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Q&A with ‘Your Place or Mine’ Stars Reese Witherspoon, Ashton Kutcher & More

Check out what the creator and cast have to say about the new rom-com film!

This season of romance, Netflix’s latest offering for the romcom movie category is a fun film called Your Place or Mine, headlined by Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher and produced, written, and directed by Aline Brosh McKenna who wrote beloved films such as The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses.

The movie follows Debbie and Peter who are total opposites, but after a one-night stand, they become best friends for years. While Debbie is content with her routine life with her son Jack in LA, Peter’s New York career as a stylish brand consultant thrives in change. When they swap houses and lives for a week, they realize that what they want might not be what they really need.

Netflix recently held a press conference for Your Place or Mine which was joined by McKenna, Witherspoon, and Kutcher, alongside the other stars of the film Wesley Kimmel, who stars as Jack, Debbie’s son, Zoey Chao, who plays Peter’s fashionable ex, Minka, and Jesse Williams, who stars as Debbie’s New York fling, literary editor Theo Martin.

Check out what the creator and cast have to say about the new movie below:

Aline Brosh McKenna on her directorial debut in Your Place or Mine.

After writing successful films and shows, McKenna is now in the director’s chair for the first time. Asked why she chose this story for her directorial debut, McKenna explained that it was very personal to her.

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“You know, I was very taken with the story. It was based on personal experience. And I wanted to do a
romantic comedy for people who have been through something in their lives, and have [clears throat] you know, have accumulated some life experience.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

“And so, as I was working on that, it just felt very personal to me through the whole process. And it was an
idea I’d had for a long time. And then, when it finally came to fruition, it felt very personal. And then, you know, I like to work with unknowns,” said the director.

Building Debbie and Peter’s chemistry.

The film’s interesting take on a rom-com is that the two lead characters are rarely with each other, one is in LA while the other is in New York. According to Witherspoon, she panicked because she barely knew her co-star in real life.

“About a month before, I was like, ‘I don’t know this guy, and we’re supposed to be best friends for 20 years.’ So we started sending each other videos every day,” explained the actress.

“Every day, we would send back-and-forth videos of how’s your day going? What’s going on? What’s happening with you? What are you afraid of?” Added Kutcher.

“And it was good. It was really, actually kind of fun. And then our kids would get in the videos and our dogs…” Continued Witherspoon.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

As for the filming, the stars revealed that it was “tricky”, the way they shot it from different places and different times, as the other person would shoot first before the other interacted with a filmed scene. This prevented them from doing improv, which they often did when they were doing a scene together.

Ashton Kutcher on Peter’s “grown-up” look and diving into fiction.

According to Kutcher, director McKenna always emphasized Peter’s hair when giving him that “grown-up” look.

“I think it was interesting. It was very much about the hair. Aline had a very particular hairstyle that she felt this character had to have,” explains the actor. “And she used the word ‘grown-up’ a lot. She’s like, ‘I want you have grown-up hair. Grown-up hair.’ I’m like, ‘This is my hair. Like, it is old. It’s 45 years old. It’s the same age as me.’

“But the style and just kind of the put-together essence of the character, I think it was a juxtaposition to kind of the all-over-the-place world of Debbie. So that was fun to play. It’s just this person that had this meticulous [personality], like everything needed to be in its place. The pen needed to be here and the headphones here and then this there.”

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The actor also shared how he had to read ten fictional books to prepare for his role as Peter, who is also a novelist.

“I’m not a very big fiction reader. I don’t read a lot of fiction. And [Aline was] like, ‘Yeah, but this character’s a novelist, so he’s gonna be very well-read in fiction.’ And so, I ended up diving in. Aline sent me, I think, like, 10 books prior to the film. She’s like, ‘You need to read all of these.’ And every one of the books had notecards in them about what Peter got from this book, specifically, like, what he got as a writer from this book,” shared Kutcher.

Jesse Williams on being the book editor Theo.

Jesse Williams also shares that his character’s involvement in books is not far from his in real life, having been an English teacher before. “I am an avid reader. I was definitely a reader of fiction until I kind of converted. I stopped reading fiction, became obsessed with non-fiction for the last, maybe, 10 or 15 years. So I’ve kind of been returning to that recently. And, yeah, I did teach, so I love books,” said the actor.

“Books changed my life, particularly in high school. Actually, during this process, Aline was awesome enough; she got me a vintage, signed copy of one of my favorite books ever, which is Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, which is just an absolute treasure.” Williams added.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Zoe Chao on her character Minka who defies expectations.

According to actress Zoe Chao, she instantly fell in love with Peter’s ex-girlfriend Minka right after reading the script.

“Aline had just made such a surprising, lovable, weirdo on page. And then Sophie De Rakoff brought all these amazing clothes. And then, boom, the character was there. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I love Minka because, though you don’t know what she does, there’s, like, a very calculated mystique about her,” Chao explained.

“She is not a sinister person. She’s actually a very positive person. And I think, you know, the ultimate hype-sister and, like, wing woman that you need in this life. And I like that she’s full of contradictions.”

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Wesley Kimmel and his similarities with Jack.

Wesley Kimmel revealed that aside from Jack also playing hockey as he does, the character really spoke to him: “Well, that first audition that I had, like, we were reading the script, like, before. We were reading the sides over, like, just get a, like, gist of what was going on.

“And I looked up to my mom, and I was like, ‘This is literally me.’ Like, we had the exact same qualities, the exact same issues, the exact same allergies. And it was just like easy. It was easy to be, like, natural in the audition. It was just crazy.’ Like, we had the exact same qualities, the exact same issues, the exact same allergies. And it was just like easy. It was easy to be, like, natural in the audition. It was just crazy,” said Kimmel.

Photo courtesy of Netflix


Your Place or Mine starts streaming on Netflix this February 10.

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