Mad Men star Alison Brie opens up about dodging TMZ and her sexy image in ELLE's behind-the-scenes interview of the April 2012 cover shoot.
Have you always been so comfortable with yourself?
“It’s just part of who we are, I think, as human beings! I went to California College of the Arts, and it’s very open—clothing is optional everywhere but the cafeteria. It’s not like I was going to class nude, but there was a lot of performance art where people would paint their bodies in chocolate or whatever. There was also always the token naked guy at the Friday-night parties in the main lobby of the school. He was awesome. Of course, we became friends.” [Laughs]
Did you ever take advantage of the no-clothes-required policy?
“From time to time I would put on a pair of tennis shoes—nothing else—and go for a little jog around the campus or swing from the trees to make my friends laugh. It was just funny; it didn’t seem weird to me. Even in college, I would go into the backyard, take off all my clothes and pretend to be a wood nymph behind the bushes for laughs.”
You wrote a comedic, but true, essay about having sex with your gay friend in college. Did you give any thought to how that would be received?
“A lot of people misread it as some weird confessional memoir. I just thought it was funny. I didn’t think it was going to get as much attention as it inevitably got. I’m not interested in hiding who I am, though. I’m fine with me—hopefully you guys will be too.”
You’re very open—and yet little is published about your personal life. Why is that?
“It’s a new thing for me to decide how to manoeuvre it. I’m single now, so dating has become an interesting monster. I have to be like ‘Let’s hang out—but could our first few dates be a bit more private?’ That’s weird, though. It goes against the grain for me to hide anything, but then you read something later and see how wild speculation is. People see two people walking together down the street and…”
The dreaded baby-bump rumours start?
“I’m always like ‘I hope I’m wearing flattering pants in these photos!’ I think I have to decide just not to care.”
“Meeting people you want to spend a significant amount of time with is difficult enough without thinking about who’s watching. I didn’t fall into any of that in high school, though, so why should I be open to it now? Not that people really cared about who I was dating in high school.” [Laughs]
What kind of guy are you looking for?
“I’ve just been looking for somebody I feel excited about. He better have a job and all of his teeth. Hair is optional. I like a little belly on a guy, but I’m okay if he’s fit. [Laughs] But, really, it’s all about the spark.”
Between The Five-Year Engagement and Save the Date, you’re in a lot of wedding movies. Is art imitating life?
“It could not be further from what I personally want. I don’t even know if I want to get married. I’ve never been the girl who’s planning my dream wedding— I was always practising my speech for the Oscars. That was my dream, which is kind of sad but kind of great.”
Do you think the mindset about marriage is changing?
“I do. Our parents got married because it was expected of them. Even my parents, who are hippies, felt some kind of pressure, I’m sure. I don’t know that I’m the marrying kind.... It’s hard to work in an industry that changes from minute to minute and then lock into thinking of something as forever. It’s kind of daunting. Maybe I just haven’t met the right guy yet—that’s the flip side.” [Laughs]
That’s always the question, I guess.
“I’m the same way about kids: I never thought that I wanted them and suddenly I was thinking ‘Well, maybe if I met the right guy I would.’ I’m probably just very self-involved and not ready for kids. [Laughs] Luckily, my older sister is. I’ve always envisioned myself more as the cool aunt, but you never know! You could be interviewing me again in two years and I’ll be like ‘I’m so happy that I’m married and pregnant.’ I think you just have to be true to yourself in the moment. That’s so cliché that it’s got to be true.”
So, no regrets so far?
“Sometimes I wonder if because I place so much importance on my career and I get so much from it that I’m obsessed with it. Will I regret that later? Even with turning 30 being imminent, I think I still have time to figure that out.”
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