that you made this movie for your 20-year-old self, if you could look back and say to your 20-year-old self, “Yo I know this seems like such a big deal right now, but I need to let you know this before you freak out.”

 WC: A lesson? If you feel the need to ever check his phone just leave. Just leave. It took me so long to just go. As soon as I’m looking, as soon as I’m cocking my head, just get out. I promise- It’s not like anyone’s said, “And the day I knew he was my husband was when I checked his text messages!” You’ve never heard that wedding speech, you know?

Nicolette Acosta: Clearly you and Whitney are super close, how was working with her on this film?

Deon Cole: I mean…I mean it’s Whitney, you know? It’s exactly what you think it’s going to be. It’s crazy, it’s unpredictable, it’s nutty, it’s fun, it’s real. It’s like you’re not working.

NA: I’ve heard so many people use the word “real” to describe this film. It’s based on a non-fiction book, so you know that’s a good thing. When you were doing it did you have any dating or ex stories come to mind?

 DC: Well…I did have a couple come to mind…

NA: Can you share? What’s the craziest one? 

DC: Ooh if I start that now we’ll be here all night. No but I did start getting into our (the movie’s) situation and our roles and not really pulling from someone else but looking at it as a unique situation so we can get a real reaction from we would actually do. Because I didn’t want to pull from a real situation, I wanted to do what I would do honestly. I wanted to really just dive into the character to see what the character would do- you know what I’m saying? Because I think there’s honesty in not knowing.

NA: What are three adjectives you would use to describe your character?  

DC: Maaaaan…I would say persistent, he’s also willing, he’s also…about the moment. Well, that’s more than one word.

NA: I’ll give you a phrase, two words, and a phrase! Those all sound like really good things to have when you’re dating especially. What is one thing you want people to leave the theatre being like, “Oh my goodness, I’ve never thought of that before, but after I saw this film, that makes so much sense!”?

DC: I want people just to leave seeing there’s more options. There’s other options and maybe what they’re going through doesn’t have to be as complicated and once they see this, there may be another way to approach whatever situation they’re in. Hopefully, that resonates.

NA: If you could give your past self one piece of dating advice what would it be?

 DC: More patience. A little bit more patience I think. I have patience but if I just had a liiiittle bit more. That little bit more.

The evening was sponsored by SVEDKA Vodka and Avenue Los Angeles. Additional guests included, Joe Manganiello, Peter Gallagher, Nasim Pedrad, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Sarah Chalke, Sasheer Zamata, Beth Behrs, Kate Flannery, Joy Bryant, Leven Rambin, Emma Kenney, Michael Patrick King, Brec Bassinger, Ben Shenkman, Steven Levitan, Weston Cage, Ty Hickson, Lori Grenier, Ava Dash, Rachel Roy, Omar Sharif Jr., Kate Crash, Jade Pettyjohn, and Karan Brar.

In Theaters: February 9th

www.ifcfilms.com/films/the-female-brain

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