When Zach Gilford was called to come in for the audition he was shooting TV’s Friday Night Lights, in which he plays quarterback Matt Sorensen. But due to the writers’ strike, the series was abruptly put on hiatus, and Gilford was free to pursue the role of Adam, the best friend of Ryden (Alexis Blendel), who is trying to decide whether he should go to law school or pursue his passion and be a musician.
Would you have been able to do this movie if it weren’t for the writers’ strike?
No, I got really lucky timing-wise with it. The part opened up at the last minute and I was in Texas, and someone convinced them to let me come in and read. So I flew in and read with Vicky (Jenson, the director) and the casting directors, and then they said, ‘We’ll have you read with Alexis,’ and after that they let me have it, because they were starting filming three days later.
Tell us a little about your character.
Adam is Ryden’s best friend, he’s a pretty laid-back kid who’s trying to decide if he wants to go to law school at Columbia or follow music where is heart it. He’s a good guy, the one that gets overlooked as a romantic option and he kind of rolls with that but eventually it starts to bug him and he decides to make his intentions pretty clear to Ryden
Is it hard for him falling in love with his best friend?
Adam and Ryden have developed this really close relationship over the years. She’s a beautiful girl so she’s got that going on but it’s about how you get really comfortable with someone and you enjoy who they are as a person and then there’s a sexual attraction that develops and you think – well this would be perfect.
Did you and Alexis have an instant rapport?
Initially I thought Alexis didn’t like me, but that’s just my insecurities. It’s really awkward, they shove you in a room and say you need to charm this person and have great chemistry with her in order to have this job. So every little thing (you’re paranoid about), she rubbed her nose, maybe that means she doesn’t like me. We’re buddies now.
Your character struggled between going to law school and pursing his love of music. How did you feel about your character’s decision and what advice do you have for college students?
Go to law school! I don’t know, it’s the struggle pretty much everyone goes through. I went through a very similar situation when I finished school, I could go teach high school or I could go and be an unemployed person trying to be an actor. I opted to do the latter. (Adam) is going to New York to go to law school. That’s a great place to also be an independent artist. I think he made a good decision. It’s such a personal thing. I don’t think there’s any advice to give. Whatever makes you happy, do it.