While the two come from different worlds, they become adamant about making things work. Just like fate will take its course in the film, Perry – who also wrote the Girls screenplay – says that fate also had a hand in getting Union cast as his leading lady.
“I was always thinking Gabrielle as I was writing it. With every line that I would write I was thinking, ‘This is Gabrielle. This is Gabrielle,” says Perry. “[British actor] Idris came in just a little later, and the two of them auditioned and were on tape together. I was like, ‘That's it.' The chemistry was insane.”
But how, exactly, did the writer-director of such hits as Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea's Family Reunion get so lucky as to snag Union for his latest endeavor?
“I didn't know [Gabrielle personally] at the time. We called her agent and went through the proper channels and got it all worked out,” says Perry. Still, one might wonder what made the director forge ahead writing a part for an actor he might not get. According to Perry, it all comes down to the results.
“I've seen her work in the past, and to be honest with you, I don't think that she's done better than she's done in this movie because her levels, her colors, her depth and how she thinks in this. I think she's done better in this movie than anything else,” he says.
In Girls , Union's Julia is a successful woman stuck in a “meet market,” which leads to her finding men who are varied, sundry and completely unsuitable for her. Even though she's attained all of the financial perks that come with success, real happiness continues to elude her.
“I don't believe in blind dates,” says Union about whether or not her character in Girls rings true to her own life. “I believe in good, solid Google-ing.”
But does the actress – who is divorced from football player Chris Howard – think she's been dating down?
“I wouldn't say ‘dating down,' but dating the wrong guys, certainly,” she says candidly. “My girlfriends who don't live in Los Angeles … we're all in the same boat – in our 30s, [have] been independent for a long time and we're not looking for ‘Captain Save-a-Ho.' I don't need you to walk beside me, I don't need you to carry me or drag me along, and I don't want to drag you along.”
“We can walk together and have a spiritual partnership [like] Oprah talks about,” adds Union. “I think a lot of us, even though we are financially independent, get caught up [with] this antiquated Prince Charming that we developed at nine-years-old and that has no place in an adult woman's life. Good men are everywhere. They might not have all of the other trappings, but if you really are being honest, and what you want is a good man – they're everywhere.”
Guys, dating and Daddy's Little Girls aside, Union and Perry have plenty of upcoming projects to keep busy. Union is starring in a television pilot for “Footballer's Wives,” which is based on the UK hit about the wives of professional athletes.
Perry, on the other hand, recently purchased the film lot on which Girls was shot. He will also start work on a film called Why Did I get Married? and, if all goes well, he will be making The Jazzman's Blues – which he wrote in 1995 about a jazz singer and a holocaust survivor – for which, “If I have my way,” he says, “Ben Kingsley will be playing opposite me, and Diana Ross will be playing my mother. It's an amazing drama that we're really excited about.”
Daddy's Little Girl is currently in theaters.