‘Plan B’ and ‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales on making her directorial debut with 2 films

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Natalie Morales stars in “Language Lessons,” which she also directed and co-wrote with Mark Duplass. Photo by Jeremy Mackie.

Natalie Morales built her career as an actress with a bunch of TV roles on shows including “Parks and Recreation,”“The Grinder” and “Dead to Me.” But what she really wanted to do was direct. When she told her agents she was interested in branching out, they ignored her, so she left. 

“Over a year went by and they did not set me up with anybody. I didn’t meet with a single person, and it was very clear that they only saw me as one thing,” Morales says. “And as terrifying as it was to leave a big agency as an actor, I knew I had to do it. Because those are literally the people representing you — the people who don’t believe you can do anything else? That’s not what I want!”

Morales tells KCRW how she got what she did want  — the chance to direct a movie not once, but twice in a year. Her films “Plan B” and “Language Lessons” couldn’t be more different — one’s a raunchy teen comedy and the other is an intimate look at a unique relationship. Morales shares how she made them both, sometimes at the same time. 



Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker