But don’t send over hand-me-down baby clothes just yet. Ruby Sparks is the name of the movie Kazan wrote, stars in and produced with her co-star and real-life partner Paul Dano.
The romantic fantasy about a lonely writer who creates a character, only to have her come to life, is the result of years of work for the couple who met on the set of another movie, Meek’s Cutoff.
“I think it is not unlike that,” she says, continuing her baby metaphor. “You’re doing something incredible stressful. You’re not sleeping. The things matters so much to you and you love it but your relationship is suffering a little for it. You’re not having as much sex as you used to.”
Dano says, “We went through something together. Something very intimate, challenging, something we really cared about. Certainly we learned something about each other going through it and after it. When we were at work we both care so much about what we do we were focused on the job. I wasn’t thinking about us. It was very easy to go to work together. Driving home from work wasn’t always easy.”
Kazan, a Yale graduate whose grandfather was legendary filmmaker Elia Kazan, disagrees, “I actually think the preproduction time was harder in some ways.
“We were both pushing the rock up the hill. It’s really hard to get an independent film made these days and we were doing a lot of collaborative effort long before the movie started shooting.
“We’re actually used to not spending that much time together,” she continues, “and missing each other a lot so to have that concentrated period of time where all our energy was going into the same thing, and that same thing wasn’t the relationship, I think that was more difficult than I had anticipated.
“But on the other hand I love Paul’s work ethic and the way he thinks about his work. Those are the things I find really attractive about him. So I was also interfacing with a person I love at a level I really enjoy.”
Dano adds that making the movie with Zoe revealed the script had “more depth than even I anticipated. The scenes took on a life that I didn’t fully anticipate. Probably personal feelings came to it as well.”