But what’s a manic pixie dream girl, you ask? Well, it’s Penny Lane in Almost Famous, Sam in Garden State and more infamously Annie Hall and Holly Golightly. The most recent manic pixie dream girl to hit the silver screen is Kerry Bishe’s character, Brooke, in Ed Burns’ latest indie dramedy, Nice Guy Johnny.
I recently went to a screening of Nice Guy Johnny where aside from meeting the perfectly groomed Ed Burns (it has got to be a law that all celebrities must have no pores), I got some one-on-one time with newcomer, Kerry Bishe. In the film, Kerry plays Brooke, a spontaneous, free-spirited ex-athlete just trying to enjoy her 20s — enter the “manic pixie dream girl” stereotype dubbed by wits at the A.V. Club and The Onion. Her character is the eye candy of the film’s hero, “Nice Guy” Johnny (Matt Bush), who is a chronic people pleaser and has to decide to keep a promise or follow his dreams. I’ll let you guess which side dream girl Brooke is rooting for.
Burns and his crew of few made the low-budget film in just 10 days. The film was so low-budgeted, in fact, that actors did their own hair and make-up, wore their own clothes and used their own props (like Ed’s own classic blue convertible. Don’t ask me what kind of car it was, I’m not a car person. So we’re sticking with plan old convertible). Because she had to use her own wardrobe during filming, Kerry had to decide for herself what kind of style the iconic character of Brooke would have. As luck would have it, Kerry thought she and Brooke were similar in that she tries to aspire to bring the best out of people, just as most manic pixie dream girls do. So trying to style yourself as a laid-back free-spirit can’t be too hard, right? Well, I asked Kerry about her (and inadvertently Brooke’s) style and here are Kerry’s three styling tips for those who want to dress casually, comfortably and still scream confidence.
How would you describe your personal style (both Brooke’s and your own)?
Mostly jeans and t-shirts and really simple and pretty classic (clothes). Just what I feel comfortable in and confident in. You know, she’s kind of that way too. She’s kind of sportier than me but same kind of (style).
How do you do the “morning after” hair look (Oh, BTW, there’s a morning after scene)?
That was the very, very first thing that I shot. I got off the plane, I got out to the Hamptons, and met everyone and then we did that scene . Which is kind of awkward you know. So I had just gotten off a plane.
(That was the end of her answer. So we can just assume she means to achieve the morning after look, look like you just woke up from a nap on a plane.)
What kind of style tips can you give someone who wants more of a laid back look?
To me it’s about feeling confident and comfortable. I think that’s when I feel sexy or attractive, that’s when I feel good. And sometimes it’s you know, looking cute or looking hot or wearing a short skirt. But sometimes, like on a regular Tuesday, you don’t feel so confident to wear a miniskirt, so my ripped thrift store jeans do me just fine. And I have little things that I love. I got this pair of red cowboy boots years before it was cool to be wearing cowboy boots because they kind of just came back in. I wear those all the time with everything. I’ll wear them dressed up and they make me feel great.