Interview: Natalie Krinsky talks casting and how long it took to bring ‘The Broken Hearts Gallery’ to life

The Broken Hearts Gallery is a new romantic comedy written and directed by Natalie Krinsky. In the film, Geraldine Viswanathan plays Lucy Gulliver, a New York 20-something who has recently just gone through another bad breakup. In an attempt to move on from the relationship, she agrees to help Nick (Dacre Montgomery) with the construction of his new hotel, in exchange for pop-up gallery space to display mementos from past relationships. The Broken Hearts Gallery opened on Friday and is easily one of my favorite films of the year. Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to speak with Natalie last week to share my love of the film with her while also asking her a few questions about how the film came to life.

Natalie Krinsky: Hi, Scott. It looks like your kind of a collector yourself.

Scott Menzel: Yes, I am. (laughs) So the movie really connected with me. No, but in all seriousness, I adored this film. I loved it so very much.

Natalie Krinsky: Thank you so much. I’m so glad that it found its way into your heart because it’s been in mine for a while. So I appreciate that.

Scott Menzel: Yeah. And that’s actually a great jumping-off point because I was going to ask you about that. This has been something that you’ve been passionate about and you working on since the age of 25 or 26.

Natalie Krinsky: Yep, for ten years

Scott Menzel: Can you talk a little bit about your journey with this project and what made it finally happen?

Natalie Krinsky: Oh my God. I would love to. I started writing this movie about 10 years ago. I was in my mid-20, as you said, and I had gone through this long-distance breakup. I had lost my job. I was moving to an apartment. So I had no boyfriend, no job, no home. And I was sorting through the detritus of my life and trying to figure out what to keep and what to give away and what to hold on to and this idea was born. And I wrote the script on spec, what we call on spec, which just writes it, didn’t pitch it to anyone. And it ended up on something called The Black List, which is a favorite script in Hollywood kind of thing. And I got a lot of work off of it and it almost would get made and then something would happen and it didn’t go through and the years went by and … Scripts are like relationships, you kind of at a certain point have to be like, “Okay, I’ve exhausted that one. It’s time to move on.”

And I had done that, and then about four years ago, No Trace Camping, who are my producers and financiers, came to me and they were like, “We love this film. We really want to make it. All you have to do is a quick rewrite,” which is a crazy oxymoron. There’s no such thing. And I said, “Okay, yeah, I love it too. Cool joke. Thanks for coming.” And they were like, “No, we really want to make the movie.” And I rewrote it, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to be, and then they gave me the most incredible gift and they said, “Why don’t you direct it? You know what it is. You’ve been with it for so long. We believe in you and you should do it.” And I said, “Well, what do I have to do? Do I have to make a real or act it out for you?” And they were like, “Just say yes.” And I said, “Great, thank you for empowering me to feel like a straight white guy. I will take it and I will do it. I’m going to go all the way with this opportunity.” So here we are.

Scott Menzel: That’s an awesome story. Seriously, I think this is going to go down as a new cult classic along the same lines of something like Clueless or even Booksmart from last year. I think this is in the same vein. I really do.

Natalie Krinsky: Thank you.

Scott Menzel: I have to ask you about the casting because we all know whenever we’re making a romantic comedy, they’re a dime a dozen, but it all comes down to who you cast as the leads. So can you tell me what was so magical about Geraldine and Dacre Montgomery?

Natalie Krinsky: Thank you for such a great question. They’re an incredible pair. I think Lucy is this really dynamic, unique character who is asking the world to love her, not despite the fact that she is weird, but because she is weird. And when I met Geraldine, she had this ability to convey 4,000 things with this open face without any words, and then she opens her mouth and her comedic timing is just impeccable. And so I felt like she was this modern Lucille Ball who was at any moment ready to drag Nick through the mud and into trouble.

And Dacre, despite being a heartthrob and a total smoke show to every team girl I’ve ever come across has this real shyness and this reserved nature behind all of that. And so the combination of those two things was just undeniable, and when they did their chemistry read, I was like, “Here we go, wheels up.” And you said it, as long as we root for those two people to end up together, we are good. So they made my job easy.

Scott Menzel: They are absolute fire together. Kudos to you on this movie. I will be championing this movie all weekend and into the near future. Thank you.

Natalie Krinsky: Thank you so much. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

The Broken Hearts Gallery  is now playing in theaters and in drive-ins. 

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott D. 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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