Meg Ryan and David Duchovny swung by “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Friday to talk all things rom-coms — including their new one together, “What Happens Later.”
Kelly Clarkson was shocked to find herself needing to remind Duchovny of a movie he starred in over 20 years ago, because it happened to be one of her favorites of the genre: “What!”
“So I have to say, you’re both in rom-coms that are so massively popular that people love and adore,” Clarkson began before getting cut off by the actor.
“But I’m not, she is,” Duchovny said, pointing to Ryan.
“You are!” Ryan responded, assuringly.
“‘Return to Me’ is like, one of my favorite… what?” Clarkson said in visible disbelief.
“OK!” Duchovny said, conceding that he had, in fact, starred in a romantic comedy.
Duchovny starred in the charming heart transplant romance “Return to Me” opposite Minnie Driver in 2000. From director Bonnie Hunt and featuring a script written by Hunt and Don Lake, the film stars Duchovny as a widower who unwittingly begins dating a woman (Driver) who after years of illness is saved by a heart transplant. The twist is that the heart that saved her was his late wife’s.
Clarkson picked up the conversation later in the segment, asking what each star’s preferred time for watching a rom-com is.
“When you’re sick, when you’re getting over being sick,” Ryan responded. “That’s what people tell me anyway. Like, when you’re recovering and you feel like you’ve cracked it and you’re on the upswing.”
“Yeah, you need something nice,” Clarkson said. “That’s when I watch Doris Day, all those old things.”
“That’s what I do, I watch — well, I watch a real well-known film called ‘Return to Me,'” Clarkson continued, pointedly emphasized at Duchovny, causing him to laugh and raise his eyebrows in embarrassment. “And ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ I’ll watch all of those. When you want to watch a rom-com, what mood are you in?”
“I don’t know. I think, here’s my honest answer, when I find one, when I’m flipping, flipping, it’s either ‘Goodfellas’ and people are going to kill each other, or it’s a rom-com,” Duchovny said.
“I could go with that too. I get into ‘The Equalizer’ whenever I’m not feeling good and I just want to kick someone’s ass,” Clarkson agreed. “It’s a good movie. Well, it’s not a rom-com, but anyway.”
“What Happens Later” is Ryan’s return to screen acting for the first time in eight years. Based on the play “Shooting Star” by Steven Dietz, she stars as Willa opposite Duchovny’s Bill, former lovers who reconnect after running into each other during a wintry layover. Ryan adapted the screenplay with Kirk Lynn from Dietz’s play.
“During COVID, this script came to me, and I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to write a screenplay,’ so that’s what happened,” Ryan recalled on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” “Basically they’re locked down in the movie together, and we were locked down at the time, and had all this time to write.”
Watch the full talk show clip in the video above.
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