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Questions and Answers From Tribeca: Zoe Kazan

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There's plenty of Zoe Kazan to go around, petite though the actress may be. There's enough of her, in fact, to play two roles — three, depending on who you ask — in "The Pretty One," which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Kazan pulls a Lohan, playing both halves of a set of identical twins, then the role of Sister A pretending to be Sister B after Sister B dies and Sister A is mistaken for her. (It's complicated.)

While buzz for "The Pretty One" is just beginning, Kazan is no stranger to critical praise: Just last year, she turned in a phenomenal lead performance opposite real-life boyfriend Paul Dano in "Ruby Sparks," which she also happened to write.

NextMovie caught up with the 29-year-old actress in New York before the premiere of "The Pretty One" and chatted on siblings, bagels and the mystical Lindsay Lohan.

Are you a big fan of "The Parent Trap"? That's another dual-role twins movie.
I f**king love "The Parent Trap." I love the Hayley Mills "Parent Trap," I grew up with it, and the Lindsay Lohan "Parent Trap" was a little young for me, but my sister is like the same age as her and totally was all about that movie. I have seen that movie so many times. She's brilliant in it, like crazy brilliant in it, I don't know how she did it at 11 years old. Nancy Meyers is a genius to be able to pull that off. But really, honestly, having to play against yourself when you're not there is one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Were you acting against, like, a tennis ball? Was it like Gollum?
No, they had a very capable actress who stood in for me and acted opposite me in both parts. We rehearsed together so I got used to her and got to know her, but it's still really hard because essentially the way the technology works is that you shoot every scene twice and you lay the images over each other for the wide shots and stuff. The way that it works with the transparency, all the objects can't be in both shots if they're gonna move, so you end up having to track things if they're not there and everything. It just ends up being a lot of math, which is hard for me. I've never been excellent at that.

What makes a person qualified to be a Zoe Kazan double?
Well, she had to be my size...

...write her own movies.
Yeah! No, they, I don't know. I actually proposed that my sister do it, but then my sister couldn't do it. I just thought like, she's about my size, she could put a wig on!

Have you ever pretended to be someone else, for fun or seriously?
Oh, you know what, I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I mean, I pretend to be someone else for a living, so that is my main experience of trying to pretend to be someone else. I lie a lot when people ask me what I do for a living, like if I'm out at a bar and someone hits on me, I tell them that I'm like, a geologist or something that they're not going to ask me about. Just because it's an annoying conversation to have with a drunk person in a bar.

"Oh, what have I seen you in?"
Exactly. You just don't want to, and when you're out and you don't want to be hit on in the first place because you have a long-term boyfriend, yeah, you want to find a conversation-ender. That's probably the closest I've gotten to pretending.

Have you ever gone along with a white lie to bad effect?
I don't know, I'm sure I have. That's a very familiar feeling, that sinking feeling. When you get called out about lying about like, where you were. Probably as a teenager. It's usually something stupid.

"The Pretty One" deals with sibling tensions. What's the best sibling rivalry movie?
"Dead Ringers." That's an amazing movie. Cronenberg.

Since we're here in New York for Tribeca, let's have a few NYC-specific questions. How do you take your bagels?
I like an everything bagel toasted really brown, or sesame if I'm going into company and I don't want to offend anyone with onions or anything. A tiny bit of cream cheese, just a little bit, plain cream cheese, with tomato and capers.

What's your favorite thing about New York?
That I feel at home here.

If you had your own film festival, what would it be called and where would it be?
It would be called the Paul Dano Is a Snob Film Festival, and it would be in my living room, and it happens about every Saturday night. You are welcome to come over. It is foreign language-specific. Last night, Paul's out of town and I'm sick, so my sister came over and brought me soup. We went to the video store — yes, I have a video store in my neighborhood — and I was like literally anything that's not foreign, please, that's what I want. We rented "Friends With Benefits" and "Swingers." Stuff I can never watch at home.

Using the formula of your first pet and the street you grew up on, what would your porn name be?
But I grew up on a numbered street! It would be Rainbow Third. Although if I used my cross-street, it would be Rainbow Marine, which is two colors. Well, rainbow's not a color. It's all the colors.

Will you take a selfie for us?
There it is. It happened. Just ride with it.

zoe-kazan-selfie-bugged

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