A chaotic interview with the stars of Drive Away Dolls, a wild new comedy with a surprise twist.

People often ask me if the actors I interview are anything like the characters they play and most of the time my answer is a hard no.

Margot Robbie doesn't have Barbie feet, Jason Momoa can't breathe underwater and Tom Cruise doesn't have the superhuman strength required to cling to a moving plane or scale a mountain without a safety wire (although I do believe he could pull off his skin to reveal a new face if he chose to do so).

However, when I spoke to the stars of Drive Away Dolls, Geraldine Viswanathan and Margaret Qualley, elements of their characters from the newly released racy road trip comedy began to shine through. An 'opposites attract' dynamic that, in this case, works just as well off-screen as it did in the film.

Drive Away Dolls was directed and co-written by Ethan Coen who, along with his brother Joel, is the filmmaker behind classic movies such as Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, and A Serious Man.

In Drive Away Dolls — Coen's solo directional debut, which was co-written by Tricia Cooke (the co-writers are also married) — Viswanathan and Qualley play longtime friends with very different outlooks on life.

The free-spirited Jamie (Qualley) is sexually adventurous, always on the lookout for a good time and easily distracted when faced with the opportunity to abandon the task at hand in favour of something a little more fun.

On the other hand, Marian (Viswanathan) is more the reserved and thoughtful one in this friendship duo, exactly the kind of person you'd want by your side if you ever found yourself involved in a cross-country car chase with a mysterious item hidden in the boot and a pair of thugs on your tail.


Which is exactly how Drive Away Dolls unfolds.

Watch Mamamia's interview with Drive Away Dolls stars Geraldine Viswanathan and Margaret Qualley. Article continues below.

@mamamiaaus Geraldine Viswanathan and Margaret Qualley bringing the chaos on their Australian press tour for Drive-Away Dolls. #driveawaydolls #press #tour #margaretqualley #geraldineviswanathan #celebrity #news #interview ♬ original sound - Mamamia

After being dumped by her police officer girlfriend, Suki (played by Beanie Feldstein, in a performance that is comedic perfection), for fairly legitimate reasons (cheating is at the top of the list), Jamie decides to tag along on Marian's trip to Tallahassee. 

And so the two friends sign up for a drive-away car (a car that needs to be delivered to a particular location, in case you're not across that particular plot point), all the while unaware that the car they are mistakenly given contains the severed head of a murdered man (played by a beloved actor) and some stolen items buried in a suitcase (you won't be able to guess what they are). 

Suddenly the two friends become the target for some dangerous yet inept men who set out to track them down.

Drive Away Dolls is a queer comedy that blends friendship, sexuality, violence, masturbation and mystery into a film that is equal parts touching and also completely ludicrous in the best possible way.

And when I asked the actresses what instantly connected them to this film, they eagerly listed these very attributes.

It just took us a while to get there.

It was early in the morning Australian time when I logged onto a Zoom call to interview Margaret Qualley, best known for her critically acclaimed performance in the Netflix series Maid — who is also the daughter of actress Andie MacDowell and model Paul Qualley; and Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan, who has made a name for herself in Hollywood thanks to stealing the show in comedies such as Blockers and Miracle Workers, and rom-coms such as The Broken Hearts Gallery. 


Thanks to the time difference, it was now the end of the day for the US-based co-stars, who were on the tail end of a long day of interviews and appeared overtaken by the particular kind of giddiness that only occurs when you've spent the entire day in close proximity to your work wife.

As the interview begins, Qualley nearly jumps up from her seat, explaining that she forgot to put on her gloves (although the Chanel ambassador still looks impossibly put together), laughing as Viswanathan calmly takes on the task of answering the first question with a well thought-out response. Slightly mirroring moments from the film where Qualley's Jamie would throw caution to the wind to chase down a wild night with some pretty girls, and Viswanathan's Marion suggests that they deal with the matter of stolen contraband first.

"We both said, 'Yes, sign us up'," Viswanathan answered when I asked what their first impressions of the script were. 

"For me especially, it was the mixture of Ethan Coen and Tricia Cook and all of the names that were already attached to the movie, like Margaret Qualley and Matt Damon, for example.

"Two names that you always see together," Qualley chimed in. "Margaret Qualley and Matt Damon, two similar actors of the same calibre who are often paired together, with similar reputations.

"To be with Geraldine was a dream come true to this movie, I feel emotional just thinking about it," she continued, before bursting into laughter.

"I remember when I first saw Geraldine walk into the room with a script in her hand and I thought wow, there she is, the woman of my dreams," she continued while laughing with Viswanathan. "I had just watched Blockers and looking at Geraldine in that movie I just thought 'She is super-f**king funny.'"


Geraldine Viswanathan, Margaret Qualley, and Beanie Feldstein in Drive Away Dolls. Image: Universal Pictures 

In the film, there is a compelling 'will they or won't they?' story surrounding Marion and Jamie's potential for a romantic relationship. But before we get an answer to that question we are treated to a series of sex scenes and hookups that are both touching and often played for big laughs. A refreshing movie-going experience, and one where men are nowhere in sight.


"It was so liberating," said Viswanathan, when recounting what it was like to film these scenes. "Usually when you're filming sex scenes, you are so aware the whole time of how you look. You're trying to look hot and sexy and to sell it that way.

"But in this movie, we just got to be silly and funny while filming all the sex scenes, which was amazing."

"Well, I was going for hot..." Qualley interjected, throwing her hands up in the air. "But apparently, that's not what Geraldine was doing."

Before our interview comes to an end, I ask the actresses who of their famous co-stars (since they both have such impressive filmographies) they would enlist to help them out on cross-country road trip heist, if the situation ever happened to arise.

In true Jamie style, Qualley looked me straight in the eye and confessed that she could not remember the name of a single person she has ever worked with (it happens to all of us). Viswanathan then took a few moments to consider my question before naming former co-star Jim Carrey as her partner in crime.

It was a short but happily chaotic moment in time with the stars of a laugh-out-loud new movie (with more than a few surprise twists), and a reminder that every once in a while, art does (slightly) mirror real life.

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Drive Away Dolls is in cinemas now.

Feature Image: Universal Pictures.

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