VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Jillian Bell, Utkarsh Ambudkar & Lil Rel Howery On ‘Brittany Runs A Marathon’
Brittany Runs A Marathon, a new comedy film written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, follows the over-weight, hard-partying Brittany, who decides to begin living a healthier lifestyle after a doctor’s visit, and ultimately decides to run the New York City Marathon.
The film — which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January — is set to be released by Amazon Studios on August 23.
Bell, Ambudkar and Howery spoke to uInterview’s Erik Meers exclusively about their roles in the comedy and more.
“Brittany is going through what a lot of us are going through,” Bell said of her character’s initial struggles with a chuckle. “She’s sort of partying too much and stuck in her life and then she decides to set this huge goal of just at least running around the block. And then she sets an even bigger goal of running the New York City Marathon.
“I read the script and fell in love with [Brittany],” Bell added of her character. “She’s so layered and funny and heartbreaking at times, sometimes you wanna strangle her, but she has a lot of raw, real emotions and I connected to her.”
Howery described his character Demetrius as a “father figure” for Brittany.
“I like the fact that she listens to [Demetrius] and that he’s the only one who can really check her,” he said. “At the same time, he’s the support system, too and he’s somebody she can talk to.”
“I love the relationship between them, especially with him being a brother-in-law,” he added.
Ambudkar said what he believed was most “relatable” about Brittany’s character is the fact that she is at first surrounded by people who aren’t good for her well-being, although she eventually meets his character Jern and her life begins to change because he “loves her” and cares more deeply about her.
“I’m sort of one of these characters that challenge her to accept help, and with Rel’s guidance finally — I don’t want to tell you what happens — she may or may not do that,” said Ambudkar.
Ambudkar and Bell reveled in the joy they felt in working together because of the film’s genuine and raw story and script and even joked about getting “married.”
Bell said she refused to let anyone else but her play that role and explained why she felt like she could relate so much to the character of Brittany.
“I just felt like this was the movie I wanted to see when I was a 13-year-old girl and it’s a movie I want to see now as a 35-year-old woman,” said Bell.
Bell noted that Brittany Runs A Marathon avoids the tropes and stereotypes often associated with comedies about women who struggle with weight and fitness issues, where the protagonist suddenly has a “perfect” life after losing weight.
“I’m sort of bored of that story. It’s not healthy and it’s not teaching us anything,” she added.