You might still think of Judy Greer as the perennial BFF, stealing the spotlight in pretty much every romantic comedy from The Wedding Planner to 27 Dresses. But the actress's career has come a long way since she began playing sweet and sometimes searing sidekicks.
This summer alone Greer has been in a movie a month, starting with May's Tomorrowland, that was followed up by roles in Entourage, Jurassic World, Ant-Man, and this month's Grandma, where she plays Lily Tomlin's ex-girlfriend. In September, she is in Addicted to Fresno, a dark comedy with Natasha Lyonne. And if that weren't enough, she is also killing it on the small screen, starring alongside Nat Faxon in FX's Married (airing Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET), which documents the ups and downs of a longtime couple.
We caught up with the in-demand star to chat about her hot streak, turning 40, and some of her most iconic roles.
Congrats on such a major summer! Which of your latest movies was the most fun to make?
It's hard to pick a favorite, but being on the set of Ant-Man was the best. I loved working with Paul Rudd and Bobby Cannavale. They're like brothers that are really mean to each other in the most hilarious way. Even though it was a huge movie, it always felt like we were making a low-budget indie.
You're so funny on Married. What drew you to that role?
I liked that my character was a real woman and not like one of those perfect moms who always keeps the house clean. She is totally flawed and still has questions about the decisions she has made in her life. It’s great to have a family, but she wants more too.
How has Russ and Lina's relationship evolved in Season 2?
In the first season, they were worrying a lot about money and it showed how financial problems can really put a strain on a relationship. Now, they are both working full time and are in a really good place. They have rediscovered their friendship and are remembering to have more fun with each other. Working with Nat is like not working. It’s just easy.
You just turned 40 last month and so did your character, Lina. Did you handle it better than she did?
I was a little less freaked out than Lina, but as it was approaching I was like, what the hell? I'm not an expert yet at being older. I think I'm forever stuck at 28. The women that I look up to always say that the best part about getting older is that you don't care about what other people think anymore. I'm looking forward to that!
You've played so many great characters over the years. What do you get recognized from the most?
Probably 13 Going on 30. Even dudes come up to me and say that they watch it all the time with their girlfriend or daughter. It was one of the most magical working experiences of my life. I'm still friends with Jennifer Garner. She sets the bar really high and never would complain about early call times or anything at all. It feels like it was 100 years ago though. Jen actually taught me how to text on a flip phone when we were filming.
And it's almost been 15 years since you were in The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. What do you remember about playing Penny (below)?
I loved it. It was one of my first jobs in Los Angeles and I got so much creative freedom on that film. Sometimes they would tell me to say what is in the script and sometimes they would tell me to say whatever I wanted. They ended up keeping a lot of my improv.
Have you taken the Buzzfeed quiz called "Which Judy Greer character are you?"
Yes! I got Julie Speer (below) from The Descendants. I was hoping to get Cheryl Tunt (from Archer), but I knew I probably wouldn't. At first, I was happy with that because Julie is a real person, who had a real journey. But at the same time, she got cheated on. I don't want to be the lady that got cheated on!
You're known for playing some of the most memorable movie best friends. How would your actual best friend describe you?
She would be like, you're a mess! She's always tells me I need to get my life together. We take turns being train wrecks, but I feel like I often end up with that job.