Alison Brie laughs a lot when she talks, though she only does that half the time in “Sleeping with Other People.” She plays Lainey, who has a love addiction to a man she shouldn’t (played by Adam Scott). The only person who makes her perk up is Jake (Jason Sudeikis), a man she slept with once in college and reconnects with a decade later. The two share obvious sexual chemistry but decide they should stay friends. It’s a classic romantic-comedy setup, only one tempered by dark themes and brutal honesty — qualities that crop up, in various degrees, in other shows and movies Brie has been involved with, from “Mad Men” to “Community” to “BoJack Horseman.” But that's how she likes it.
First off: I somehow didn’t realize till I was prepping for this that on top of voicing Diane on “BoJack Horseman” you’re also Vincent Adultman, the character who may or may not be three children stacked on top of each other under a trenchcoat pretending they’re an adult man.
I do so many voices on that show, so many little voices. Basically every time I would go to record they would be like, “Can you do this other character while you’re here?” It became an interesting challenge — like, “I don’t know, how many voices do I have in my arsenal?” More than I expected. And you’re really on the spot. They’d have you read something at a table read and you think it’s because the person isn’t here. And you go to record and they say, “Oh yeah, you’re doing that voice. So think of something. Go.” It’s fun watching the episodes because I usually don’t remember who I am. I watch it and go, “Oh, that’s me!”
Who else do you voice?
“Cow waitress,” “body of crickets,” “intern number two.” They’re so random. Vincent Adultman is definitely the largest of my other roles. I get excited for characters that have two lines.
“BoJack Horseman” is a very, very dark show. “Sleeping with Other People” can get pretty dark too. Are you actively looking for that tone in projects?
Absolutely. I love that kind of stuff. It’s what I like to watch as well. When things become a bit darker or unexpectedly dark, it really turns me on. I’m into it.
There’s a balance in the film between what’s a traditional romantic comedy and something that’s sometimes brutally honest.
That’s what drew me to it. Lainey is such a deep character. She’s so emotionally fragile. But she can still be upbeat. I find that interesting — characters who aren’t just one thing, especially in the romantic-comedy genre. We do see a lot of one-dimensional female characters and their quest for love is the only thing defining them. In this movie she has a love addiction, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have moments where she’s laughing or making other people laugh.
There’s a will-they-or-won’t-they thing going on here, but their relationship is so deep that it almost doesn’t matter if they get together or not.
It could go either way. The characters transform throughout the movie and they could end up together, or not. Leslye [Headland, writer-director] wrote a romantic-comedy for cynics. It tows the line between being cynical and very romantic. The whole time you’re watching it you’re like, “Yeah, f— love.” [Laughs] At the same time you’re watching them fall in love. I like that, as the title suggests, we’re watching these characters fall in love but we also see them sleeping with other people, having sex with other people. It feels very current. It feels like the way people do date and have complex and confusing relationships with people at the same time they’re sexually active. Romantic-comedies became very chaste for awhile, and weirdly so. The characters are focused on falling in love then eventually they do. I don’t think that’s how people date today.