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The Performers - Broadway

Cheyenne Jackson and Henry Winkler star in David West Read's new comedy.

Ari Graynor Talks Hopping from Big Screen Phone Sex to Broadway Porn Star in The Performers

Ari Graynor Talks Hopping from Big Screen Phone Sex to Broadway Porn Star in The Performers
Ari Graynor in 'For A Good Time Call,' 'Performers' & with Chris Pratt in '10 Years'
We learned that anything can sound sexual if you say it in the right tone of voice.

Ari Graynor might seem like a pro as she purrs outrageously kinky dialogue in the new phone sex comedy For a Good Time, Call…, but the actress insists she didn’t dial up any sex lines for research. Nor is she spending hours on adult sites prepping for her turn in the Broadway porn comedy The Performers. “It’s interesting these two jobs have found themselves back to back,” Graynor tells Broadway.com with a laugh. “But [both] are very sweet.”

Uh…sweet? “We wanted the phone sex to be light and fun. This isn't a phone sex documentary,” explains Graynor, whose character Katie is a fun-loving New York twentysomething who teams up with her college frenemy (Lauren Miller) to start a sex line in order to pay rent. Despite the appearance of giant dildos and masturbating cab drivers, Graynor insists there’s more to the movie than just shock value. “The response we’ve been getting is how much people relate to the girls’ friendship. When I read the script it felt so refreshing to see a movie about the love between two friends.” Filming also provided Graynor with insight that should come in handy for The Performers. “We learned that anything can sound sexual if you say it in the right tone of voice.”

In The Performers, which begins previews at the Longacre Theatre on October 23, Graynor will don a revealing cowgirl outfit as Peeps, the wife of a hulking porn star named Mandrew (Cheyenne Jackson). “It’s not a bad gig at all,” she gushes of her onstage hubby. “We even get to make out!” Peeps, who is also in the adult entertainment industry, bonds with the wife of Mandrew’s high school pal, as the women compare notes on their very different marriages. “She’s wide-eyed, but surprisingly wise,” Graynor said of Peeps. “She’s like one big beating heart who is so comfortably and unapologetically herself. I can’t wait to be her on stage eight times a week.” As for the play itself, “It’s really about love, adult relationships and monogamy.”

In addition to her two raunchy roles, Graynor takes on a more somber part in 10 Years, a high school reunion comedy that hits theaters September 14. Co-starring with Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Aubrey Plaza and Justin Long, Graynor plays Sam, a mother of two who married a high school friend (Chris Pratt). “Chris plays an out-of-control drinker, and I’m the one trying to keep him in line,” she revealed. Graynor, who opted not to attend her own recent 10 year reunion, says the film reflects on “the slight melancholy that can happen when your life looks the way you thought it would turn out, but doesn’t quite feel how you thought it would. A lot of excitement can come with the opportunity to revisit a certain period of your life.”

So what was Graynor like during her high school years? “I was really involved in school and close with all my teachers. I was in the a cappella group, on the disciplinary committee, managed boys lacrosse, worked on the newspaper and did plays. I sort of did a little bit of everything.” Despite her many extra-curricular activities, Graynor possessed qualities of the party girls she's known for playing. "I still had a good time on weekends!”

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