The new romantic dramedy Rules Don’t Apply marks the first film in 15 years from Warren Beatty, who wrote, directed, produced, and stars in the picture as eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Just as central to the film, however, are young leads Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins.
Collins (Mortal Instruments) plays Marla Mabrey, a straight-edged singer-actress from rural Virginia who moves to Hollywood in the 1950s under the “employment” of Hughes, who was infamous for keeping a small army of beautiful actresses under contract for his production studio, RKO Pictures, even if he didn’t have any films for them. Aldenreich (Hail, Caesar!) is Frank Forbes, the driver and aspiring entrepreneur also freshly hired by Hughes who’s assigned to chauffeur Marla around La La Land. Hughes’s drivers are forbidden from any “hanky panky” with the actresses… so you can probably guess what happens between the two young characters.
Collins and Aldenreich joined Yahoo Movies for a Facebook Live chat (watch above) where they discussed being part of Beatty’s big comeback, how they related to Marla’s struggle to make it in showbiz, and whom the future Young Han Solo Aldenreich has met from the Star Wars camp so far. Some highlights:
Their participation in Rules was looooong in the works. A passion project for Beatty, the actor-director has been planning a Howard Hughes film since the late 1970s. Rather than auditioning, the actors each met with Beatty multiple times at various points over several years while the film was in development, with the 26-year-old Aldenreich’s first lunch meeting came when he was 19 years old in 2009 after his first film (Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro) had been released. “We tried every restaurant in L.A.,” Collins joked.
Collins related to Marla’s self-doubt as an actress. There’s a scene in Rules (which you can watch exclusively on Yahoo Movies below) where Marla laments that she “feels old” — even though she’s only 27 — because she hadn’t yet made it in showbiz. Collins, 27, could empathize. “When I turned 25, I had a quarter-life crisis,” she said. “Am I doing the right thing?… I definitely had those moments of doubting what it is you’re doing and doubting if it’s the right choice for you. It’s natural, no matter, I think what industry you’re in, to have those moments of self-doubt and reflection.”
And of course we had to talk Young Han Solo. Ehrenreich won a highly contested, highly publicized bid to play a younger version of Harrison Ford’s iconic smuggler in a still-untitled 2018 Star Wars prequel. So does he have any plans to meet Ford? “I don’t as of now, but I’d love to, so we’ll see,” he said. He has met his future costar Donald Glover, though, who was recently cast as Young Lando Calrissian. “I think he’s going to be great, I’m really thrilled about him playing the role,” he said. “He’s so cool, and he’s such an interesting guy. The things he’s done, in between being a rapper and a standup comic and a comedy writer and now Atlanta… It’s pretty incredible.” So consider the Young Han Solo-Young Lando bromance begun.
Rules Don’t Apply opens Nov. 23. Watch our exclusive clip: