Life Partners, starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs and Adam Brody, brings a story of female friendship to Tribeca, premiering Friday, April 18.

Life Partners tells the story of Sasha (Meester) and Paige (Jacobs), as their friendship begins to change when Paige falls in love with Tim (Brody). Sasha and Paige are completely co-dependent, and Sasha worries she will be left behind as her friend embarks on a serious relationship. Unlike other, more stereotypical films sharing this plot line, Life Partners is not about two best friends fighting over a boy – Sasha is gay – and Meester assures audiences that it doesn’t focus on Sasha’s sexuality either.

“I see very few female roles that come my way that are strong, defined, or independent of male storylines. This movie is about women and their friendship, lives, and careers – things that interest them other than dating, guys, love and sex. My character is the type that speaks to all kinds of women and is characteristic of what I hope to keep doing,” Meester told Entertainment Weekly about her role.

Directed by first time feature director Susanna Fogel, who also wrote the script with screenwriter Joni Lefkowitz, Meester defines Life Partners as a film that is honest to the female experience, saying, “I play Sasha, who happens to be a lesbian. It’s great – they don’t wallow in that. It’s written and directed by women, starring women, tons of women on set… It’s about finding each other, and how it kinda hurts to change and grow…for the better, even.”

Jacobs agreed that working with a female director and writer was a great oportunity, saying, "As a woman, you're always looking for opportunities to work with female writer-directors, and how often do you get a movie where the two leads are both women and the men are really secondary? Adam [Brody]'s got the supporting part, which is normally the girl part."

Meester is best known for playing Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl (2007-2012), certainly a polarizing female character who began the series involved in a love triangle with her best friend, while Jacobs is also a familiar face from TV’s Community. The film marks a departure for both actresses, as well as for Brody, who hit stardom when he stared as Seth Cohen in The OC (2003-2007).

Meester revealed that Fogel and Lefkowitz allowed for a lot of improvisation on set, which isn’t the case with the traditional television format. Meester loved it.

“It was the best. We basically got to say whatever came to our minds. There was a lot of improv,” Meester said.

When asked what it was like to act opposite her now-husband, Brody, Meester played it cool, but couldn’t help but gush over his performance.

“I was like, ‘I’m gonna be playing the person you’re not dating. That okay? I’m gonna be playing the opposite of that.’ And yeah, I’m biased – but he’s incredible in it,” Meester revealed about working with her new husband.

Meester is said to be attending Friday night’s Tribeca premiere, along with Fogel and co-stars Jacobs, Brody, Gabourey Sidibe and Abby Elliot.

Life Partners will have three additional screenings throughout the festival, on Sunday, April 20, Thursday, April 24, and Sunday, April 27.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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