Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
In the sweet and endearing romantic comedy ONE SMALL HITCH, Aubrey Dollar plays Molly, who returns to her home in Chicago with her childhood friend, Josh (Shane McRae), to fake an engagement to keep their families content. However, things get a little out of hand when the couple has to actually put together a wedding.
Fresh Fiction had the opportunity to speak with Aubrey recently, where we discussed on-screen couples we’d like to see years down the line, lasting love secrets, and her upcoming CBS television series BATTLE CREEK, starring opposite Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters.
Aubrey Dollar: “Hi, Preston.”
Hi, Aubrey. How are you today?
Aubrey: “I’m good. How are you?”
I’m great. Just got home [Laughs].
Aubrey: “Oh, good. Awesome. Where’s home?”
Home is Dallas, TX.
Aubrey: “Oh, nice! My fiance is from there.”
Oh, really? That’s neat.
Aubrey: “From Plano.”
That’s not a far drive me at all. I love Plano.
Aubrey: “Amazing. Maybe we passed each other at a mall.”
Perhaps so. Anyhow, I watched your film the other day and just love how goofy and great you and Shane McRae are as an on-screen couple.
Aubrey: “Aw, thank you.”
They’re the type of couple you would like to see 20 years down the road, just to see what they’re up to. Are there any other on-screen couples that you would like to see 20 years down the road?
Aubrey: “Oh my God, that’s interesting. Usually in romantic comedies they decide if they’re going to be together at the very end, and it’s always a bit more complicated than that. I guess everyone— It would be interesting to see old Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan characters in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE or YOU’VE GOT MAIL, which are my favorite romantic comedies. So it would be nice to see them later on, but I guess that’s the boring stuff— watching two functional, happy people in love. It’s kind of boring. Maybe there should be some conflict.”
I bet they would have their disagreements. I mean, look at the BEFORE trilogy. BEFORE SUNRISE, BEFORE SUNSET and BEFORE MIDNIGHT— we get a glimpse of that there.
Aubrey: “Oh, yeah. Those are great. Totally. That’s true. But then again, they weren’t exactly happy or stable in those films. I guess the hope for Josh and Molly is that they live happily-ever-after, but it’s never that simple.”
I think they show promise of a strong relationship. Based on your families’ relationships and your own with your fiance, what in your opinion makes love last through all its ups-and-downs?
Aubrey: “I think having a good sense of humor is the key to happy relationship, and knowing when to stop fighting. I can be very stubborn, so knowing when to let something go. I think everybody has their one thing, or multiple things, they have to work on. You just have to work past them. It’s about knowing what that is and letting the other person win sometimes.”
Yeah, for sure. Admitting when you’re wrong.
Aubrey: “Yeah, totally.”
The cool thing about romantic comedies is that actors get a second chance to get something right, whether it’s that first kiss, first fight or what have you. Is there something in your life you wish you could have take-two on, essentially?
Aubrey: “Oh, wow. I mean, there are times when I think it would be fun to go back to high school. If you look back on that, you wish you had cared less about what other people thought. I sometimes wish I could go back and not worry so much about certain things, but it kind of helps shape the person you are. Struggle and messing up is an important part of life. I don’t know if there’s anything I would go back and redo.”
I agree. How did you come to find this particular project?
Aubrey: “It was sent to me. I just instantly fell in love with it. I wouldn’t consider myself a famous person, and those are usually the kind of people who get to star in a romantic comedy, but I loved the idea of getting the chance to do one. So it was sort of a no-brainer for me.”
It must be really nice that it is finally coming out, since it’s been on the festival circuit for awhile.
Aubrey: “Oh, yes! That’s the thing with independent film when you do: a lot of times you think it won’t see the light of day. I couldn’t be happier that it’s being released and people are finally going to see it.”
That’s wonderful. Before I let you go, can I ask you about your upcoming show BATTLE CREEK?
Aubrey: “Yeah! It’s a new CBS show. It premieres March 1st after THE GOOD WIFE. It’s from creator Vince Gilligan, who’s known for creating BREAKING BAD, obviously, and David Shore, creator of HOUSE. It’s a procedural cop-drama that’s character driven and kind of funny and off-center. I think it’s different from a lot of stuff you see on network TV right now.
It has some awesome actors: Josh Duhamel, Dean Winters, Janet McTeer and Kal Penn. It’s a great group of people, so I think it will be a big success. But you never know. I hope so, though. It’s good!”
I watched a few clips and the trailer and I like how honest and direct your character Holly is. She was saying how attractive Josh Duhamel’s character was and how that would be too much of a distraction for her. It was pretty funny. Is that a characteristic that carries throughout the series, of the episodes you’ve done?
Aubrey: “Yeah, yeah. I think she’s very direct and type-A to a fault sometimes. It’s fun! All the characters are sort of underdogs and weird, and that aspect of it was really fun.”
And if you could teach a college course of your creation, what would you teach?
Aubrey: “Ooh! That’s assuming that I am qualified to teach any kind of college course [Laughs]. I am actually finishing up my own college degree right now in psychology. I’m going to graduate in the spring. But I would have to say something psychology based. I have found that it is really related to acting— understanding why people behave the way they do. I would say a social psychology class.”
ONE SMALL HITCH is available on Video-On-Demand and is playing in select theaters today. Visit onesmallhitch.com for participating theaters.