Alexis Bledel made her television début in the critically-acclaimed series Gilmore Girls, starring for seven seasons as Rory, in the dramedy about a close relationship between a single mother and her savvy daughter. Her portrayal of Rory earned her the 2005 and 2006 Teen Choice Award for Actress in a Comedy.

Her new movie Post Grad marks her first real adult role as Ryden Malby, a college graduate who goes to New York to find her dream job at the city’s best publishing house. When the opportunity doesn’t work out, Ryden is forced to move back to her childhood home with her eccentric family, played by Michael Keaton, Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett. With rejected job applications adding up, the only up side in her life is spending time with her best friend, Adam (Zach Gilford).

Did you ever have to move back home for any reason?

Poster © Fox Searchlight
Poster © Fox Searchlight

I’ve not personally had that experience. I feel I’ve experienced setbacks where I’ve had to regroup and start from scratch, which I think is similar. Not moved back home, but things could still go terribly wrong

What was it like working with Vicky Jenson? She was one of the directors of Shrek, but this is the first time she’s helmed a live-action movie.

You can tell she’s an animator because at one point she was telling me how to hold my hands (she motions with her arm) a certain way and to move as if she were animating me. My idea was to do everything exactly the way she said, to try and be consistent with whatever she had mapped out in her mind. I didn’t want to stray from it if she had a vision.

That seems like too much direction; did you mind?

I didn’t mind it. I go with the flow. I really wanted to make the process work for everybody and I’m really quite adaptable so it really didn’t bother me.

This was your first real adult role, someone out of college, was this something you were specifically looking for?

Post Grad - Graduation
Graduation © Fox Searchlight Pictures

Yes, and someone who wasn’t quite so sweet. She makes some mistakes. She’s a bit blind at times, especially with Zach’s character, Adam, and she forgets they’re supposed to get together. She’s not perfect, which is what really attracted me to the role. She felt very relatable.

Is there a danger the character could be unlikable because of some of the things she does?

I think they worried about that. They edited it in a way where you still like her by the end of the movie. For that reason, some scenes were cut out of the movie for that reason.

What did Vicky edit?

It was little tweaks. Ryden was a little more careless with Adam’s emotions to the point where the audience would have thought she was just mean. So they really wanted it to be she was distracted and focused on her stuff, and she was oblivious.

Did you realize at the time it was going to be this topical?

We had no idea it was going to be so topical because we shot the film before the economic crisis and recession. We thought it was topical at the time, anyway. But now kind of more than ever, I hope people can relate to it and are entertained by it and can enjoy the comedy of it.

Did you like the fact that the end of the movie that Ryden is going after Adam?

Dinner party © Fox Searchlight Pictures
Dinner party © Fox Searchlight Pictures

Yes, I didn’t really notice it until we were asked that question at the last junket. I like that she’s a strong character. It’s different. Usually, in scripts, it’s the guy who has the storyline. The important storyline for the woman is very reactionary to his character, so the fact that it’s reversed is attractive. It’s something different. Ideally you have a male and female in a movie that have their own objectives. Zach’s character is really well-written as well. He has such a different viewpoint than Ryden. Ryden has everything so planned out and he’s more relaxed and balanced about things and kind of goes with the flow. He tries to tell her you can’t plan everything, but she has to kind of learn that herself.


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.