Olivia Wilde Jokes Her Relationship With Jason Sudeikis Was His 'Booksmart' Audition (Exclusive)

ET sat down with the comedy's director where she opened up about bringing the story to the big screen.

Olivia Wilde had a blast watching Jason Sudeikis embody his Booksmart character.

"His entire relationship with me has been one long audition for Booksmart and he nailed it," Wilde jokingly told ET's Deidre Behar at the film's junket in Los Angeles about her longtime partner and father of her two kids' landing the role of Principal Brown in the buddy comedy.

The actress makes her feature film directorial debut with the R-rated movie that follows BFFs Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), two academic superstars who on the eve of high school graduation realize that they worked too hard and played too little.

As far as directing Sudeikis, Wilde admitted she wasn't able to "completely" brush off the personal and put on the professional hat with him, but it was "remarkable" watching him behind the monitor.

"There's still a shorthand that comes from being someone's closest partner, but I loved being able to just set him free because he's one of the best improvisers in the world," she expressed. "And I just loved that we got him to take this bit of information that we had in the script and run with it."

"And he gave us so much," Wilde continued. "We were dying laughing behind the monitor the whole time. I was like, 'This is remarkable.' Not many people can do that, and I loved in the scenes with him, our girls, our two leads, Beanie and Kaitlyn, they're just looking at him like, 'How is he doing that?'"


Wilde and Sudeikis share 5-year-old son Otis and 2-year-old daughter Daisy, and while Booksmart may have been a family affair, Wilde tried to find the right balance and figure out how much she could bring her kids to the set.

"I think for every working mother, that's the balance: Figuring out how much you can bring your kids to work and how much it will distract you," she explained. "And I know there's a lot of mom guilt out there, thinking about, 'Shouldn't I be able to do it all at the same time and do it all perfectly?' And you can't. It's a balance."

"I shot four weeks of nights on Booksmart. I would come home at 7 a.m., get the kids up, make them breakfast, get them ready, take them to school, and then melt, just collapse," Wilde recalled. "That's not something I could do for a sustained period of time, but for this moment, I was like, 'This is my dream come true. I get to direct a movie, I'm going to give it my all and make it work.'"

And make it work she did. The film has already received praise from critics and moviegoers who were lucky enough to preview it.

For more on Wilde's directorial film debut watch below. Booksmart arrives in theaters on May 24.