You might recognize Clara Mamet from her ABC show The Neighbors, which is about keeping up with the Joneses—if the Joneses were aliens. (Much like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, except Neighbors is scripted.) Or you might recognize her because she looks quite a bit like her sister Zosia Mamet, who plays Shoshanna on Girls. (Yep, that makes her another daughter of David Mamet.)
But soon, you may recognize her from movies as well. Mamet just wrote, directed and starred in her first film, Two-Bit Waltz, an autobiographical jaunt that features William H. Macy (Fargo), Rebecca Pigeon (Red), and Jared Gilman (Moonrise Kingdom). We stopped to catch up with the 19-year-old to discuss her movie, what it’s like having aliens for neighbors, and whether we can expect to see a Mamet Sisters project anytime soon. We also got a sneak peek at tonight’s episode of The Neighbors; check below to watch.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the energy like on the set of Two-Bit Waltz?
Clara Mamet: It was amazing. It was kind of like summer camp. This was the first thing I’ve ever directed. I’ve never experienced so much participation before. It was very weird — and wonderful. You know, you go to school and nobody gives a f— or wants to do anything, but [then] you get out into the real world and you find people who want to make the stuff that you want to make. It’s pretty cool.
Tell me the story of Two-Bit Waltz.
It’s about a girl whose grandmother dies, leaving her a fortune on the condition that she goes to college after she finishes high school. It’s a week before her 18th birthday and she doesn’t want to go to college. So it’s about what takes place in that week. She gets her heart broken and tries to kill herself — it’s a comedy. It’s a coming-of-age story and it’s autobiographical because I didn’t go to college. So that’s a subject that’s close to me.
Well, you’ve certainly been busy even without college. What’s it like working on The Neighbors?
It’s wonderful. Everyone there is so lovely. And the great thing about getting that job was seeing how a set is run. It really contributed to making this movie. Watching some of the directors work and being in comedy and watching timing, it was all really good for me. It’s also great to have a day job.
What’s it like playing against aliens?
Well, they’re all British, so that’s their alien quality.
Do you have a favorite Neighbors moment?
I like it when I get to wear skirts. Amber Weaver normally wears jeans. Luckily it doesn’t take long to get ready in hair and make-up. It’s only like 20 minutes. It’s a good life.
Did you feel like your family pedigree put pressure on you to succeed, or gave you the freedom to pursue this career?
My parents have always been very supportive. I didn’t go to school because my home was my school. Watching people who I respected do things that I eventually wanted to do — it was great. It is great.
Are there any Mamet sister projects in the works?
Not as of right now, but I hope to write a movie part for her someday.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’ll be in New York City for the Tribeca Film Festival in April [for a screening of Two-Bit Waltz]. I just hope people get to see it, regardless of how I feel about it that day. When I wake up, some days I love it. Some days I hate it. But I’m also working on a new feature. I want to make, like, 8,000 movies.
Check out an exclusive clip of Clara Mamet in tonight’s episode of The Neighbors, airing at 8:30 ET on ABC: