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Mark Duplass, Natalie Morales Made a Secret Movie During Quarantine

Mark Duplass Natalie Morales
Mark Duplass Natalie Morales

Like many of us, Mark Duplass picked up a new hobby during quarantine. He told Variety that he “decided to take some Spanish lessons and ended up developing sort of an interesting rapport” with his teacher.

That relationship sparked an idea for a film centered around a platonic love story. Duplass described the film as being about “two people who relate in all the confusing, funny, wonderful ways that you usually see in a romantic comedy, but without the romance.”

Duplass pitched the idea to Natalie Morales and the two immediately began working on their characters. The film, “Language Lessons” was written by and stars both Morales and Duplass. While Morales directed the film.

“Language Lessons” had a minimal cast and crew to avoid an outbreak. However, the film never mentions the pandemic. Morales explained to Variety, “Something that made us feel good about making a movie during the pandemic is that our movie is in no way about the pandemic.”

Producing a film with such little cast and crew was nostalgic for the pair. Both filmmakers are used to working on large productions. However, the ultra low budget “Language Lessons” had Duplass “feeling like a kid who just got his first camera.”

Duplass’ previous credits include directing “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” as well as starring in “The League” and “The Morning Show.” The latter of which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2020.

Morales stared as Lucy on “Parks and Recreation” from 2010-15. She most recently starred in last month’s “The Little Things” alongside Denzel Washington.

“Language Lessons” will premiere in March at the Berlin Film Festival.