“I knew of you,” Jon Abrahams admitted boldly to his Missed Connections costar Mickey Sumner, describing their relationship before making the indie romantic comedy. He turned nonchalantly back to The Observer. “I was stalking her.”
Last night, in a sea of swarming guests and red carpet entrants, The Observer snagged a short cocktail conversation with Ms. Sumner and Mr. Abrahams before they sashayed toward the packed screening at the School of Visual Arts Theater, the first of the week-long GenArt film festival. (Full disclosure: The Observer Media Group is a sponsor of the festival.) Waris Ahluwalia, who plays Pradeep in the film, mingled nearby with other movie patrons as we caught up with Ms. Sumner and Mr. Abrahams.
Though the pair displays palpable chemistry onscreen, we wondered aloud whether it transcended off screen as well.
“It’s awesome!” they said simultaneously.
About the breakneck speed at which the indie film was written (co-writers Martin Snyder and Marnie Hanel banged out the script in six weeks) and filmed (17 days, no re-shoots), the actors were surprisingly gung ho.
“She had one day before she got the part and then started shooting literally one day later,” Mr. Abrahams said. “That can be nerve wracking.”
“He’s a pro,” Ms. Sumner interrupted. Mr. Abrahams echoed similar praises for his costar.
Before they could continue cooing admiration for each other, we interjected to focus on their matching cocktail attire (a purposeful choice, we assumed). Ms. Sumner boasted a mid-length, long-sleeve white Prabal Gurung dress with a soft watercolor design. Though we didn’t see her father Sting on the red carpet (we heard he snuck in), we think her modest attire would have been father-approved. And apparently, it also appealed to costar Mr. Abraham, whose white, button-up shirt served as an understated complement to his leggy costar’s apparel.
“I planned around her,” Mr. Abrahams admitted. “I said, ‘What are you wearing?’ She said mostly white, so I said, ‘Alright, I’ll wear a white shirt.’”
Mr. Snyder, also the film’s director, joined our cocktail banter.
“They were perfect for it,” Mr. Snyder said of the two stars. “Johnny and I go back. I’ve always been a big fan of his, and Mickey’s. It was honestly just a feeling in the pit of my stomach. Having tea with her, I just knew she was the one.” The film is Ms. Sumner’s first feature-length film, but she has recently been cast to play Patti Smith in the upcoming movie, CBGB.
We caught up with Marc Lotenberg, CEO of GenArt, who said Mr. Snyder’s film was chosen for more than his movie-making chops.
“In today’s world, it’s not just about being a producer or a director or even an actor,” Mr. Lotenberg told us. “Like, what do you do to take your career to the next level?”
He cited Mr. Snyder’s social media savvy and business skills as well as the ability to boost morale around the film. Mr. Lotenberg added that the dexterity of the cast (noting Mr. Abrahams’s DJ skills featured in the film) also enhances the artistic quality.
“You have all different walks of life as a cast, which I think is also important,” he said.
That being said, we queried Mr. Snyder about what he hoped the audience would take from his film
“I wanted to make something that is funny and is love,” he said, “And takes place in New York City.”
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