Jason Ritter Grows Up


Oct. 18 2008, Published 4:00 a.m. ET

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Jason Ritter and girlfriend Marianna Palka team up for the romantic comedy Good Dick, which is in select theaters now.

Jason plays a video store clerk while Marianna, who also directed and wrote the flick, is the introverted customer he tries to woo.

How did working together change their relationship?

“We’ve been dating since I was 18,” Marianna, 27, says in a lilting Scottish accent. “We definitely spent more time together than we would’ve. We’re usually doing our own thing and it’s separate and whatever we’re doing takes a lot of time. We got to travel together so we see each other more.”

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Jason, 28, got some exposure to dealing with significant-other-style baggage.

“The myth of ‘damaged goods’ is not true,” Jason says. “People always have something to offer as humans regardless of any violence that’s happened. But a lot of people believe in it. Anyone who has watched a lot of romances goes ‘how incredible would it be if my flaw were that I was awkwardly charming?’ Intimacy is a scary thing because it goes hand-in-hand with vulnerability.”

Thanks to a role as Jeb Bush in W., which is also in theaters now, Jason is following in the footsteps of his late, great father John Ritter. What’s the best advice he gave him personally and professionally?

“It was always just about staying true to who I was regardless,” he tells me. “In the personal way, if someone were to bully me or something like that, be able to recognize that even though that person called me that, I still am who I am.”

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Jason continues, “And then professionally, regardless of what other people say about you – good or bad – he was of the mind that the good is the more dangerous part of that because people who start believing that they are something special – it’s a lie. There’s this weird agreement that everybody makes that celebrities are somehow more important because they can get into more buildings and that somehow makes them more important. That’s the danger because when that all goes away – and it can go away in an instant – you’re still left with yourself. So if you haven’t worked on yourself at all, you’re left with an empty shell. And you try to get back into those restaurants and you can’t. Like in Extras.”

Good Dick is in select theaters now; W. is also in theaters now.


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