Sundance Film Festival

Catch up with Lizzie Olsen at the LIBERAL ARTS premiere party

Josh Radnor’s LIBERAL ARTS got a standing ovation at its premiere here in Park City. And with an ensemble cast including Allison Janney (THE HELP), Elizabeth Olsen (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) as well as Radnor himself, it’s no surprise. The How I Met Your Mother star wrote and directed the film and it marks his second trip to Sundance as a triple-threat. Much like his 2010 effort, HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE, LIBERAL ARTS is a sweet story…which is a nice change to all of the ‘Year of the Bummer‘ films we’ve seen at this year’s festival. We stopped by the premiere party and caught up with Elizabeth Olsen to get the lowdown on her sophomore Sundance and working with some acting legends.

So how did the premiere go?
It was unbelievable! I’ve never sat through a film where people clap at the end of certain scenes. That usually happens in a play that was really funny, so that was pretty unbelievable. I guess people wanted to go to the theater and enjoy what they were seeing and this is just a really heartfelt and charming film.

So, tell us about LIBERAL ARTS.
Josh Radnor plays this 35-year-old guy who goes back to his alma mater and speak on behalf of his favorite professor because he is retiring. And while he is there he meets an undergrad and they kick off this friendship that turns into a possible romantic relationship. But, it is also this huge ensemble cast and everyone has great character arcs. Josh writes really, really well for actors because he is an actor.

So now that the screening is over how does it feel to be at this premiere party?
I’m so hungry! So I’m just hoping there is good food.

Why do you think the Sundance Film Festival continues to be the leading tastemaker in independent film?
Because it is all about the movies here. It’s not about generating buzz for some sort of anything. It is just about having movies here, getting them sold, having them be seen and it’s great. There is such a great energy. And it is just about attending 1200 screenings in a week. I’m amazed when people see all of these screenings here because I don’t (laughs). I wish I did.

How does this year’s festival compare to last year for you?
It’s so much better. Last year I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. This year, I’ve just been able to enjoy it more.