Los Angeles is the land of single people for a reason.
Relationships prove to be challenging in the Los Angeles culture due to a constant, busy, fast-moving lifestyle.
In Brian Klugman’s BABY, BABY, BABY, it explores the relationship of two very different mismatched people, who tries to move past their own personal baggage in order to make their love work.
Klugman wrote, directed and starred in the film. Adrianne Palicki plays the leading actress role.
The film also has many cameos, including Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Haysbert, Clorise Leachman, William Shatner, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper and Jared Harris.
LRM had an exclusive phone interview earlier this moth with Klugman. We talked about relationships, Los Angeles and his multi-role of completing this wonderful romantic indie project.
BABY, BABY, BABY is available doay on DVD release from Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Read the full transcript of the interview below.
LRM: So tell me on where the original idea came from?
Brian Klugman: I wanted to do a film that told a story on an honest way of what it was like on the phases of a relationship. What is the real story of a relationship from the beginning? To the end? To the recovery? To moving on? What is happening in this modern day at this moment in Los Angeles?
This is the world I know. I wanted to put it all down, take all my experiences, and turn it into something. That was really the intention and it kind of found its way into this thing.
LRM: So what are really the different stages of relationships that you uncovered?
Brian Klugman: The recovery is at the end. There is the initial meeting and then falling in love. There’s also the part of moving in together. Then there is also the moment you feel someone is turning. This is the crux on what this movie is. We start to feel someone turning away from you. You can’t act more desperately. If you do, then it just makes them run faster. Or maybe they’re not evening turning and it’s all in your head.
We look at that feeling in a way that you try to pull it in. Maybe you grab on it too tight.
LRM: Oh, boy. Relationships are so hard, huh?
Brian Klugman: Hardest things. They are the hardest things, bro.
LRM: How much of your personal experiences were tied into this movie?
Brian Klugman: I lived in LA for twenty-two years. As I thought about it, I guess I’m a veteran of dating in Los Angeles. I have lots of experiences in laughs, pain, struggles, strife and all of these things. I took them all and put them in a blender—I put out this story. I made something new of it.
LRM: Yeah, I have a few friends who live in Los Angeles. They all seem to be…..very single. [Laughter] Why is it so hard?
Brian Klugman: It’s a town of a lot of arrested development for sure.
LRM: There are tons of these relationships movies. How did you want to approach this project to make yourself more unique or to distinguish yourself from the other films?
Brian Klugman: There are a couple of things. In writing it, I wanted everyone to look at it and go, “I know that moment.” The only way to do that was to challenge myself to make something as truthful and real as it could be. In that, it would come the comedy. In that, it would come the emotional resonance.
At the same time, I came up with this device in the movie that will separate itself from the lot. The main character in the movie is an actor, but he is also a writer. He writes these short stories. It mimics on what’s going on with these relationships, so he could comment on them. It’s these surreal, wacky short stories that says, “Okay, this is where we are. This is the move-in phase. Now we’re at the moving away phase.” He would tell these little funny stories.
I got these wonderful actors to come in to play those roles within the movie for these little short stories.
LRM: I’ve noticed the list of actors. There are so many cameos in your film.
Brian Klugman: I was really lucky. There were so many actors who were supportive. They came in to do a day on the film. The way it was built was to have those little short stories so they could come and do that.
My producer and I talked a lot about getting these recognizable faces just to do one of the short stories. We thought, “It would be cool as the fun and surprise if you never knew on who would be in the next one.” There are a lot of recognizable faces and people you wouldn’t expect. They would pop in this little tiny movie.
It’s very exciting. I think people will enjoy these stories.
LRM: Which of these short stories that you liked personally for yourself?
Brian Klugman: Oh, that’s a really tough question. I loved them all for different reasons. William Shatner and Cloris Leachman came together for a scene for a first date. It makes me laugh every time.
Each one is different for its own reason. I loved finding these metaphors. We talked about a moment ago about the guy when he notices that she is turning away from him. He wrote this short story in the movie. We got Jared Harris to play this guy who had a wife falling away from love with him. He just starts shrinking. The more she falls out in love with him—the more he shrinks. Then suddenly he is no bigger than a fingernail. I really enjoyed making that [short story scene].
Out of all of them, all of them are really rewarding. And hopefully, they’re all funny.
LRM: I’ve noticed you grounded the characters to be very real. One character is an actor in Los Angeles while the other is an artist/bartender. Could you explain a little more on why you wanted to take this approach?
Brian Klugman: We wanted it to be specific to this place and time. People in LA are “I’m this. But, I’m really this.” I’m a bartender, but I’m really a painter. I’m an actor, but I have some other job. I think it’s interesting that a lot of us in [Los Angeles] are like that. It’s not like that in a lot of other places. People go to work and that’s their job. People here go to work so they could do a different job. I think that’s an interesting thing about LA. For the arts, in general, it’s a pretty consistent thing for these people in the arts.
LRM: Could you talk about working with Adrianne Palicki and why she was perfect for this role?
Brian Klugman: Adrianne is an incredible actor. She is this incredible person. She is this grounded quality. My character, Sydney, is very phonetic. I thought she was a very good contrast to Sydney. She has a great sense of humor. When you make great independent films, you really need people who are down [for anything]. You’ll need someone who will be there. There are not the thrills of the big budget film. She was amazing like that. She is everything you want in a co-star and with an actress leading a film. She’s wonderful.
LRM: You also starred in this film. How do you come up with the decision to say, “You know what? I’m going to play the lead role.”
Brian Klugman: The whole time I was writing, I thought, “I’m doing to do this.” I’ve been actor since I was ten. I thought that I’m writing this one for myself to play. I should make it in a way so I could do that. I was able to and I had incredible support from my producers. It enable me to do that. It was quite an interesting experience to do that for starring, writing and directing. It’s a huge undertaking. Incredibly rewarding. Incredibly grueling. And all of those things in between.
LRM: I was going to ask on how you could wear all these different hats? Writing it. Directing it. Starring in it. How do you balance all of that out? Obviously since this is an indie film, you probably have no choice, right?
Brian Klugman: Big budget or indie film—writing, directing and acting—you’re still wearing all those hats. I don’t know really. I kind of played it by ear. I’ve done it in a couple short films I’ve made, but not quite into this extent. In some levels, it was a trial by fire. My advice to those whether they are acting, directing or writing and perhaps all three—it all comes down to preparation. You want to be prepared beforehand. Then you are able to adapt as things changed.
LRM: What do you supposed was the most difficult thing on this project since you had so many challenges and so many jobs?
Brian Klugman: I think it’s the post-production. That was indeed the most challenging. It’s because you’re editing yourself. It’s over the objectivity. Being in involved with the writing, directing and acting, it’s really hard sometimes to separate yourself. You need to step away at look at things from a different perspective. That’s a real big part of it. That was the greatest challenge.
LRM: Talk about all the diverse locations chosen for the film.
Brian Klugman: That was so fun. I have a deep love of LA. It was so fun to be able to shoot a movie in LA. It was to show off some of the places that I grew up around as I spent time as a young man. I love LA. In a lot of ways, it hasn’t been shown yet it has been shown in every way. But, it hasn’t been shown my way. Every person has an individual relationship with the city. It’s fun to explore my way.
LRM: One last question from me, Brian, could you describe the real first worst date for yourself?
Brian Klugman: The last one you asked requires the most thought from me. I haven’t thought of that for a while.
LRM: I like to save the hardest ones for last.
Brian Klugman: That’s a hard one. I would say I wasn’t sure if it was a first date or a last date, but I had a table flipped on me one time. That’s how far I would go with that one.
LRM: [Laughter] That’s a good answer, Brian. Thank you for very much. I enjoyed this conversation.
Brian Klugman: Thank you so much. Thank you for the support of the film. I really appreciate it.
BABY, BABY, BABY is available doay on DVD release from Sony Pictures Entertainment.