Brow Beat

Jessica Williams on the Role of Improvisation in Her New Film People, Places, Things

Check out all Slate’s interviews from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Over the last few years, Jessica Williams has made a name for herself as a correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Williams appeared in her first major role in a feature film, James C. Strouse’s indie rom-com People, Places, Things.

In it, Williams plays Kat, an aspiring artist who tries to set up her single mother (played by Regina Hall) with her lonely college professor Will (played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement). We spoke with her about Strouse’s directing style and the role of improvisation on the set of the film.

Interview booked by Raquel Bruno. Executive produced by Ayana Morali.