Interview: Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery on working with Natalie Krinsky, Bad Breakups, and playing Americans

The Broken Hearts Gallery is a modern-day romantic comedy that follows Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan), a hopeless romantic, who after getting dumped by her latest boyfriend, turns to art for inspiration. As a way to move past her previous relationships, Lucy gets takes various items that love has left behind and begins to turn them into a gallery exhibit. Lucy launches the gallery thanks to the help of Nick who gives her gallery space inside his new hotel. She posts pictures of the exhibit on social media and within a matter of weeks, the gallery grows in popularity as other broken hearts from all across New York City come visit the gallery and donate mementos from their previous relationships to the gallery.

I adored this film. It brought so much joy and happiness when I watched it. The topics explored in this film should connect with anyone who has ever been in love and the idea of creating an art exhibit that consists of various trinkets and mementos from past relationships is definitely something that, before COVID-19, would have had a huge following.

The film works because everything about it works perfectly in sync. However, with any great romantic comedy, it all comes down to who is cast as the leads. In this film that is Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery, who are just absolutely delightful together. I recently got to speak with both of them to discuss the film and what it was like to work with Natalie Krinsky on her passion project come to life.

Scott Menzel: Hello, hello, hello.

Dacre Montgomery: Hi Scott.

Scott Menzel: How are you?

Geraldine Viswanathan: I’m good. Good to see you.

Scott Menzel: Dacre, nice to meet you finally.

Dacre Montgomery: Nice to meet you too Scott, how you going?

Scott Menzel: Good. I have to first open up this interview with a compliment. This is one of my favorite movies of the year. It is a delightful rom-com and you two are like fire together, seriously.

Dacre Montgomery: Oh, thank you.

Geraldine Viswanathan: Thanks so much. Thank you.

Dacre Montgomery: Appreciate it.

Scott Menzel: No problem. So, I want to start this interview talking a little bit about the direction and working with Natalie. This is her first time in the director’s chair. She’s written for TV before but this is her first movie. What was it like working with her and what was your takeaway from her versus other filmmakers you’ve worked with?

Dacre Montgomery: Yeah, I think just that. It’s so nice to be at that point where she has written, directed, and invested in so much and it’s also her first time directing because there’s even so much more investment. It was so close to her, so I think her catharsis became my catharsis. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but our combined catharsis, which was really lovely.

Geraldine Viswanathan: It was just so amazing watching her fulfill her destiny. She was just born to be a director and she wasn’t even planning on directing this and the producers were like, “Maybe you should.” And she just gave it a try, but she’s just… I guess this has been 10 years in the making for her and I feel like her investment in it, her enthusiasm was so infectious and the whole crew was just so excited. She did all these amazing things. She would have these meetups every Friday where the crew would submit either a true story or they could make up a story, but it was all about what they would submit to the Broken Hearts Gallery and she would choose a winner and give them a prize, and just the morale on set was so high and it was such a collaborative, open, just beautiful experience.

Scott Menzel: Great. Thank you so much. I don’t know if anyone else will pick up on this joke, but Geraldine, I love that you get to say, the “Oh, Hello,” line “charmed, I’m sure.” I literally laughed. My wife and I are probably the only people who got that joke, but we looked at each other and we just started laughing. So thank you for the little joke like that. Anyway, both of you were so convincing at playing Americans. Can you tell me how you were able to nail that accent?

Dacre Montgomery: I don’t know. I really don’t… but, a few years ago, I just couldn’t do it and spent a lot of time trying to do it, and now I just try doing my best and hope for the best. So I’m glad that you found it convincing. That’s a great compliment.

Geraldine Viswanathan: When I did Blockers, I did do one American accent coaching lesson over Skype and he told me that Americans say no like they’re saying to a dog. They say “No,” whereas Australians kind of go “No.” So that was really valuable and I think that that kind of became a lesson in the way that Americans speak. It’s very assertive. So that was my coaching experience.

Scott Menzel: And that’s very true by the way.

Geraldine Viswanathan: Yeah.

Scott Menzel: We always say it like we know what we’re talking about, no matter what. This is a fun movie and a romantic comedy where you both light up the screen in this film with your performances, but we’ve all had breakups and we’ve all had terrible takeaways from relationships. I know we don’t have much time left, but what’s something that you took away from one of your relationships?

Dacre Montgomery: Emotional baggage. I really do. That’s a big thing. I think it holds you in good standing in the future with other relationships. In terms of learning and growing and emotionally maturing. That’s probably a super lame answer, but I don’t have a thing, but yeah.

Geraldine Viswanathan: For me, it’s just words. I’ve kept everything written to me, so letters and even texts. I have some very old text threads that I’ll just look at sometimes and remember when I dated that person. So just words that I keep.

Scott Menzel: Well, thank you very much. A pleasure talking to as always Geraldine. Very nice to meet you, Dacre. Looking forward to talking to you both again in the future. Good luck with this movie.

Geraldine Viswanathan: Thanks, Scott.

Dacre Montgomery: Thanks, Scott. Take care.

Scott Menzel: See you later. Bye.

The Broken Hearts Gallery is now playing

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott "Movie Man" Menzel has been a film fanatic since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associates Degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Mass Media, Communications and a Masters in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com, which he founded. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name changed occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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