Andrew Bujalski returned to Sundance last January with Results, a perceptive comedy set in the world of fitness trainers that examines the relationship between money and happiness. The movie premiered at the Eccles in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and it’s not only his most accessible project to date, it also marks his first foray into directing professional actors.
Newly rich, recently divorced, perpetually schlubby Danny (Kevin Corrigan) decides to change his life by visiting a local gym, but unwittingly and inextricably becomes entangled in the low-simmering romance between fitness guru Trevor (Guy Pearce) and trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders). In January, Bujalski, who will likely forever be known as the “Godfather of Mumblecore,” seemed as surprised as anyone to have made such a mainstream romantic comedy.
He said while attending the festival in 2013 with Computer Chess he was pressured to come up with a new project to pitch. After directing four movies with non-professional actors, he decided to break out of his comfort zone and work with pros.
“I started thinking very specifically about Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan, who I’ve been a fan of for years,” he shared. “I don’t know why, but it just made me laugh. I thought it would be fun to see those two mix it up in a movie together.” Bujalski also draws winning comic performances from his supporting cast that includes Brooklyn Decker, Anthony Michael Hall and Giovanni Ribisi.
Bujalski said shooting in a gym inspired all kinds of “fitness shenanigans” and added that the cast was constantly doing pushups. He didn’t pressure his cast to get fit during the shoot, which was probably unnecessary since Pearce had been a teenage body builder. “He loved having the excuse to go hit the gym,” Bujalski suggested. “If Guy was here he’d tell you how out of shape he is, which is not true.”
However, the director also caused gasps from the audience by revealing Smulders, who sports a lean, taut physique in the film, had been four months pregnant when making the comedy. This news initially caused Bujalski to panic, but he assured the audience there had been no actual problems during the shoot.