Jenny Slate Says Why Zima-Swigging ’90s Comedy ‘Landline’ Is ‘Heartbreaking’ (Video)

Sundance 2017: “It’s hard to play someone who wants to be free”

Last Updated: January 31, 2017 @ 1:13 PM

Jenny Slate called watching and acting in her new film “Landline” “heartbreaking,” but not because she couldn’t actually drink Zima. Director Gillian Robespierre (“Obvious Child”) ordered the now defunct alcoholic beverage to use during a scene in her ’90s set comedy, but when it came from Ebay, it was green.

“Landline,” which made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, contains numerous nods to ’90s culture, but Robespierre said she didn’t want the film to rely too heavily on nostalgia.

“We wanted it to be if you took the ’90s out of the story, it would still be a really nice, thoughtful, full story,” Robespierre told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly. “We set it in the ’90s because we didn’t want to have to rely on Facebook and Instagram as a device to tell a story about kids and people cheating.”

“Landline” tells the story of a teenager (Abby Quinn) living with her sister (Slate) and parents, only to discover that her father is having an affair that threatens to tear apart the family. Edie Falco, Jay Duplass and John Turturro.

Slate said she related to her character in positive and negative ways.

“It feels heartbreaking. It’s hard to play someone who wants to be free and has convinced herself that she’s not allowed to ask questions of herself and her partner. I think that’s a very relatable situation,” Slate said. “And when I watch those moments, it’s not actually the moments where she’s being duplicitous or lying or cheating. It’s the moments where they connect, and they have that sweet thing you have when you’re really in love, like taking a shower together or being playful. That those things can be lost or corrupted is really, really heartbreaking.”

Watch the full interview above.