Ari Graynor on her phone sex comedy “For a Good Time, Call…” and how it’s less raunchy than you think

Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor in For a Good Time, Call...

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Call 1-877-MMM-HMMM, the fictional phone line set up in the phone sex comedy “For a Good Time, Call…” and you might hear the voice of Lena Dunham, confessing she used to think oral sex meant talking about sex. (A different celeb is featured each day). Or go to a feature on the film’s website, and you can hear the film’s co- stars entice you to make a make a Mad Lib of phone sex, mixing and matching phrases like “Squeeze my…” or “Put it in my…” with various body parts and orgasmic sighs. (Ari Graynor’s squeal of “Balls!” is quite enthusiastic).

“It sounds so much raunchier and dirtier than it is,” Graynor laughed when talking about the film’s premise with IFC. “But we tie it up with a pretty pink bow. This is by no means a porno.”

Graynor tried to make her dirty talk as funny and “not overtly sexual” as possible, but it was a “tricky line to walk.” It helped when the caller was in the room, such as when Miller’s husband Seth Rogen shot his cameo. (His character is seen in a bathroom, but during the shoot, he hid next to the bed while Miller and Graynor entertained him on the line). Other cameos included Kevin Smith and Ken Marino as callers.

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“On our first day of shooting, the first shot of the movie that we did was me on the bed for the coverage for what ended up being Kevin on the other line,” Graynor said. “At the time, I was just reading my lines with the script supervisor, just dry reads, so I was so grateful and lucky to have Seth there for his scene. And he was so good at it!”

In the film, Graynor plays Katie (modeled after Lauren Anne Miller’s co-writer and former roommate Katie Anne Naylon, who once worked as a phone sex operator), who goes into the business with her new roommate Lauren (modeled after Lauren herself).

“The movie is so meta,” Graynor said. “You have me doing a version of Katie, Lauren doing a version of Lauren, and even Justin Long was doing a version of our director [Jamie Travis], which really cracked me up.” (Long was first asked to play a caller-turned-love interest, but instead took the part of the gay best friend who brings the two girls together.)

Like the real-life Katie was when she did phone sex, the character Katie is a virgin for most of the movie — which might be surprising considering how open about sex she is.

“I think part of it about owning your sexuality and taking the shame out of it,” Graynor said. “We have so many hang-ups, and so much judgment about women and sexuality that it’s deeply unsettling and unfair. Think about how many films have so much violence and are PG-13, and hardly anyone registers it or comments on the fact that so many people are killed in them. But God forbid a woman has an orgasm — that’s a ratings killer. So maybe we can help destigmatize that, get the culture to lighten up a bit.

While working on the film, Graynor was also doing “Relatively Speaking” on Broadway, which took a toll on her voice — “I was much lower and raspier, which I think worked well for this,” she said. “And recording those lines in ADR felt oddly more like having phone sex anyway.” She jokes that if her acting career doesn’t pan out, she has a second career option now. “I wouldn’t have thought of phone sex as my fallback position,” she laughed. “But if I do it, I want a hot pink phone!”


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.