Judy Greer received the John Cassavetes Award from Starz Denver Film Festival last night. Guests viewed a reel of Greer’s career highlights and after the awards presentation, the actress charmed the audience during a Q&A session with Denver Post film critic Lisa Kennedy. We caught up with the comedienne before the awards ceremony for a quick chat.

You’re receiving the John Cassavetes Award this year. What does that mean to you?

“I’m the first woman to win the award, so I think that’s awesome. And I think it’s coming at a good time because women are making a lot of movies and television shows right now. It’s a good time for women in TV and film. I also think John Cassavetes is a pioneer of American independent film, and that’s what I like to do best, so it feels like a real honor.”

What was your favorite part of filming Jeff Who Lives at Home?

“My favorite part was working with the Duplas Brothers and the cast. They were all really supportive and fun and improvisational, but I fell totally head over heels in love with New Orleans. I ate nonstop while I was there, to the point where I wear one dress in the movie, and I had to have two sizes of it because I gained a whole dress size.”

You’re best known for your comedic roles. Why do you think audiences connect with you so easily?

“I try to find the ‘funny’ in everyday. Maybe audiences connect with me because I’m from the Midwest. I think I’m disarming.”

What’s your all-time favorite character you’ve played?

“My favorite character is usually whatever character I’m playing in the moment. I like to lose myself in whatever role I’m playing. Right now, I’m really enjoying being Cheryl/Carol on Archer, that’s super fun.”

Which character that you’ve portrayed are you most like in real life?

“Probably my character [Penny] in The Wedding Planner. I’m probably that neurotic, unfortunately. I wish I was more like one of my cooler characters, but I’m not.”

Bonus: Greer appears in two movies at the festival: The Descendants, showing tonight at Ellie Caulkins Opera House; and Jeff Who Lives at Home, showing Friday, November 11 at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax.

Image courtesy of James Nevious