Rosemarie DeWitt knows her way around a low-budget, heavily improvised film, so teaming up with Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson on "Digging for Fire" was no biggie. DeWitt stars alongside Johnson as a pair of young parents using a weekend house-sitting gig as a chance to let loose a bit — after she drops her young son off with her parents, of course.
With your character, there’s a certain honesty about parenting that especially younger parents are afraid to admit out loud — things like saying, "I need a break, I need some time by myself.'
You know, it's funny because I was and maybe still am in sort of that new blissful mommy state where you’re happy to lose your life to your child. It's not really, "When do I get my life back?" like Lisa [in the film]. But Joe makes really personal films, and he tells you why he's making them, where some directors or writers don't want to talk too much or tell you too much. But Joe will be like, "Kris and I had this talk the other day” or “this is the thing we’re struggling with, with preschool.” So if it comes from your own experience, great. If you steal it from Joe’s experience, great, you know? He’s very generous in that way. A lot of it came from what I think Joe was kind of chronicling a lot of his life in his movies, and this is where he’s at now.
And using his own young son. Though I wonder how Jude will view these movies in 15 years.
It'll be interesting, right? So far he’s still pretty oblivious to the fact that he’s acting in a movie. "Do I get a gummy bear? Great, I’ll do it.”
Actually, how is Jude? When you’re working with such a young kid, you can’t necessarily go by a script as much.
We don’t, yeah, and he’s not a child actor with quotes around it, so no one taught him to be cute or winning or wholesome or to smile on cue. Thank god. He just kind of shows up and it’s a game. You just really talk to him and because he’s not self-conscious at all and doesn’t understand that anybody’s going to watch this movie, you really talk to him and he really answers you. So it’s actually the easiest thing in the world, and the only thing you can’t get caught doing is acting. You know what I’m saying? You have to be as present as a 4-year-old. That’s probably just a rule of thumb to take wherever you go. In life, really.
Just be as present …
As a 4-year-old. I have a 2-year-old and we haven’t hit “but why” stage, but I know “but why” is coming and I’m like “oh my God…”
Are you still in the “what’s that” stage?
No, it’s “what happened?” She’ll throw her milk and it’ll spill all over the floor and she’ll go, “What happened, Momma?!” And I’m like, “You threw your milk and it spilled on the floor!” “What happened?!”