At what age must one stop interning? In Nancy Meyers's new comedy The Intern, the answer is never. In the movie, Anne Hathaway the burdened founder of a rapidly growing Brooklyn e-commerce startup, and Girls star Andrew Rannells is her COO. His latest "innovation"? Establishing a senior internship program for retirees, one of whom is a 70-year-old widower played by Robert De Niro. What is this insanity? We asked Rannells to onboard us.
Out: How'd you land this role?
Andrew Rannells: I was auditioning for another part, but things weren't lining up, so the casting director suggested I read for the part of Candice, which was written for a woman. She was Anne's character's business partner. It clicked. I was like, "Let's just leave the name as Candice." We didn't.
Did you study other workplace comedies to prepare?
I used to watch Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead as a kid and fantasize that was what it was like working in an office. I wasn't playing Anne's assistant, but I was trying to do my best Christina Applegate faking her way through the office. "The QED report? I'm right on top of that, Rose!"
You were juggling The Intern, Girls, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. How?
I felt a little split personality-ish. I'd go from being drunk Elijah on Girls to Hedwig, and then go to The Intern with a little glitter still stuck on me. That was good, though, because I got great walking-in-heels tips for Hedwig from Anne and Nancy.
Have you had any memorable interns?
At Girls this summer, we had Malia Obama as an intern. It was pretty nuts, but her parents have obviously raised her to be the coolest teenager ever. She wasn't running around getting coffee. We improvise a lot on Girls, so she had to keep track of it on set for script purposes.
Nancy Meyers films always have such amazing interiors. Which would you want to live in?
Meryl Streep's house in It's Complicated. Though the glass-front refrigerator might cause me stress. I think you could only keep Perrier and grapefruit and maybe some pressed juices in there. In my refrigerator currently, it's, like, leftover Chinese and half-drunk bottles of seltzer. That's not going in the glass-front fridge.
The Intern is in theaters Sept. 25. Watch the trailer below: