It’s probably safe to say that Alison Brie likely gave husband Dave Franco a heads up about some very spicy moments in her latest movie.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Brie, 39, opens up about her wild new comedy Spin Me Round. The film — which she also co-wrote alongside frequent collaborator Jeff Baena — sees Brie star as Amber, a woman whose company flies her out to an Italian immersion program. But the trip’s romantic and dreamy beginnings soon take a chaotic turn.
In the movie, out in theaters and available to stream on AMC+, the GLOW alum had to shoot a few steamy kissing scenes — including one with costar Aubrey Plaza, who is married to Baena, 45, and once shared an onscreen kiss with Franco, 37, in 2017’s The Little Hours.
“Dave and I usually do have some kind of conversation before any job, I think just to give the other person a heads up of sort of like, ‘Oh, I have some romantic scenes in this movie,'” Brie tells PEOPLE.
“You don’t want to blindside anyone, I think, with that information,” she continues. “But at the same time, it’s a part of our job. It’s a strange part and I can see how to the outside eye [it might come off].”
But at the end of the day, Brie — who has been married to Franco since 2017 — points out that they’re “all professionals and when we’re in character, it’s its own thing.”
“It’s like we work in this strange job that just requires ultimate vulnerability at a moment’s notice,” she adds. “It’s just what we signed up for.”
Detailing that very moment where she had to kiss Plaza, 38, as Baena directed the scene, Brie says it didn’t feel “intimidating” at all.
“As a co-writer of this movie, I was so mentally prepared for what all the beats were in the movie and in the moment,” she explains. “Aubrey’s such a great actress and I think it was very easy for the two of us to just be present as the characters in the scene.”
In co-writing the film alongside Baena, Brie was able to pull inspiration from her own personal experiences with men, which were incorporated into Alessandro Nivola’s mysterious romantic lead Nick Martucci.
“It was really fun for me to come in and infuse the story with the nuances of my personal experiences as we were fleshing out the different characters,” she says.
“Mostly, I would say the early parts of his character are based on anecdotes that I’ve told Jeff about experiences that I’ve had with men. Some of the later things in the movie, not so much,” the Community alum continues. “We really like to take everything to an extreme for the sake of the story and entertainment value and plain old fun. But for me, it was more just that the type of character and that relationship dynamic of a young impressionable woman who is almost too polite for her own good, who really doesn’t want to rock the boat, even when she’s a little bit uncomfortable.”
Brie adds, “She is very naive, but I think she also just has a sense of not wanting to make trouble, not wanting to be a problem. I think a lot of women are first starting to realize that we’ve been raised to be this way, to smile and not be impolite. And even if we are feeling uncomfortable, maybe it’s better to not speak up.”
For the actress and screenwriter, incorporating her personal experiences with men in Spin Me Round was a therapeutic process.
“It always is. Jeff and I, we wrote another movie together, called Horse Girl, that’s on Netflix. I think when we write together, it’s a similar thing where a lot of the writing process is sitting around telling stories, or that reminds me of a time where I had this weird date with this guy who used to be my teacher. And it is a little bit therapeutic,” she explains.
“There are some stories in our lives, I’ve found they can take on different meanings the more that you gain consciousness in different ways,” she continues. “So there are stories that I’ve been like, ‘Oh, listen to this hilarious story.’ And as I tell it now, I start to go, ‘Oh, that wasn’t cool.’ ‘That’s not okay,’ maybe. ‘Oh, wait. Actually, I don’t …’ Maybe I just made myself think it was a funny story to deal with the fact that I actually was very uncomfortable with that situation.”
But when it comes to her Spin Me Round character, Brie does “think there’s a lot of parts of Amber that are hopeful” by the film’s end, even though the protagonist “almost wants to overlook some red flags because she really wants to fall in love with this handsome rich entrepreneur.”
“It’s definitely a self-empowerment story for her and journey,” she adds. “I really like that we do exactly get to see the character start to take control of her own life story and her own situation.”
Spin Me Round is in theaters and on AMC+.