Chris Baker/Netflix

In the new film Good Grief, which drops Friday on Netflix, complicated adult friendships take center stage. The movie marks Dan Levy’s feature writing and directing debut. He also stars in the film, and he told ABC Audio in order to establish the core relationships in the movie, he and co-stars Himesh Patel and Ruth Negga had to get to a vulnerable place together.

“You had to strip away a lot of ego parts of yourself and really kind of get to that vulnerable place that is really hard to earn with people you don’t know,” Levy said. “The time that we spent together, I think was so valuable and it was lucky in the sense that I really like these people a lot.”

The actors went away for a weekend together to help them establish a believable bond. They also met up for a few weeks before filming and discussed their different scenes and characters.

“I think this is sort of an alternative view of friendship, but actually it’s one that I think most people are more familiar with,” Negga said. “The flaws, the hurt, the laying bare, the fact that maybe these are the only people who find you funny.”

Levy is known for his starring role on the Emmy-winning sitcom Schitt’s Creek. He says his character in this film, grieving artist Marc Dreyfus, is the complete opposite of David Rose.

“He’s still and quiet and thoughtful and not quite as reactive or not nearly as reactive as David was,” Levy said. “It required an entire physical set of skills that were very different from that. So I was just trying to keep up with everyone, to be perfectly honest.”

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