The reenactment, shot from their respective homes, attracted tens of thousands of interactions on Twitter — and even caught the attention of Garfield, who wrote to his friend Lin-Manuel Miranda that O’Brien had “MURDERED it.” It was the latest in a series of videos Ramos has been uploading throughout quarantine, in which she and the occasional guest star reenact scenes that “feel symbolic to me, in some way.”
“It’s really crazy,” Ramos says. “As my fiance and I have mentioned, it’s crazy that we made this in our living room and then people are talking about it the next day. It makes me happy and proud.”
We caught up with the actress Friday morning to chat about what goes on behind the scenes.
I just saw on Instagram that it was also your birthday yesterday. A viral video! What a gift. Did you expect this particular video to take off like it did?
No, absolutely not. Right before I posted it, I was, like, why did I do this to myself? Why did I play these two characters in unflattering male drag? I knew Dylan was amazing and that he has fans, but I was not expecting to hear back from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield.
What was really exciting for me was that Jessica Simpson followed me. A couple of months ago, I listened to her entire audio book, which is like 11 or 12 hours. Nine-and-a-half hours into it, she mentioned that she loves “Parenthood,” and that she was watching Season 2 right before she got engaged. I was like, “Oh my god,” and tweeted about it. Yesterday — weirdly, I have to assume it has to do with the “Social Network” video — she responded and said, “It’s one of my favorite shows” and sent me three green heart emoji.
Where did the idea to make these videos come from?
The first time I did a movie scene where I played both parts was Thanksgiving weekend of 2019. It was the scene from “Bring It On,” where Missy storms out of practice because she realizes the Toros have been stealing their cheer routines from the East Compton Clovers. That was playing in my head like a song was stuck in my head. Where Kirsten Dunst grabs the car door and she’s like, “What the hell is up? I went on a limb for you and you just bail?” I could literally recite it right now, just because I have it memorized from when I was a kid.
I did that on Thanksgiving, and a lot of my friends were like, “Oh my god, I love this, it was really fun.” Another friend named Ben Lewis — who is an actor, too, hilarious and talented — suggested I do a scene from “The Morning Show.” I never got around to doing it until the first week of quarantine.
And then you just kept going?
I did that scene because it was an outstanding request that I hadn’t done. And then people responded, saying, “Make more. Please do more.” I was like, okay, I guess I’ll do more. And so I started going through my mental archives of what scenes I already have memorized and went from there.
Are these all still scenes you’ve memorized? Or are you learning new ones now?
I’ve been learning new stuff. I try to go off something that has felt symbolic to me, in some way. The only ones I have memorized were “Bring It On” — well, I haven’t done anything from “Legally Blonde” yet, so. I had [the one] scene from “Sex and the City” and the “Holiday in the Sun” with Megan Fox.
How do you decide which scenes to act out? And who you want to star in them?
Some of them have been requests. After I did the Samantha Jones one, my friend Aubrey Plaza was like, “Let me do one.” So I texted Ben and was like, what should Aubrey and I do? He suggested “Showgirl,” which I had never seen, so I watched it. That one he cast. “This is good for Aubrey as Gina Gershon.”
The “My Best Friend’s Wedding” one, I knew Elle Fanning said she wanted to do one, which is so exciting because I’ve always loved her and we’re friends, too. I was like, what’s something Elle could do that no one else could? Play Cameron Diaz. They have the same smile. They’re so happy, charming and adorable.
Dylan and I were talking, and we had too many options. We were like, should we do the scene at the end of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?” Then he did Andrew Garfield and I was like, well, that’s it.
What are the logistics of shooting these videos from different places?
I’ve shot most of these on my iPhone. My fiance, Matt [Spicer], who’s also a really talented filmmaker, has been helping with lighting and shooting and any technical issues I have. Otherwise, I’m directing, editing, the whole spiel. What complicates it a bit is if somebody else is shooting on their iPhone. They have to send me the footage — WeTransfer — and they have to try to shoot at the same frame rate.
It definitely hasn’t been perfect.
I got a ring light. The “Hills” video is the first one where I ordered a tripod for my iPhone, and it has a light so I can shoot later in the day. Somebody on Instagram did comment, “I see your tripod has arrived.”
What’s the process like for the videos with other actors? Are you guys on the phone with each other, reading lines back when one person is shooting?
I think they’re doing the same thing I’m doing, which is, like, saying a line and doing a scene with no one responding to me. Playing the scene, mentally responding in my head and going from there. We’re not acting together on the phone. We do some FaceTime consulting.
You mentioned “Legally Blonde” earlier. Are there any other movie scenes you’re eager to act out? And any other actors you’d love to work with?
We may have a very exciting “Clueless” coming up, which is pretty epic. I don’t take that lightly, when I say that. I don’t just willy nilly say I’m going to do “Clueless.” In terms of people, all the greats: Reese Witherspoon, Timothée Chalamet. I mean, you name them, I’ll cast them.
How did you know Dylan was right for the “Social Network” scene? A lot of these actors seem perfect for the roles. I was spooked by how similar Tavi Gevinson sounded to Scarlett Johansson in the “Marriage Story” scene.
I mean, Dylan is really talented and really funny. I think if he had done McConaughey, it would have been equally epic. But he just did the scene. He did it so well. I was like, this has to happen.
I wanted to do a drama. My instincts definitely veer toward early 2000s stuff, and I want to keep it mixed up. So I put “Marriage Story” in there. I want to keep us on our toes so people don’t write me off as some sort of chick flick situation. I don’t think people should be writing off chick flicks in the first place, but if we need to throw in some David Fincher for people to understand the gravitas happening here, we’ll do it.
To speak for Dylan, I knew he was pretty talented and had the range. I was surprised I saw a lot of comments about him being underrated, and people not giving him the respect and opportunity to play these kinds of roles. It made me really happy and proud to be a part of giving him a chance to show his talents. That’s not even 30 percent of them — if you get that. That’s a “Social Network” reference.
You’ve made several videos at this point. Do you have a favorite?
It’s tough. Personally, not to sound crazy, but I do love all of them. There’s something special about all of them. There are just ones that are already close to my heart — like, I am obsessed with “Riverdale.” I already had the [“Sex and the City”] scene memorized.
The Megan Fox one, “Holiday in the Sun,” is really epic to me. This was early on in doing them, and I was talking to two people who are older than me about whether I should do it. They hadn’t really heard of “Holiday in the Sun,” and I was like, oh, maybe nobody will know it. I stuck to my guns and learned there are so many people out there who know Megan Fox, first and foremost, from starring in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie that takes place in the Bahamas.
This interview has been edited and condensed for style and clarity.