It's a good week to be Krysten Ritter.
On Wednesday night, her buzzworthy new sit-com
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23, in which she plays the title
character, premieres on ABC. Then Friday, her first
starring film Life Happens - which she also co-wrote,
opens in New York, LA and other selected cities.
An impressive week for any actress - but not a huge
surprise for anyone who has been following the pretty brown-haired
actress' career. She's been stealing scenes in supporting roles
for years, popping up on shows like All My Children, Veronica Mars,
Gilmore Girls and an acclaimed arc on Breaking Bad. In
the meantime, she has played a series of gorgeous best friends in
romantic comedies like She's Out of Your League, What Happens in
Vegas, Confessions of a Shopaholic and 27 Dresses.
It was time for her to take the lead in a film.
However, Ritter didn't trust just anyone to launch her career.
Therefore, she and her friend Kat Coiro got together to write a
screenplay called BFF and Baby - which eventually became Life
Happens. Ritter plays Kim, an LA party girl who has a wild
life with her two besties (played by Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson)
until she gets pregnant and she has to deal with the shock of being a
single mom and how it changes her personal and professional life.
Then as she and Coiro (who directed the film) were
getting Life Happens finished, Ritter was cast for Don't Trust
the B---- in Apt. 23. Ritter gets to play the hysterically
anti-PC Chloe, a New Yorker who cons women by having them move in with
her, then scares them away to keep their rent and security deposit.
She finally meets her match with June (Dreama Walker) who won't scare
away so easily. The series is turning out to be one of the most
hotly anticipated shows of the spring.
And if all that wasn't enough, Ritter also has the
lead in the upcoming Amy (Clueless) Heckerling comedy Vamps
co-starring Alicia Silverstone, Richard Lewis and Malcolm McDowell
About a week before her two debuts, Ritter gave us
a call to discuss both new projects.
I don’t believe you
have children. What was it that inspired the film for you?
Kat and I are long time friends - my co-writer and
she also directed it. We always wanted to do the female Swingers.
We loved Wedding Crashers and felt like there was definitely
a void of female-driven content. We ran into a lot of double-standards,
where the girls come off slutty or stupid or ditzy. Kat went and had a
baby in real life. One day we were driving around, eating some
burritos. Some cute boys pull up next to us. And the baby cried. We
literally looked at each other with chills. We were like, "Oh, my God,
that's the movie." So that's how it came about. That's how it was
born, the whole thing. (laughs)
Like you said, there
are lots of male sort of buddy comedies out there, but before
last year, there were very few about women. Were you
trying to show that women can be just as wild and crazy as the guys can?
Yeah. I always think that girls behaving badly or
truthfully is funny. It's real. It's pretty authentic. The dialogue
in the movie, some of it has come out of our own mouths. So, yeah.
It's crazy to me that it's taken this long. Thank God for
Life Happens, you weren’t just the star, but also co-wrote the
film. What was that experience like? Did it make it feel different
acting out your own lines? Did you have more invested in the making of
It was interesting, because a couple of weeks before
the movie was starting, maybe not even that long, there was a time that
I stepped away as a writer. So did Kat. She went off and did her shot
list and her storyboarding, and I went off and worked with my acting
teacher on the work. I approached the character as if I didn't write
it. I broke down the scenes. I found the beats. Sometimes I found
things that I didn't even know were there, because that's what you do as
an actor. Even if you don't write the script, you go through and you
mine for these seeds that the writers planted for you. It becomes your
own. You make your choices. It takes on a life of its own. That
happened, even though I had written the script. I found things. I was
like, "Oh, my God, I'd never even thought of it that way." So, it was
really fun. It was really a challenge, but also the most rewarding
I read that you while
writing the film, you were originally planning to play Deena, not Kim.
Yeah, and [Kat] wasn't going to direct it. In the
very early stages, we were just writing to write. Then the script
started getting some attention, so we were like, "Okay, this will go out
and at least we'll have a writing credit. I'll play the best friend."
Whatever. At least we'll get it made. Then after the whole development
of it all, we ended up making the original version and I starred and she
directed. I think it's kind of perfect how it all worked out.
Was it almost like a
family affair? You and Kat are friends, and I believe her husband Rhys
played your baby daddy...
The baby daddy. Yes. And Lauren Bratman, our
producer, we've all lived together in a house. (laughs) Our
editor. All of the actors were friends. Geoff Stults, I knew from
She's Out of My League. Justin Kirk and Kristen Johnston from
Vamps. Rachel Bilson, I knew because she read with me for Vamps.
Jason Biggs did a play with Rhys.
Kate Bosworth did a movie with Rhys and then did a short film with Kat.
It's all very incestuous. My makeup artist designed the look for the
movie. My stylist did all the wardrobe for the movie. It was literally
pulling favors from everybody we know.
So as a non-mother,
what was it like to deal with the babies on the set?
I've been around a lot of babies, actually. I have
two godchildren. I raised my sister, who is only fifteen years old.
I've always been around a lot of babies. The good thing about not
having one is that you get that fix, but then you get to give it back at
the end of the day. So, I'm very comfortable holding a baby. I just
would hold it as much as possible. It, listen to me. (chuckles)
I would hold the twins, Connor and Zach [Ross] as much as possible just
to get comfortable. It's the same way you would prep for anything.
Like when I was doing Breaking Bad, I would cook fake heroin for
hours, just to get really good at it. You just want it to be a part of
Do you ever get the
feeling that you have to calm down the wild life and be a bit more
responsible – as your character decided in the film? There are a lot of
temptations in the Hollywood scene.
Me in my personal life? No. God, no. I'm a grown
woman and I'm a homebody. I work hard, so there's not really time to
mess around. But, that's just not something I've ever... I've never
even been to a Hollywood club. I know nothing about it.
You have a new series
getting great buzz called
Don’t Trust the
B---- in Apartment 23.
I know, it's so exciting!
What can we expect
from the show?
Well, I play the B----. I play this New York party
Well, what does the
Well, I play the bitch. Don't Trust the Bitch in
Apt. 23. You know, which was the original title. But, I play this
New York party girl with the morals of a pirate, who may or may not be a
sociopath. I con young girls into moving in with me. I scare them off
and keep their first, last [months rent] and security [deposit]. It's
really fun. It's the best character ever. I'm having such a great time
playing her, dressing up like her, cracking dirty jokes. It's such a
great experience for me as an actress. I love the character.
Is it fun to play
such an evil role?
It's really funny, because every once in a while,
it's like an excuse, you know? I think I said something recently and my
boyfriend said, "Huh, that sounds like something the bitch would say."
(laughs) It's definitely fun. But we're on hiatus, we'll see if
we get a second series. We're finished, so who knows. It was good
timing, because I definitely found myself getting a little dirtier than
I was reading online
that you were discovered in the Wyoming Valley Mall, which believe it or
not, I believe I have been in. That's outside of Wilkes-Barre (PA),
Yes. That's freaky, you've been there?
Yeah, I had a friend
who went to college not far away.
Thank God for that mall!
Now, how does one get
discovered in a mall? And how did you get into acting?
You know, this is when I was sixteen. I was
scouted. Model management, that's what they do. They go to small towns
and find girls and bring them to New York. I started modeling when I
was sixteen. Going to New York for test shoots. Every once in a while,
they would call with a job. Then during the summers I would travel. I
went to Tokyo when I was sixteen. Basically I was modeling until I was
nineteen years old - full time for about a year. My agent, I switched
to Wilhelmina and they had an acting division. I was always sort of
obnoxious and outgoing and bubbly. They said, "Oh, maybe we should send
you on this commercial audition." They did and I got it, and that's what
happened. This was in 1999. That was one my first acting job. So,
I've been acting since 1999, which is so crazy.
The first time I
remember seeing you was in
Gilmore Girls. How did you get involved in that and what was it like to be a part of
such a classic series?
You know, it's so funny, I had never watched
Gilmore Girls. It was such a weird thing. After it came out,
people in airports would be like (shrieks) "Oh, my God! You're
in Gilmore Girls!" I was like, wow, this is weird. I
was recurring on Veronica Mars at the
time. I lived in New York, so I was flying to San Diego to shoot. Then
if I had a day off or two, I'd go up to LA to go to a lot of meeting or
auditions. I auditioned for Gilmore Girls and I got it. It was
really exciting, but also really not exciting, because I lived in New
York and they hired me in LA. They wouldn't fly me out. (laughs)
At the end of the day, I kid you not, I was paying to be on that show.
It was so crazy. But it was really nice, it got me started. I've been
working consistently since 2004. That was just part of my journey. But
I'd never seen Gilmore Girls and I paid to be on the show, so
it's weird for me. (laughs again)
You’ve also played a
significant role in
How did you get that role and what
was being on the show like?
With Breaking Bad, that was just a good
old-fashioned audition. I went in and auditioned, nothing too
exciting. Yeah, it ended up being... who knew? When I did it, I had
no idea. At that point, only seven episodes had aired. Bryan Cranston
hadn't won the Emmy yet. Then I did the show and people really started
catching on. It ended up changing my whole life. People saw me in a
different way. I had an amazing experience, working with Aaron Paul.
It was just amazing.
Recently, you’ve been
mostly doing supporting roles in stuff like
She’s Out of Your
League, Confessions of a Shopaholic
is it to graduating to starring roles? Of course, you made at least one
It's fun. It's all a progression. Baby steps.
Every job prepares you for the next one. Obviously, this is my first
time being the lead of a sitcom on ABC. That hasn't happened before, so
it definitely feels different. And bigger. More people involved. I
approach it the same way, but yeah, it's very exciting. For me it's all
about variety and I've been lucky to have gotten such a variety of
characters to play.
I hear you’re also a
singer and musician. With your busy acting career, do you have enough
time to fuel that passion as well? What are you doing with that?
Yeah. You know, not as much as I would like, but I
am putting out a record which will come out this summer on WT Records,
which is really small. We just shot a music video. So, it's something
that is very personal and I'm not trying to have some big pop star
career, trust me, but it's another extension of what I do. For me it's
all the creative process. It all feels like the same job.