There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then…there’s Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. Ken. David. Josh. George. New York City is full of fun seekers seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the late night date nights, teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single—and have a hell of a time—in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps has never been so much fun.
“How to Be Single” stars Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”), Rebel Wilson (“Pitch Perfect”), Damon Wayans Jr. (“Let’s Be Cops”), Anders Holm (“Neighbors,” “The Intern”), Alison Brie (“Get Hard”), Nicholas Braun (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), Jake Lacy (HBO’s “Girls”), with Jason Mantzoukas (“Neighbors,” TV’s “The League”) and Leslie Mann (“This is 40”).
Christian Ditter (“Love, Rosie,” “The Crocodiles”) directed the comedy from a screenplay by Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein (“The Vow,” “He’s Just Not That Into You”) and Dana Fox (“Couples Retreat,” “What Happens in Vegas”), screen story by Kohn & Silverstein, based on the book by Liz Tucillo (TV’s “Sex & the City,” He’s Just Not That Into You). John Rickard and Dana Fox produced the film. Marcus Viscidi, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Dave Neustadter, Michele Weiss, Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen served as executive producers.
Ditters’ behind-the-scenes creative team was headed by his frequent collaborator, director of photography Christian Rein, as well as production designer Steve Saklad (“Juno,” “Up in the Air”), editor Tia Nolan (“Friends with Benefits”) and costume designer Leah Katznelson (“Enough Said,” “21 Jump Street”). The music is by Fil Eisler (TV’s “Empire”).
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures present, in association with Flower Films, a Wrigley Pictures Production, “How to Be Single.” The film will be released theatrically worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
If you’re not having fun being single,
then you’re not doing it right.
Single in New York City? Or London, L.A., Munich, Miami, or anywhere in between? These days, in cities big and small, there’s a nightlife rife with girls’ nights out, singles’ bars, online dating and one-night stands arranged on apps—no romance required. Today’s singles aren’t necessarily looking for Ms. or Mr. Right, or drowning their sorrows in their lonely bachelor/ette pads. “How to Be Single” is an all-out comedy that shows how they’re all out there making the most of the single lifestyle, in the most outrageous ways imaginable.
The film’s director, Christian Ditter, states, “I wanted to make a really modern and fresh take on the comedy genre as it deals with partying, having fun, dating—a snapshot of what it really means to be single today. A lot of movies that deal with men and women and dating are about finding the right one, but this is not that; it’s about embracing the most fun and free time of life while you’re also finding your place in the world, finding friends, finding out what you want to do with your life.”
Led by an ensemble cast that includes some of today’s hottest comedic actresses, including Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann, and such rising comedy stars as Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas and Colin Jost, the film follows a host of singles at various stages of—and with varying opinions on—the single state.
Producer John Rickard notes, “It’s a universal experience, being young, right out of college and discovering a whole big world. Or a few years later, hitting another one of those crossroads: what do I care about, what do I want to spend my life doing, does another person even figure into the picture? We often think it’s a partner we have to find, but it’s really ourselves, and that can be scary.”
Happily, what’s scary in real life can make us laugh the hardest when it’s played out on film. Screenwriter/producer Dana Fox, a comedy veteran, offers, “Romantic comedies are always centered on the romance, but this is a comedy about the time in between the relationships, when you’re out there to have a good time in this crazy age of staring at your cell phone, having entire conversations in 140 characters or less and ‘swiping right’ to meet people. There are so many advantages to a film with so many funny stories to tell.
“In any movie,” she continues, “you want audiences to feel like they’re along on the journey. We have Dakota Johnson’s character, Alice, to provide the heart and soul of the story, and we have all these other great women and men to follow along and laugh with.”
Or laugh at. Returning to her comedy roots, Johnson deftly handles Alice’s fumbling attempts to meet men upon finding herself newly single, especially when paired with Rebel Wilson’s extreme party girl, Robin, the perfect tour guide through the world of free drinks, hook-ups and text message protocol. Alison Brie’s Lucy is a girl on an online dating mission, and Leslie Mann’s Meg has been on the career track and sort of forgotten to have a personal life. Along with the guys they all meet along the way, they exemplify the wide range of what it’s like out there.
Ditter says, “I loved the script, I thought it was hilariously funny but also true to life, and it continued to evolve once we got on set with Dana and all these amazing comedic talents and their incredible improv skills. So what we ended up with in the film are characters and stories I see a lot of my own experiences in, and friends’ experiences, too. I think that anyone who’s been single—and that’s, well, everybody—will have a lot of fun and find a lot to laugh about when they relate it to their own life.”
Welcome to the party!
Just out of college, Alice is worried she’s missing out—on what, she’s not quite sure, but taking a “break” from longtime boyfriend Josh in order to make sure he’s the one is the right thing to do…isn’t it?
“How to Be Single” takes us along with Alice as she ventures into a new job, a new city—New York—a newly unattached life, and all that goes along with it. Dakota Johnson, who plays the fresh-faced Alice, says, “I loved how believable the story was—we’ve all been that person who is stumbling through, trying to figure things out.”
Fox, who worked with Johnson previously, was happy to see the actress go back to a comedic role after several more dramatic parts. “Dakota is just naturally talented, especially when it comes to comedy, both physical and verbal,” she states. “As a writer, it’s such a pleasure for me to work with her again, because nothing comes out feeling ‘written.’”
When we first meet her character, Johnson observes, “She is sort of this doe-eyed, curious young woman starting college. She meets a boy right away and is quickly in a comfortable and nurturing relationship.”
Fast forward four years. “Like so many of us, Alice has always depended on someone, whether it’s her parents, her sister or her boyfriend. Suddenly, she has this profound moment of realization and forces herself into what she thinks is an awakening, but which is really just a break up,” the actress acknowledges. “But taking a break turns into a total explosion of life as she knows it, and now she has to figure out how to handle it.”
After persuading her very serious boyfriend she needs to experiment with being on her own, Alice heads to Manhattan to start a new job as a paralegal. “Right away, she falls into the hands of Robin, who’s kind of insane,” Johnson laughs. “Alice has been sheltered and established a lot of boundaries for herself; Robin has zero boundaries and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her, so long as she’s having fun.”
The role of Alice required a convincing amount of girl-next-door naiveté in order for moviegoers to slip into her shoes, or at least remember a time when they did. Ditter found Johnson to be “absolutely gorgeous but at the same time completely relatable. She’s talented and gives a very authentic performance, which makes it easy for the audience to see themselves in her place. She grounds the story for all the other characters, who are much more outrageous.”
None more so than the aggressively spirited Robin, who makes it her mission to not only show the newcomer the ropes at work, but after business hours as well. “Robin really loves being single and wants everyone else to love it as much as she does,” Johnson offers. “Alice, on her own for the first time, figures she might as well learn from the master.”
Rebel Wilson took a no-holds-barred approach to her character. “Robin is the eternally single girl who knows who she is and what she wants, is super independent and has the best life you could have in the best city in the world. She goes out partying, drinks a lot, has one-night stands, and doesn’t carry any of the baggage that a relationship can bring.”
In fact, when we first see Robin, she’s at the top of her game. “She’s at one of New York’s hottest clubs, dancing up a storm,” Wilson notes. The production brought in Wilson’s close friend Aakomon Jones, who choreographed her in “Pitch Perfect,” to give Robin all the right moves for her entrance. “AJ choreographed a little dance for me and we did it about 50 times that day, just for that one opening shot. It was so much fun,” she adds.
Upon meeting Alice, Robin is determined to show her the way of the single life—her way. “Robin literally teaches her how to be single—how to get drinks for free in a bar, where to hook up with someone at work, when to text back the guy you slept with the night before… All the tricks in her book,” Wilson notes.
On set, Wilson definitely brings the fun. “I’m a huge fan of Rebel’s,” Ditter declares. “I think everything she does is hysterically funny, and she brought so much to the table, so many ideas and great improv. We always did a few scripted takes, of course, but then I said to her, ‘Okay, surprise me,’ and a lot of what she did is in the film, because she’s so inventive and such a comedy genius. I was afraid we’d have to digitally stabilize all of her takes because the camera operator was laughing so hard!”
“Rebel is magnificent; she’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met,” Johnson raves. “She’s extremely heartfelt, but can then turn around and easily riff on the most ridiculous subjects. It was really amazing working with her.”
The feeling was mutual for Wilson. “I loved working with Dakota. We have such different energies and are such different physical types; we’re almost like a classic comedy duo.”
Because Ditter loved the way the two women played off each other, Wilson recalls, “We added a lot of outrageous physical comedy—nothing was too crazy for him. Christian really enjoys that stuff and trusted us to go with it, so we did. He was incredibly supportive of our ideas and we got up to some great mischief, Dakota and I.”
Rickard states, “Rebel is really at the forefront of pop culture and redefining what it means to be a comedy star. Whenever she’s on set, you really can’t take your eyes off her—you don’t want to miss what she might do or say next, and that translates to the screen. And Rebel and Dakota together? Lightning in a bottle.”
If Robin is a new and somewhat unstabilizing force in Alice’s life, her sister, Meg, is her rock. The part is played by Leslie Mann, whom Ditter refers to as “comedy royalty, great fun and a total pleasure to watch.”
“I play an obstetrician, so she’s around babies all day. But she doesn’t have any, or any interest in having her own, even though she knows the clock is ticking,” Mann observes.
A little older and a lot wiser, or so it seems, Meg is the consummate successful career woman. But, unlike her sister, who’s seeking to expand her personal life, Meg has neglected hers entirely.
Still, Meg’s got a maternal side. Johnson notes, “Meg allows her little sister to be whoever she is, at any time. So, when Alice and Meg are together, you see a completely different side of Alice—a little immature and childish—but she’s forgiven because it brings out the softness and gentleness in Meg. And they are playful and funny together because they’re sisters, one of the most important relationships you can have.”
Despite being a doctor who delivers babies, or her ease with mothering her sister, Meg professes to be profoundly uncomfortable with children. But a pivotal scene early in the film shows that Meg just may protest too much. The scene required Mann to spend three hours on a confining set with a six-month-old. “It was just Leslie and the baby with me, two cameras and a sound guy in a super small room,” Ditter describes, “and once we were in there, there was no getting out. The baby wouldn’t do anything we wanted her to, and I thought, ‘This is my first and last day with Leslie!’ But she is a total professional, and everything she did the baby just mirrored. She created such a good mood in the scene and really directed the baby, and it turned into one of the most amazing scenes in the film. Leslie was just gold.”
“While Leslie is playing the comedy, she’s always also playing a thread of emotion that runs just underneath,” Fox elaborates. “I think that’s why it’s such fun to watch her characters melt down; it just comes off so natural and you think, ‘I’ve had that same freak out before, I’ve done that.’ Nobody is as good as she is at letting the crazy quietly play out underneath the dialogue.”
In addition to avoiding children outside the workplace, Meg also seems to have completely discounted the idea of having a man in her life, content instead to be married to her job. “And then she meets a boy…a much younger boy,” Mann reveals. Apprehensive but sufficiently charmed, Meg decides to go for it, if only for a one-nighter.
Unlike Meg, Lucy is a proactive young woman determined to date as much as necessary and in the most efficient and practical manner possible—online—in order to find not just a man, but the man for her. She’s done the math and has embraced technology, convinced it will deliver Mr. Right right to her door. But with her apartment’s Wi-Fi less than supportive of her efforts, she commandeers a stool and a signal at the bar downstairs in order to monitor the multiple dating sites that will link her to love.
Alison Brie plays the pragmatic dating machine. “Lucy’s whole social life is predicated on online dating, so a terrible internet connection is a real disaster for her,” she attests. “Getting married as soon as possible is a big priority. She’s a smart girl with a brain that’s moving 100 miles a minute and she’s created an algorithm to weed through the guys on several websites. But she’s feeling the pressure of the timeline she’s imposed on herself; she already feels behind.”
While Brie thinks that her character is not desperate at all, nor acting purely out of loneliness, she admits that Lucy “is blinded by this very specific kind of guy she’s looking for, which limits her options even further. She doesn’t realize that that’s the problem, that she’s too organized and too rigid in her thinking and therefore not quite able to see what’s right in front of her.”
“Alison plays Lucy with incredible energy and a kind of ‘tightness’ that is so funny,” Fox says. “She is such a firecracker, it only takes a little spark and she just goes! She’s so fast and manages to deliver incredibly long speeches and make them sound very natural coming out of her mouth. You get a sense that Lucy really exists.”
In a sense, she does, Fox confesses. “Lucy is a little bit based on me in that she’s obsessed with statistics, and I’ve always been somebody who loves facts and doing research and the satisfaction you can get from that.”
For these four women seeking out the various types of satisfaction to be found in any social scene, one thing is very clear—at least, according to Robin:
Boys buy the drinks!
To pick up the tab—and more—the filmmakers from “How to Be Single” cast a host of hot comedians from film and TV fame to play the men ready to show the women a good time.
Serial single Tom is a bartender with a tried-and-true formula for getting a girl out the door before dawn. “He’s got love ‘em and leave ‘em down to a system,” says Anders Holm, who plays the philandering flirt with a premeditated lack of amenities in his bachelor pad. “He’s used to getting his way and getting any girl he wants.”
“I think Anders is one of the greatest rising stars in comedy acting,” Ditter says. “The role is a ladies’ man, but I wanted to cast someone really interesting and fun who could mine the humor in Tom, and he brought all that.”
Holm says that he and Ditter discussed at length how far to take Tom’s bad boy behavior. “We talked about whether he’s a nice bad guy or a bad nice guy, and decided that he’s really the worst kind of good guy. He’s a genuinely nice dude caught in a pattern of easy chicks, no personal commitments, and he doesn’t know how to be serious even if he finds someone he could be serious with. And that’s the way girls like Lucy see him. He’s created a lifestyle that’s now his identity, and he’s lost in it. Not that it really bothers him.”
That is, until Lucy sidles up to the bar. “She is very particular about who she wants as her mate, and Tom does not fall under that classification,” the actor continues. “This stupefies him and makes him kind of want her.” But it doesn’t stop him from fooling around with other women, like Alice. “She’s just out of a good, long relationship and looking for something bad, and that’s Tom.”
When Alice dips her toes in the pool of Manhattan’s single men, she dives right into the deep end with Tom, the polar opposite of her longtime beau, Josh. “They were two awkward college freshmen who fell for each other,” Nicholas Braun says of his character and Alice. “Josh was a safe option and a good guy who treated her well. I don’t think there was any danger of being surprised with Josh, and I think that’s part of why she leaves him.
“Alice is a girl a lot of girls can identify with,” he adds. “She’s at that stage of life where you don’t want to feel settled down, you need to do some soul searching. And while Josh is a good example of someone who thinks that this relationship is the only one for him, even Josh isn’t going to wait for his girlfriend to go off and have sex with a bunch of guys just so she can see if he’s still the one for her. He’s gonna look around, too.”
While Alice is on the lookout for someone new, she meets a single dad, David, who is attracted to her but hesitant to test the relationship waters again. Damon Wayans Jr. portrays the wary widower venturing back into the dating world.
“He’s trying to maneuver his way through that part of life again, but he may not be ready for it,” Wayans offers. “He sees Alice once and finds her intriguing, but it’s not until they wind up seeing each other again, randomly, that the sparks fly.”
Wayans enjoyed working with Johnson. “Dakota is very fun and very free and thinks on her toes. She likes to improv a lot, which was great for me,” says the comedy veteran.
“Damon Wayans is such a funny guy and I adore his work,” Ditter conveys. “In this film, he has one of the more serious roles, and he played the part so well, never letting it get too heavy or dramatic. He brought just the right balance to it.”
Alice isn’t the only one who meets what could be the right guy at what may be the wrong time. Her practical, all-work-and-no-play sister, Meg, is surprised to be an object of interest for the much younger Ken, played by Jake Lacy. Sweet and sincere, Ken is crushing on Meg in a big way. “She’s in it for the quick and dirty,” Lacy says, “and Ken digs that, but he wants to see things through, to keep it going afterward. She’s also pretty sure that he’s too young for her, and I like that he’s trying to break down the barriers she keeps putting up.”
The filmmakers knew they’d need someone with strong comedic chops to play opposite Leslie Mann. “Jake blew us all away,” Ditter states. “In his first meeting with Leslie, after two minutes it became clear that they had great chemistry together. Whatever she came up with, he threw back and her; whatever he came up with, she threw back at him.”
“Leslie was wonderful to work with,” Lacy relates. “She’s smart, funny, talented, quick and beautiful. She had different ideas every time we started a scene and had really thought through every moment, which made it easy to play off of her and give her something new in every take, too.”
Another guy to take one of the gals by surprise is George, played by Jason Mantzoukas, and his casting turned out to be something of a surprise to both the actor and the filmmakers as well. Ditter explains, “We were having a writers’ roundtable, talking about the script and pitching jokes, adding something here and something there. Jason was invited to join because he’s also a writer, and every joke he pitched was so funny. He also didn’t just say the jokes, he acted them out. After the roundtable session, we all looked at each other and said, ‘Hey, this guy just played the part, let’s hire him.’” The filmmakers contacted Mantzoukas and asked him to join the cast and do everything he’d just done, only this time on camera. The actor quickly agreed.
Once on set, Mantzoukas recalls, “There was a great script, with lots of jokes, so we did takes that were straight from that. Then we’d come up with other beats or alternative jokes, and do takes that were totally improvised. We also did takes with alternative jokes that Dana Fox had written for the scenes, so we could try going off in different directions. It was such a terrific creative experience for all of us.”
“We were very lucky that all the actors we had were very good on their feet and could riff off each other,” says Ditter, “which allowed for a lot of experimentation. I think that by having our very talented ensemble contribute creatively, we got the fresh, contemporary feel we were going for.”
Breaking up sucks, but you know what’s even worse?
Wasting a night in New York City.
“How to be Single” was filmed entirely in and around New York City. In the thriving metropolis of eight million people and countless possibilities, the shooting schedule was ambitious in its scope, covering approximately 45 locations in 47 days. “We were all over town,” says producer John Rickard. “In the Meatpacking District, on a Midtown rooftop, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue… And we captured it in a real way. Christian knew how special it was to shoot in New York, and he really got it all.”
“I wanted to feel the city, to take the movie out on the streets, to be on the bridges, in the parks and on the rooftops of actual New York, not to film everything on a stage. And that’s what we did,” Ditter recounts.
“I think everybody who comes to New York wants to achieve something, or is looking for something, or is there for the adventure that the city has to offer,” he goes on to say. “I have the feeling whenever somebody makes that step and leaves everything else behind because they want to throw themselves into life and give it their all, New York is the place to go. That’s why Alice is going there, and we’re following her along on that exciting journey.”
While the city photographs beautifully, it’s nevertheless a challenging city for film production. Ditter notes, “It was the first time for me to shoot in New York, and I think I approached it a bit naïvely. Everywhere I looked, it looked like a movie, wherever I pointed my camera, it looked like a still from a film, so I thought, ‘This will be easy.’ Of course, it was not. There are tons of logistics involved and it’s a massive undertaking. Fortunately, we had one of the best crews in the entire world and they pulled it all off effortlessly.”
Fox adds, “The city absolutely rolled out the red carpet for us, and even the weather was beautiful—everything looked great. Our biggest challenge turned out to be that we were making a movie about single people going out at night, so we were up all night shooting most of the time!”
Ditter called upon his longtime collaborator Christian Rein to handle the cinematography. “We’ve worked together since film school, he’s one of the top DPs in Germany,” Ditter says. “He’s done a lot of award-winning films, commercials, music videos. With the surge of things like Instagram and Periscope, photography has changed and filmmakers have to work in new and inventive ways. Christian has always been ahead of the curve in blending the latest elements with the quality you expect in a Hollywood film. I think he combined the best of all these worlds. And since we’ve done so many projects together, we have a shorthand. Like baseball players, we can just sign to each other and we know what it means.”
In designing the physical look of the film, production designer Steve Saklad drew upon his own experiences as a young single in New York City. “The idea of finding this incredible place and making your own little spot in it is a story that works for everybody. We had a lot of major characters, each of whom gets prime screen time in the movie, so each of them needed a zone. We started by asking ourselves, ‘Do they live in Manhattan, or Brooklyn?’”
The first place Alice crashes when she gets to the city is at her sister Meg’s, a classic Upper West Side apartment created on a stage at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. “We gave her a lovely one bedroom with all the great bones of the beautiful pre-wars like you might see in an old Woody Allen movie,” Saklad relates.
The exterior of Meg’s building was shot at the corner of Broadway and 77th Street in the midst of the busy Upper West Side neighborhood. There, Ditter and Rein shot a scene where Alice and Robin face the challenge of a brand new day in the Big Apple— after a very long night out. “They captured this beautiful 360 degree shot, exactly the right beat for that moment in the story,” Saklad says.
The independent book store Book Culture, located on nearby Columbus Avenue, provided the location for a scene where Lucy, distraught over a break up, leads a memorable story time for a group of young children.
After crashing on Meg’s couch for a while, Alice relocates, like many of her generation, across the East River to Brooklyn. Saklad and his team found a tiny space in a building just under the Williamsburg Bridge that was perfect for Alice’s first apartment. “We turned it into a kind of wonderland of old moldings, a history of old tenants, wallpapers and paints, to give you this feeling of a cocoon inside a very small footprint where Alice is going to start her new life.”
A brownstone in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood was the location for Alice’s former boyfriend Josh’s warm, homey apartment. In another part of Brooklyn, on Grand Street near the Navy Yard, the design team created a bachelor pad for Tom the bartender in an industrial loft.
Back in Manhattan, a space on Gansevoort Street in the West Village’s Meatpacking District, and the cobblestone streets outside it, served as the location for Tom’s bar and, just upstairs, Lucy’s apartment. The production also shot scenes in The Park restaurant and in the Marquee Club, both on Tenth Avenue in Chelsea, before moving further downtown, to 44 Wall Street, for scenes at the law firm where Alice and Robin work.
Uptown, Metropolitan Hospital on First Avenue at East 97th Street served as Meg’s workplace, while the East Side also provided locations for a shopping expedition at Giggle on Lexington Avenue, and for Alice and Robin’s adventures in beauty: Bloomingdale’s on Third Avenue, Drybar on East 76th Street, and MAC cosmetics on Fifth Avenue and 22nd Street.
And what Manhattan movie would be complete without a scene in the historic Grand Central Terminal, which provided the location for a key scene with Lucy. The equally iconic Empire State Building served as the backdrop for a rooftop birthday party that Alice throws for herself. “The rooftop proved to be one of the trickiest pieces,” says Saklad. “We needed a place we could own for a week, and a place that had a ‘wow factor’ view that could be nowhere but in New York City.”
The filmmakers found the perfect spot on 36th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, that offered just such a view, and which Saklad and his team then transformed. “We turned it into the rooftop of our dreams,” he says. To overlook the newly festive space, the filmmakers added a giant neon sign that read “Empire City,” in order to illuminate the party scene with changing colors.
Each character in the film has his or her own palette as well. Saklad notes, “We found that Leslie, as Meg, really thrives on the cool sage, grey blues that are the hospital colors. Dakota’s Alice glows against red and turquoise, so we made those her colors, which also contrast nicely with her sister to highlight the different places they are in their lives.”
The reds of Alice’s palette extended to her wardrobe, too. Costume designer Leah Katznelson explains how Alice’s clothes evolve as the story progresses. “Her look has a little bit of a tomboy influence initially, and I think as she becomes more grounded as a woman, she becomes a little more grounded in her femininity and we start to see her wear slightly more flirty fabrics and prints. Alice is someone who would go to a flea market or a vintage store and be able to select things that someone else may not be able to put together in the same way.”
Katznelson also worked closely with actress Rebel Wilson to create a standout wardrobe for the supremely self-confident Robin. “We had a great time with color and with making her a version of a different kind of New York woman, one who’s out there in the scene and knows everything—the best clubs, the best underground bars, the best places to be. Her daytime life is centered around what happens after work. Even at work, she’s dressed to go out; the office is just a place for her to keep her bag during the day.”
The designer did have to be careful not to go too far, though. “Robin’s a girl that dresses to be noticed, but we didn’t want her clothes to speak before she did,” Katznelson explains. “Although we did do a couple of light up dresses for her that were a lot of fun…”
Though she also spends a lot of time in a bar, Lucy is a completely different kind of girl. “Alison Brie’s character was on a different end of the spectrum,” Katznelson states. “She’s a much more sensible, slightly preppy character, so there were a lot of collared shirts and blazers and tailored things.”
For Alice’s sister Meg, an obstetrician, and for David, a real estate developer, their clothes largely reflect their work. “We see Meg in her scrubs and lab coat a lot,” says Katznelson. “Damon was great to dress because not only does he look lovely in his clothes, but his clothes are very high end. He’s somebody who makes a significant amount of money, and his look is very much tied into his business.”
The looks for the two other men in Alice’s life—her college boyfriend Josh and her new “friend with benefits” Tom—also lend contrast to the men. “We wanted to make Anders Holm’s Tom very different from David,” says Katznelson. “We kept him downtown and comfortable. And Josh falls more in line with the person you think Alice is always supposed to be with. He’s very collegiate and kind of has his life pulled together, so his clothes reflect that.”
From the locations to the sets to the clothes, color palettes and composer Fil Eisler’s music, Ditter hopes the film captures the fresh and fun vibe that surrounds the single life in New York and cities like it around the globe. “I think it will really resonate with adults of all ages, from their 20s through their 40s and beyond. There are always romantic movies released this time of year every year, but check out the audiences—half of them are on a date and half of them are single, out with friends just having a great time! This is a comedy for everyone who’s ever been young and in and out of relationships, whether they’re going through it now or want to laugh about that time of their life. I really think ‘How to be Single’ has it all!”
ABOUT THE CAST
DAKOTA JOHNSON (Alice) has become one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars. Last year she starred in the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the box office record-smashing “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ novel, for which Johnson recently received a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.
In 2015, she also starred opposite Johnny Depp as Lindsey Cyr in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass.” In addition, she played one of the leads in “A Bigger Splash,” Luca Guadagnino’s remake of “La Piscine,” in which she stars alongside Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Matthias Schoenaerts. She next reunites with Guadagnino on the thriller “Suspiria” and reprises the role of Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades Darker,” set for release in 2017, and “Fifty Shades Freed,” slated for release in 2018.
Johnson first burst on the scene with her performance in David Fincher’s critically acclaimed hit “The Social Network,” written by Aaron Sorkin. She went on to play roles in the comedies “The Five Year Engagement,” as well as “21 Jump Street,” with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
REBEL WILSON (Robin) recently starred in “Pitch Perfect 2.” The film is the sequel to “Pitch Perfect” and has grossed over $287 million worldwide. For her breakout performance as fan-favorite Fat Amy, Wilson received an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Comedy. “Pitch Perfect” won an MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Moment, a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Comedy, and an American Music Award for Favorite Soundtrack.
For her performance in the sequel, Wilson received several Teen Choice Award nominations, including Choice Movie Actress: Comedy; Choice Movie: Liplock, for her on-screen kiss with Adam DeVine; and Choice Music Group: Female for The Barden Bellas. Wilson also received a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Comedic Movie Actress. “Pitch Perfect 2” also received a Teen Choice nomination for Choice Movie: Comedy, two People’s Choice Award nominations for Favorite Movie and Favorite Comedic Movie, and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Wilson will reprise her role as Fat Amy in “Pitch Perfect 3,” which will be released in the summer of 2017.
She will next be seen starring in Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Brothers Grimsby,” which also stars Penelope Cruz and Mark Strong and will be released on February 26, 2016.
In 2014, Wilson starred alongside Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Ricky Gervais in the third installment of the Shawn Levy “Night at the Museum” films, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which grossed over $360 million worldwide.
Wilson made her American comedy film debut in Paul Feig’s “Bridesmaids,” alongside Kristen Wiig. The film, produced by Judd Apatow, was named one of AFI’s top ten films of 2011, received a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy, and grossed over $288 million worldwide. Wilson’s other film credits include Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain,” with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson; “Struck by Lightning”; “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”; and “Bachelorette,” with Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, and Lizzy Kaplan.
In addition to her work on camera, Wilson lent her voice to the animated feature “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” which grossed over $877 million worldwide.
In 2013, Wilson hosted and was the head writer on the MTV Movie Awards, which experienced a significant 45% spike in ratings from the previous year.
Wilson holds a double degree in Law and Arts (BA/LLB) from the University of New South Wales, and trained as an actor at the Australian Theatre for Young People. She got her start in entertainment writing and performing on Sydney’s stages and on the beloved Australian cult comedy series “Pizza.” Wilson wrote and starred in two subsequent television series, “The Wedge” and “Bogan Pride,” before moving to the United States. Wilson is a long-term supporter of the School of St. Jude in Tanzania, which fights poverty through education.
DAMON WAYANS JR. (David) has nurtured an impressive body of work that encompasses film and television, and positioned himself as one of Hollywood’s most promising talents as his career continues to evolve with exciting and challenging projects.
Wayans currently stars as Coach in the FOX comedy series “New Girl,” and recently starred in the critically acclaimed ABC comedy series “Happy Endings.”
He starred in the comedy “Let’s Be Cops” last year. The film is a buddy movie about two down and out guys who pretend to be cops and enjoy the respect they received. He also voiced a character in the animated film “Big Hero 6,” about a group of six super heroes recruited by the government to protect the nation. The film went on to win the Academy Award in 2014 for best animated feature.
Wayans can also be seen in a string of side-splitting performances, including his hilarious role of Fosse in the comedy/action film “The Other Guys,” as one of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s rival officers; the indie film “Someone Marry Barry,” alongside Tyler Labine and Lucy Punch; and “Dance Flick,” a spoof that was produced, written and directed by fellow Wayans funnymen. He also voiced the character of Thunder in the action digital animation film “Marmaduke.”
At the age of 20, Wayans started as a comedy writer on his dad’s show “My Wife and Kids,” and appeared in various episodes. In 2005, Wayans followed in his father’s comedic footsteps and braved the world of stand-up under the pseudonym Kyle Green. He appeared alongside his father in the Showtime television series “The Underground” in2006, and served as a writer on the sketch comedy series. He also wrote, directed and starred in a series of innovative internet-based comedy sketches for “Way-Out TV,” a website launched in 2007 by his father. In January 2008, Wayans was featured on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam.”
Wayans made his film debut at age 11 in 1994’s “Blank Man.” He later pursued his early passion for fine arts and animation in high school, and was admitted to the Otis School for Art and Design.
An accomplished mixed martial artist, snowboarder, former gymnast and high school track star, Wayans loves to figure sketch, enjoys Japanese animation and continues to do stand up at clubs around Los Angeles.
ANDERS HOLM (Tom) has quickly established himself in the comedy world. Holm is best known as co-creator, writer, and star of the hit Comedy Central show “Workaholics,” which will premiere its sixth season later this month. He was recently seen in the Sundance hit “Unexpected,” alongside Cobie Smulders, and in Nancy Meyers’ “The Intern,” opposite Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.
Holm can also be seen in his scene-stealing recurring role as Pastor Casey on the FOX show “The Mindy Project.” He also had roles in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”; Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “The Interview,” opposite Rogen and James Franco; and Chris Rock’s “Top Five.”
Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Holm attended the neighboring University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with a history degree and was a member of the varsity swim team. Upon graduating, Holm moved to Los Angeles and was soon writing and performing for the sketch-comedy groups Second City LA and Upright Citizens Brigade. He also toured the country as part of the National Lampoon Lemmings.
Holm has contributed as a writer’s assistant on Fox’s “Bones” and the head writer’s assistant on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and he acts, writes and produces all of Mail Order Comedy’s material, including “Workaholics.”
ALISON BRIE (Lucy) was last seen in Leslye Headland’s “Sleeping with Other People,” starring opposite Jason Sudeikis. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was well received by critics. She also starred as the female lead in “Get Hard,” opposite Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. In the film, she played Will Ferrell’s character’s fiancée.
She recently completed production on Julian Fellowes’ next mini-series, ”Doctor Thorne,” and the feature film “The Headhunters Calling,” opposite Gerard Butler, and is currently in production on “The Disaster Artist,” with James Franco.
Brie has had back-to-back films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival with “The Kings of Summer,” opposite Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally in 2013, and “Save the Date,” opposite Lizzie Caplan in 2012. Her other film credits include “The Five-Year Engagement,” opposite Emily Blunt and Jason Segel; “Scream 4,” opposite Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell; and “Montana Amazon,” opposite Olympia Dukakis and Haley Joel Osment.
She is well known to TV audiences for her role as the adorable but tightly wound Annie Edison on the hit comedy “Community,” and as Trudy Campbell on AMC’s Emmy Award-winning drama “Mad Men.”
Brie’s voiceover work includes playing Unikitty in “The LEGO Movie,” which grossed over $469 million worldwide, and voicing the character of Diane in Netflix’ first original adult animated series, “BoJack Horseman.”
She is also a producer on the new TV LAND series “Teachers,” which follows six elementary school teachers who are dedicated to their students but don’t have it together in their personal lives.
Brie attended the California Institute of the Arts, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting, and also studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon graduation, she performed on stage in the Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights’ festival and in shows at the Odyssey, Write-Act and Rubicon Theatres, where she received an Indy Award for her haunting performance as Ophelia in the Rubicon’s production of “Hamlet.”
NICHOLAS BRAUN (Josh) is a fast-rising actor and musician who stars in a diverse slate of films set to be released this year.
Braun will next be seen in John Requa and Glen Ficarra’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” opposite Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman, produced by Lorne Michael. The film will be released on March 4th. Later that month, he stars in “Get a Job,” set for release on March 29th, opposite Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick.
Braun also plays the role of Peter in the movie “Avenues,” opposite Michael Angarano, Adelaide Clemens and Brian Geraghty. The film is set for release on July 22nd. He recently wrapped production on “The Year of Spectacular Men” and “Good Kids,” both slated for release in 2016.
Braun was last seen in “Jem and The Holograms,” which tells the story of a small-town girl turning into a global superstar. Molly Ringwald, Juliette Lewis, Ryan Guzman and Stefanie Scott also star.
His previous film credits include a remake of “Poltergeist,” the comedy “Date and Switch” (formerly “Gay Dude”), “The Watch,” opposite Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and a fantastic breakthrough performance in Kevin Smith’s “Red State,” which premiered at Sundance in 2011.
JAKE LACY (Ken) was raised in Vermont and graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts. He can currently be seen in “Carol,” a Todd Haynes film starring Cate Blanchett, in which he appears opposite Rooney Mara. “Carol” has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, Critics Choice Award and San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award in the category of Best Picture, and was also included in and made many Best of 2015 film lists, including Los Angeles Times, Indie Wire, and Slate.
Lacy was also recently seen in the Christmas movie “Love the Coopers,” in which he co-stars with John Goodman, Diane Keaton and Olivia Wilde. Coming up, Lacy will reprise his role as Fran in season five of the hit HBO series “Girls,” opposite Lena Dunham, which will premiere on February 21, 2016.
Most recently, he wrapped filming “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” in which he stars alongside Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy.
In 2014, Lacy starred opposite Jenny Slate in the romantic comedy “Obvious Child,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and made many Best of 2014 film lists. He also starred in the film “Intramural,” which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in 2014. Lacy led a cast that included Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett and Nick Kocher, among others.
Lacy is best known for his role as Pete on the ninth and final season of NBC’s “The Office.” Lacy was nominated with his “The Office” cast for a 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award for best Ensemble in a Comedy. His first series regular role was on the ABC comedy series “Better with You,” starring opposite Joanna Garcia.
JASON MANTZOUKAS (George) is perhaps best known for his role as the lovable psychopath Rafi on FXX’s “The League.” Mantzoukas can currently be seen in the comedy “Dirty Grandpa.”
Mantzoukas was also recently seen on the big screen in IFC’s romantic comedy “Sleeping with Other People,” opposite Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie.
His other film credits include “Baby Mama,” “Neighbors” and “The Dictator.” On television, Mantzoukas has appeared on “Kroll Show,” “Modern Family,” “Broad City,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Enlightened” and “Community,” and on Amazon’s “Transparent.”
Mantzoukas co-hosts the comedy podcast “How Did This Get Made?,” alongside June Diane Raphael and Paul Scheer on the Earwolf Network, where the trio analyzes bad movies. One of iTunes’ top comedy podcasts, the show was also the winner of the 2012 LA Weekly Web Award for Best Podcast.
LESLIE MANN (Meg) in an actress with comedic timing and standout performances that captivate audiences and critics alike.
Her upcoming projects include a voice performance in “The Croods 2,” the sequel to the hit animated feature, set for release in 2017.
In 2014, Mann starred alongside Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton in Nick Cassavetes’ “The Other Woman.” Also in 2014, Mann continued her well-established voice performance work while reprising her role as Linda, the main human character in the animated blockbuster “Rio 2.” Her previous voice performances include the Oscar-nominated “ParaNorman,” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” On the TV side, Mann voiced Gina Winthrop on Jonah Hill’s hilarious animated Fox television series “Allen Gregory.”
In 2012, Mann’s stand-out performance opposite Paul Rudd as Debbie in Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40” garnered her The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nomination in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy. The movie reunited the trio from the award-winning blockbuster “Knocked Up,” with Mann and Rudd reprising their characters from the earlier film.
Among her other feature films are “The Bling Ring,” “The Change Up,” “I Love You Phillip Morris,” “17 Again,” “Big Daddy,” “Little Birds,” “George of the Jungle,” “Timecode,” “She’s the One,” “Stealing Harvard,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “Orange County,” “Funny People” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
A native of California, Mann studied acting with the Groundlings improv troupe. One of her first big breaks was a role in Ben Stiller’s “The Cable Guy,” with Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. While auditioning for the film, she met future husband Judd Apatow. This film marked their first collaboration and the beginning of their creative professional partnership.
Mann and Apatow are longtime supporters of the non-profit organization 826LA. Founded by Dave Eggers, the organization provides free tutoring and literacy programs to students. Additionally, Mann and Apatow were honored with the 2012 Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program’s Children’s Choice Award for their philanthropic contributions to support children, and their families, who are dealing with pediatric cancer. In 2009, the couple was also recognized by The Fulfillment Fund who honored them at their annual benefit gala.
Mann, Apatow and their two daughters currently reside in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
CHRISTIAN DITTER (Director) is a Munich-based writer and director who directed his first English language film, the romantic comedy “Love, Rosie,” starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, based on a book by Cecelia Ahern and adapted by Juliette Towhidi. The film opened internationally in October 2014 and in the U.S. in February of this year.
Ditter studied at the University of Television and Film in Munich. His short films won numerous awards at international film festivals and his debut feature, “French for Beginners,” hit the top ranks in the German box office charts in summer 2006.
In 2008, he adapted one of Germany’s most beloved children’s books, The Crocodiles, for the big screen. The film won over 50 audience and jury awards at international film festivals and was followed up by two sequels, “The Crocodiles Strike Back” in 2009, which Ditter co-wrote and directed, and “The Crocodiles: All for One” in 2010, which he co-wrote and co-produced. After that, Ditter wrote and directed Germany’s first major adventure film shot entirely in 3D, “Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods,” which also reached the top box office slot in autumn 2011.
JOHN RICKARD (Producer) is the principal of Wrigley Pictures, his production company with a first-look deal at New Line Cinema.
His credits include the 2010 thriller “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; the Farrelly brothers’ comedy “Hall Pass,” starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis; the hit comedy “Horrible Bosses” and “Horrible Bosses 2”; “Final Destination 5”; and Bryan Singer’s 2013 action adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer.”
Among his other projects at New Line are “Redemption,” a Western written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes; “Spy Guys,” an action-comedy written by Adam Sztykiel with Jorma Taccone attached to direct and the Lonely Island producing; and a sci-fi thriller written by Ryan Engle. He is currently in post on “Fist Fight,” starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day.
He is also currently in post production on “Midnight Sun,” starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger. His next feature, “Rampage,” an adaptation of the hit video game, written by Ryan Engle, is in pre-production with Dwayne Johnson attached to star and Brad Peyton attached to direct.
DANA FOX (Screenplay/Producer) is a writer and producer known for such comedies as “Couples Retreat,” “What Happens in Vegas” and “The Wedding Date.” Fox was also the creator, writer and executive producer of the critical darling “Ben and Kate” on Fox, starring Dakota Johnson.
Fox is a graduate of Stanford University, and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where she received her MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program. One of Hollywood’s most sought-after screenwriters, Fox also recently produced the Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara buddy comedy “Hot Pursuit.”
ABBY KOHN & MARC SILVERSTEIN (Screen Story/Screenplay) got their start at USC, where they both received MFAs in Film Production, and co-wrote and directed the award winning short “Fairfax Fandango.”
Just months out of school, they sold a romantic comedy pitch entitled “Never Been Kissed,” and a few months later, their script was being produced for Flower Films, starring Drew Barrymore.
They’ve gone on to co-write the hit films “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Valentine’s Day” and “The Vow,” which together have totaled over a half a billion dollars in worldwide box office.
Kohn and Silverstein have also ventured into television, where they created, wrote and produced several television projects, including the Fox series “Opposite Sex,” and the pilots “Close to Home” and “Splitsville,” also for Fox.
They recently adapted the romantic adventure novel On the Island for MGM, and are currently working with MGM once more on the adaptation of the New York Times Bestselling memoir Primates of Park Avenue.
LIZ TUCCILLO (Author) was a writer for the last two seasons of the HBO series “Sex and the City,” for which she wrote the episode “The Post-it Always Sticks Twice.” She went on to co-write the bestselling book He's Just Not That Into You. Ken Kwapis directed the film based on the book, starring an ensemble including Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper. Her second book, a novel titled How to Be Single, was published in the summer of 2008, and a webisode series of the same title was also released at that time.
She most recently wrote, directed and produced the comedy drama “Take Care,” which was nominated for a Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in 2014.
A native New Yorker, she is a graduate of La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts and NYU.
MARCUS VISCIDI (Executive Producer) previously executive produced the box office hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan; the hit comedy “We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Will Poulter and Emma Roberts; the family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” starring Dwayne Johnson; the romantic comedy “Sex and the City 2,” reuniting Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon; “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner; and “Pride and Glory,” starring Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight.
Earlier, Viscidi produced the political thriller “Rendition,” starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Meryl Streep; “The Last Kiss,” starring Zach Braff; “Shopgirl,” the adaptation of Steve Martin’s novel, starring Martin and Claire Danes; and “Wicker Park,” starring Josh Hartnett. He also served as executive producer on William Friedkin’s “The Hunted,” starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro, and on Richard Linklater’s “Bad News Bears,” starring Billy Bob Thornton.
Viscidi earned a 1996 Independent Spirit Award nomination for producing Tom DiCillo’s award-winning film “Living in Oblivion,” starring Steve Buscemi, and went on to collaborate with DiCillo on his films “The Real Blonde,” “Double Whammy,” and “Box of Moonlight,” starring John Turturro and Sam Rockwell. His additional feature producing credits include John Schlesinger’s “The Next Best Thing,” starring Madonna and Rupert Everett; “Mad Love,” starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell; Horton Foote’s “Courtship”; Daniel Petrie’s “Rocket Gibraltar,” starring Burt Lancaster; “Signs of Life,” starring Vincent D’Onofrio; and “Lemon Sky,” the film adaptation of Lanford Wilson’s play, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
For television, Viscidi’s producing credits include the current Showtime series “Billions,” starring Damien Lewis. He also produced the American Playhouse production of Katherine Anne Porter’s “Noon Wine” and Eudora Welty’s “The Wide Net,” as well as the film adaptation of Keith Reddin’s off-Broadway play “Big Time.” In 1998, he produced the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production of “Honour,” starring Jane Alexander and Laura Linney.
RICHARD BRENER (Executive Producer) has been a New Line Cinema veteran for 20 years, and has served as President of Production for the division since 2008.
During his tenure at New Line, Brener has overseen and served as Executive Producer on many of the company’s most successful films, including such blockbusters as “Sex and the City,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “The Wedding Singer,” “We’re The Millers,” the “Final Destination” franchise, “Horrible Bosses,” and the global box office hit “San Andreas.”
Brener’s current projects include the highly acclaimed “Creed,” Ryan Coogler’s compelling new chapter in the Rocky legend; “The Conjuring 2,” James Wan’s highly anticipated sequel to the “The Conjuring”; the Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart action comedy “Central Intelligence”; the horror film “Lights Out”; and an as yet untitled comedy starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler.
Brener joined the company as a temp and rapidly rose through the ranks, from Story Editor to President. Over the course of his career, Brener has overseen the studio’s relationships with much of its key talent, including Dwayne Johnson, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, and Ice Cube.
Born and raised in Short Hills, New Jersey, Brener graduated with a B.A. in History from Yale University in 1994.
MICHAEL DISCO (Executive Producer) is a development executive who has been with New Line Cinema since 2000 and currently serves as Executive Vice President of Production for the division.
Disco most recently executive produced the global blockbuster “San Andreas,” starring Dwayne Johnson, and has overseen the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” franchise, the “Harold & Kumar” series, and the hit film “Horrible Bosses.”
Additionally, he has overseen the highly successful romantic comedies “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Valentine’s Day.” His other upcoming projects include the Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart action comedy “Central Intelligence”; Zach Braff’s “Going in Style,” with Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin; Key & Peele’s feature film debut, “Keanu”; “Collateral Beauty,” starring Will Smith and Helen Mirren; “The Disaster Artist,” written, directed, and starring James Franco alongside Dave Franco and Seth Rogen; and an as-yet-untitled comedy starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler.
Disco previously worked as a director of development and creative executive, overseeing and managing the productions of “Fracture,” “Hairspray,” and “Four Christmases.”
In 2010, Disco was selected by The Hollywood Reporter for their Next Gen list of studio executives 35 and under. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Policy Studies, a joint program between the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and The College of Arts and Sciences. He is a professional member of BAFTA and AFI.
DAVE NEUSTADTER (Executive Producer) has been a development executive with New Line Cinema since 2007 and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Production for the division. He most recently executive produced the comedy “Vacation,” starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate; “The Gallows,” a found-footage horror movie; and “Annabelle,” the breakout hit and spin-off of “The Conjuring.” His other credits include “The Conjuring,” one of the most successful horror films of all time; “We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis; “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; and the romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” starring Drew Barrymore.
His current projects include “The Conjuring 2,” James Wan’s sequel to the horror hit “The Conjuring”; “Fist Fight,” starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day; “The Disaster Artist,” written, directed and starring James Franco alongside Dave Franco and Seth Rogen; the horror film “Lights Out”; and the horror comedy “The Babysitter,” directed by McG.
Neustadter began his career at New Line in 2003 as an intern in the development department, and was then hired as Richard Brener’s executive assistant. In 2011, Neustadter was selected by The Hollywood Reporter for their Next Gen list of studio executives 35 and under. He is a graduate of Indiana University.
MICHELE WEISS (Executive Producer) Michele Weiss is the co-founder of Cue the Dog Productions, a New York- and Los Angeles-based film and television production company.
Before starting Cue the Dog with Merideth Finn, Weiss was a senior development and production executive at New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Focusing in particular on adapting underlying material for the screen, while at New Line Weiss oversaw production on a range of films including the ensemble romantic comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You,” based on the best-selling book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, starring Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper; “The Time Traveller’s Wife,” based in the bestselling novel by Audrey Niffenegger, starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana; and “Little Children,” based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, starring Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly and Patrick Wilson. The latter film was directed by Todd Field and nominated for three Academy Awards, including best adapted screenplay.
Under the Cue the Dog banner, Weiss developed and executive produced “Flowers in the Attic” and the sequel, “Petals on the Wind,” both of which aired on Lifetime.
For television, Weiss is currently developing shows at Showtime, ABC and Fox. Her current feature film projects include “I Was Here,” based on the book by Gayle Forman, at New Line; and the independent features “Summer,” based on the Edith Wharton novella, to be directed by Karen Moncrieff; and “Lies You Wanted to Hear,” based on a book by James Whitfield Thompson.
In addition to producing, Weiss also teaches in the Graduate Film and Television program at UCLA. She has a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from NYU, and a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University.
Weiss currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
DREW BARRYMORE (Executive Producer) has been a favorite of film audiences for almost three decades. She is also enjoying success behind the camera as a producer under her own Flower Films banner, which has produced such hits as “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Never Been Kissed” and “50 First Dates,” and the actioners “Charlie’s Angels” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” In addition to producing the “Charlie’s Angels” features, Barrymore joined Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu to star in both films, which, together, grossed more than half a billion dollars worldwide. She is currently executive producing the Esquire Network reality series “Knife Fight,” a dynamic live cooking competition, featuring top chefs and celebrity judges.
Barrymore won a 2010 Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award and earned an Emmy Award nomination for her performance opposite Jessica Lange in HBO’s “Grey Gardens.” She has also earned praise from both critics and audiences for her performances in a wide range of comedies, including “He’s Just Not That Into You,” with Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson; “Fever Pitch,” in which she starred with Jimmy Fallon under the direction of the Farrelly brothers; George Clooney’s acclaimed biographical satire “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” with Sam Rockwell; Penny Marshall’s “Riding in Cars with Boys”; “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates,” both opposite Adam Sandler; “Home Fries,” opposite Luke Wilson; and “Never Been Kissed,” which marked Barrymore’s producing debut; “Music and Lyrics,” opposite Hugh Grant; and the drama “Lucky You,” for director Curtis Hanson. She also lent her voice to the animated features “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Curious George.”
In 2009, Barrymore made her feature film directorial debut with the roller derby comedy “Whip It,” in which she also starred with Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis, and also starred in “Everybody’s Fine,” with Robert De Niro, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. She went on to direct the 2011 short “Our Deal,” starring such talent as Chloë Moretz, Shailene Woodley and Miranda Cosgrove.
Among her recent star turns were roles in Catherine Hardwicke’s “Miss You Already,” opposite Toni Collette; the comedy “Blended,” opposite Adam Sandler; the romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” opposite Justin Long, and director Ken Kwapis’ drama “Big Miracle.” She also continues to voice the character Mrs. Lockhart in Seth McFarlane’s irreverent hit comedy series “Family Guy.”
Barrymore made her film debut at age five in the 1980 science fiction thriller “Altered States.” However, it was her scene-stealing performance as the precocious Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” that catapulted the young actress to stardom. She went on to star in the thriller “Firestarter” and the comedy “Irreconcilable Differences,” for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Her many other film credits include “Cat’s Eye,” written by Stephen King; “Far from Home”; “Poison Ivy”; “Guncrazy,” for which she received another Golden Globe nomination, for Best Actress; “Bad Girls”; Herbert Ross’ “Boys on the Side”; “Mad Love”; “Batman Forever”; Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You”; Andy Tennant’s “Ever After”; and Wes Craven’s horror hit “Scream,” which launched a successful franchise.
NANCY JUVONEN (Executive Producer) founded Flower Films with partner Drew Barrymore in 1995. Their first film, “Never Been Kissed,” went into production in 1998 with Juvonen and Barrymore producing alongside Sandy Isaac, and grossed more than $120 million worldwide. As their next project, Flower Films produced the hugely successful “Charlie's Angels.” The sequel, “Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle,” was released in June 2003. Combined worldwide box-office for both “Charlie’s” films surpassed half a billion dollars.
In 2001, Flower Films, along with Newmarket and Gaylord Films, released the independent feature “Donnie Darko,” a cult hit that has been met with extremely favorable critical and fan reaction. “Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut” premiered at the Seattle Film Festival in May 2004. In 2003, Flower Films and Ben Stiller's Red Hour Films produced the dark romantic comedy “Duplex,” which starred Barrymore and Stiller and was directed by Danny DeVito. Flower Films next produced “50 First Dates” with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison in 2004. To date, “50 First Dates” has grossed over $195 million worldwide and was one of the top DVDs of 2004.
In 2005, Flower Films’ “Fever Pitch,” directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, opened to overwhelming critical acclaim.
Juvonen next executive produced “Music and Lyrics,” written and directed by Marc Lawrence. The film, which starred Barrymore and Hugh Grant, was released on Valentine’s Day 2007 and to date has grossed over $145 million worldwide.
In 2009, she executive produced Barrymore’s directorial debut film, “WHIP IT!” starring Ellen Page.
She is currently an executive producer on “Freak Show,” starring Abigail Breslin, Anna Sophia Robb and Bette Midler.
For television, Juvonen currently serves as executive producer on the reality series “Knife Fight,” for Esquire Network, a dynamic live cooking competition, featuring top chefs and celebrity judges. She previously was an executive producer on the reality series “Tough Love,” on VH-1. She and Barrymore teamed with Matt Groening to produce the Emmy-nominated TV special “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” now a staple for television holiday season programming.
CHRISTIAN REIN (Director of Photography) was born in Munich and started as a trainee at Arri, and has been working as a cinematographer since 2000. His debut feature film, “Wholetrain” in 2006, earned him top recognition in Germany and abroad, winning the Grimme Award for Best Cinematography and a nomination at the renowned Camerimage Festival in Poland for Best European Debut.
This success launched Rein’s feature film career and led to works on numerous feature and television films, including “My Mother, The Bride and I,” for which Rein won the German Camera Award. More recent feature films for which Rein has served as cinematographer include “Beck’s Last Summer” and “LenaLove.”
Rein continues a long-term working relationship with “How to Be Single” director Christian Ditter, shooting all of Ditter’s feature directorial efforts, including the recent “Love, Rosie,” starring Lily Collins, “The Crocodiles,” and “Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods.”
“Wickie and the Treasure of the Gods” was the first German feature film to be shot in real 3D, sparking the interest of 3D pioneer Wim Wenders. This led to Rein’s collaboration with Wenders on commercials and numerous workshops, as well as the documentary series “Cathedrals of Culture,” for which Rein shot Wenders’ episode about the Berlin Philharmonic.
STEVE SAKLAD (Production Designer) most recently had designs seen on “Empire,” the smash hit drama for FOX. His last big feature hit was “22 Jump Street,” although Saklad is perhaps proudest of his work designing the feature “The Muppets.” Saklad cherishes his longtime collaboration with acclaimed director Jason Reitman, culminating in the Academy Award-nominated pictures “Juno” and “Up In the Air.” They first worked together on “Thank You for Smoking” back in 2005, and their most recent work together was “Labor Day” in 2013.
Saklad has dipped into the horror genre, designing “The Apparition,” as well as Sam Raimi’s return to the form in 2009’s “Drag Me to Hell.” His history with Raimi extends back to 1993, when he served as art director on “The Quick and the Dead,” and later on the blockbuster “Spider-Man 2.” Other highlights of his long art director career include “Red Dragon,” “Message in a Bottle,” “The Game,” “Mermaids,” and additional photography on “Fight Club” and “Twilight.”
Saklad has also designed nearly three hundred commercials spanning the past 18 years.
TIA NOLAN (Editor) recently edited the remake of the musical “Annie,” starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz.
Nolan’s other recent feature film credits include Will Gluck’s “Friends with Benefits,” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, and “Struck by Lightning,” starring Rebel Wilson and Chris Colfer. Nolan’s credits as editor also include “Bewitched,” for Nora Ephron, “The Women,” for director Diane English, and “Spanglish,” for James L. Brooks. She also served as an associate editor on “You’ve Got Mail” for Ephron and “What Planet Are You From?” for Mike Nichols.
Some of Nolan’s television credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Weird Loners,” “Ben and Kate,” and “Angie Tribeca.” Nolan also received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Editing for a Mini-Series, Movie or Special for “The 74th Academy Awards.”
LEAH KATZNELSON (Costume Designer) received her Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University with a major in Architecture and a concentration in Film. She began her career by working for the prominent architecture firm The Rockwell Group in New York before beginning her foray into the entertainment business. Having worked extensively as an assistant costume designer and shopper on projects such as “No Reservations,” “Glee,” “The Visitor,” and “30 Rock,” Katznelson gained valuable firsthand knowledge that has fostered her development as a costume designer.
Some of her most recent costume designer credits consist of “Demolition,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal; “Sleeping with Other People,” starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie; “Men Women & Children,” with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, and Rosemarie DeWitt; “And So It Goes,” starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton; the Nicole Holofcener-helmed “Enough Said”; Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut “Don Jon”; and the comedy “21 Jump Street,” with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. She resides in and continues to work on projects in both Los Angeles and New York.
FIL EISLER (Composer) faithfully composes music that embodies both story and character. Known for his signature themes and inventive dramatic solutions, his work can be heard on the upcoming films “CHiPs,” starring and directed by Dax Shepard, and the sci-fi/thriller feature “The Titan,” starring Sam Worthington and Taylor Schilling. He also continues to serve as composer on Fox’s hit drama series “Empire” and Showtime's Emmy Award-winning “Shameless,” as well as the critically lauded series “UnReal.”
Eisler returns to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with the documentary “Newtown.” He composed the main title theme and acted as music director for the documentary, assembling an all-star lineup of over a dozen Hollywood composers who each donated a piece of music for the film.
In 2008, Eisler was among a select group of up-and-coming composers invited to the Sundance Film Composer's Lab and in the years since, his projects have garnered critical acclaim on the film festival circuit and beyond. He returned to Sundance in 2011 with the Inupiaq-themed thriller “On the Ice,” scored the Sundance-backed documentary “Whatever It Takes,” and Jonathan van Tulleken’s BAFTA-nominated thriller “Off Season.” Eisler was proud to win the Best Film Score Award for his work on Robbie Pickering's “Natural Selection” at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. The film was the most decorated of the festival, also winning the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. He continued his work with Pickering on the 2015 feature “Freaks of Nature.”
For four seasons, Eisler served as composer and conductor for the ABC drama “Revenge.” Eisler has been nominee and recipient of numerous awards, including the World Soundtrack Awards New Discovery, SXSW Best Soundtrack Award and multiple BMI awards.