Sarah Silverman is perhaps better known more for her quick-witted jokes than her killer red carpet style, but the tables turned last night in New York when the 44-year-old actress stepped out for the premiere of her new dramatic film, I Smile Back.
Dressed in a black-and-white printed Alice + Olivia crop top with a matching high-waisted skirt and solid black pumps, Silverman effortlessly stole the show before stepping inside the Museum of Modern Art to watch her latest project. “It’s comfortable, it’s warm, and it feels very Ann-Margret-ish,” she told InStyle of the evening’s ensemble, also adding, “I don’t have a red carpet philosophy. I’m me—I think that you should feel good about how you look.”
But while her look was worthy of all the praise, it’s her new, dark role that’s rightfully garnering buzz. In the film, which is based on author and screenwriter Amy Koppelman’s novel of the same name, Silverman portrays Laney Brooks, a suburban mother and wife who seemingly has it all but suffers from life-altering depression. Koppelman tapped Silverman to play the character, a fitting choice considering the comedian's own battles with depression, opening up about the illness in her book, The Bedwetter.
“It was a challenge. It was something that was different for me. It was an opportunity that was presented to me—it’s very rare when somebody can imagine you in a way that they haven’t already seen you before,” the actress said of taking up the part. “It’s odd that in such a creative world, people don’t tend to be that creative. It was nice to have somebody see me in a new way and to get that opportunity.”
Other guests on hand included actor Josh Charles, who plays her husband in the movie, and director Adam Salky, who both agreed she nailed the role. “I knew she was going somewhere that was going to be really scary for her in taking on this material and this role, and that was why I wanted to do it," Charles explained. "[I wanted] to be a part of this experience with her while she went on this really intense journey. I’m glad I did. She’s fantastic in the movie. She’s the reason people should see the film. She’s wonderful in it.”
Salky also explained how Silverman arrived on the first day of shooting fully in character. “It was an inspirational moment for the crew and all of the actors to see that she was really taking that leap, and already making that transformation,” he said. “From a directing standpoint, if you know that your lead actor has a personal, relatable experience to the character in that way, you know that they can do it—I did believe that Sarah could do it.”
I Smile Back hits theaters Oct. 23.