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In Conversation With Geraldine Viswanathan From The Movie “The Broken Hearts Gallery”

In Conversation With Geraldine Viswanathan From The Movie “The Broken Hearts Gallery”

Geraldine Viswanathan is the secret weapon in the latest release, “The Broken Hearts Gallery.” She acts as the lead in the rom-com charming the screen with her charisma. She was also the co-star to Hugh Jackman in “Bad Education,” in which she played a high schooler. Her character, Rachel Bhargava, was a student journalist in Roslyn, Long Island. Before that, the talented actress who is Indian from her father’s side played a teenage daughter in sex-positive comedy “Blockers.”

We had a quick chat with the actor and spoke all about “The Broken Hearts Gallery” and more.

DissDash: You’ve played various kinds of roles, what was different about this one for you?

Geraldine Viswanathan: For me, I felt like Lucy, I got to explore this hyperfeminine side of myself. Lucy has such a girlish power and strength. It was fun for me to live in that for a while. I think the characters I’ve done before have had more masculine energy or a dry sense of humor or were a little more cynical. Lucy is just pure light and optimism, and she is just so powerfully feminine and it rubbed off on me in a good way. I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I adore her sense of style. I think it has had an influence on me and what I like to wear now. 

I relate to her so much, and I think she is such an open book. She is such a bleeding heart, is really apathetic, and really loves people. I feel like I have those qualities but maybe not to the degree that Lucy does. She is so rather loud and proud of those things, and I wanted to explore what it would be like to be someone who is like that – just a friend to the world. Later I met Natalie Krinsky, and it was very clear to me that a lot of Natalie’s essence was put into Lucy.

DissDash: At the beginning of the movie Selena Gomez comes on and gives a little forward, and she says if you are cleaning your closets, give whatever you have to the Broken Hearts Gallery. Do you feel you hold on to things in life like in the movie? What’s your philosophy?

Viswanathan: I am definitely a sentimentalist. I love holding on to souvenirs of good times, and I keep all my mementos from film sets and experiences from my childhood in Australia, and in time I go through them all reflect and reminiscent. I feel so fortunate in life, and I love to cherish all these memories that I feel fortunate to have. I definitely hold on to things, but Lucy takes it to the next level, to the extreme. To the point, it interferes with her future, and she can’t really be present. I think that’s when her friends help her get on her feet; she ends up turning it into something powerful and beautiful. She shares with us, and I think that’s the best thing you could do with pain. It is cute because we’ve all have gone through something where we hold on to something, but hers was definitely on another level.

DissDash: How was your experience working with Dacre Montgomery?

Viswanathan: It was so lovely. We are both Australian, so we had this instant familiarity and warmth when someone is from the same home. I feel like he was the perfect Nick.  Our dynamic off-screen was mirrored on screen. Nick is a little more hesitant, a real straight shooter, and a lone wolf. While Lucy is the opposite of that. She has to draw him out of his shell. That’s what we were doing on set. As someone who hadn’t done comedy before, He was hesitant at first like Nick. Like Lucy, I was a little more confident, and we complimented each other. In that way, we worked together.

Geraldine Viswanathan
Image provided by distributor

DissDash: What are your thoughts on representation in the mainstream, whether it is TV or cinema?

Viswanathan: I love it. I feel lucky to be entering the industry when things are changing and opening up. Casting is becoming more diverse; I think we have to keep going. It got to be a systematic change. I don’t think we need people in positions of power and writers running for creative control. I think the people who tell the stories, those stories should reflect and belong to them. I want to keep seeing Asians on-screen doing everything. 

DissDash: I loved the fact that you were just Lucy. I was watching, and I couldn’t tell if you were Indian or Hispanic; it was just you, just Lucy.  It is nice to see that more of that is taking place.

Viswanathan: Yeah, I think it is cool to do roles that aren’t defined by your ethnicity. For me, when I do roles where ethnicity plays a big part in the character, it is important that the writer and director identify and understand that background. In this instant, it’s so cool since Lucy is just a girl in her twenties figuring it out. And her ethnicity; if it were a white actress, we would never consider her ethnicity. But the fact that am not makes us think twice about it. I think its really cool that we never had to adjust it. I think audiences are a lot more sophisticated than a lot of these people who make these decisions in Hollywood understand.

Geraldine Viswanathan
Image provided by distributor

DissDash: What do you have in store next?

Viswanathan: I don’t know exactly. There are things in the pipeline like I’ve got ‘Miracle Workers’ season three; it is just a matter of when its safe to go back.

DissDash: If there was one thing that you want the audience to take from this movie, what would it be?

Viswanathan: People can enjoy themselves and feel good in these strange times. I also hope they can be inspired by how Lucy takes the pain and the inevitable heartbreak. She turns it into something beautiful and useful to her and others, and I think that’s what can define you. 

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