Brittany Runs A Marathon Movie Poster

Trivia for Brittany Runs A Marathon

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  • Jillian Bell lost 40 pounds during the filming of the movie, just like her character does during the course of the film.
  • The cast and crew actually got to film at the New York City Marathon, making this the first time a non-documentary film crew has been allowed to shoot there.
  • While filming scenes at the marathon, many of the runners thought that Jillian Bell was really running and was being filmed as part of a documentary. Several times other runners stopped to help her during more difficult scenes; she didn't have the heart to explain she wasn't actually running the marathon.
  • Jillian Bell worked with a marathon trainer to help her figure out how her running style would look and evolve throughout the film as she goes from a novice to an experienced runner training for a long distance run.
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar and Alice Lee have both appeared on "The Mindy Project", though never in the same episode
  • Jillian Bell and Michaela Watkins also costarred in "Sword of Trust" also released in 2019
  • Jillian Bell, who plays 'Brittany,' is best known for her roles in "22 Jump Street" and the hit comedy series, "Workaholics."
  • "Brittany Runs A Marathon" is inspired by the true story of Writer and Director Paul Downs Colaizzo's real-life friend and former roommate (also named Brittany) who began a similar journey toward better health in her late 20s.
  • Writer and Director Paul Downs Colaizzo is a celebrated playwright known for his Off-Broadway plays "Really Really" and "Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill."
  • This movie was the directorial debut for Award-winning playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo.
  • Michaela Watkins, who plays 'Catherine,' is best known for her roles in the TV series "Casual" and "Trophy Wife." She also plays Rob Delaney's sister in season 4 of the Prime Video series, "Catastrophe."
  • Lil Rel Howery, who plays 'Demetrius,' is best known for his roles in the films "Get Out" and "Bird Box."
  • Micah Stock, who plays 'Seth,' is a Tony Award-nominated actor known most recently for his TV roles in "Escape at Dannemora" and "Bonding."
  • After seeing the film, the real-life Brittany O'Neill says she felt bonded to actress Jillian Bell forever. "Watching her performance, I felt like she'd genuinely experienced all of the emotions I had. She's a great actress and she nailed it."
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar, who plays 'Jern,' is best known for his roles in "Pitch Perfect" and "The Mindy Project."
  • Although Jillian Bell (Brittany) had seen a video of the real-life Brittany O'Neill, the actress says she purposely didn't meet the woman her character was based on until O'Neill visited the set when shooting had begun.
  • To play the role of 'Brittany' in all of her various stages of weight loss, actress Jillian Bell spent up to four hours each day applying her character's makeup and prosthetics.
  • Jillian Bell's character 'Brittany' has more than 50 wardrobe changes throughout the film, each planned to accommodate the padding the actress wore to simulate her character's weight loss.
  • At the onset of shooting, Micah Stock (Seth) had trouble keeping a straight face acting opposite of Jillian Bell. "She's insanely funny. The first day I thought I would be fired because I couldn't get through three lines of dialogue without laughing. Her positivity infects everyone around her."
  • Writer and Director Paul Downs Colaizzo has said that if there is a character in this film that is in any way based on him, it would be 'Seth.'
  • For the film's early scenes, before 'Brittany' embarks on her fitness regimen, Colaizzo and Berman used old photographs of Bell to develop a look that evolves as Brittany undergoes her transformation. Customized bodysuits and padding in multiple sizes and shapes were fabricated and used in various combinations at different points in the film.
  • "Brittany Runs a Marathon" was the recipient of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival 'Audience Award.'
  • Lil Rel Howery (Demetrius) was the recipient of 'Best Comedic Performance in a Movie' at the MTV Movie & TV Awards, he's been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actor,' and was also crowned 'Bernie Mac Comedy King of the Year.'
  • Jillian Bell was a writer on the 35th season of 'Saturday Night Live' (2009-10).
  • "Brittany Runs a Marathon" is the first feature film ever to shoot during the iconic New York City Marathon, which is run every year on the first Sunday in November.
  • Tobey Maguire first met the film's writer and director, Paul Downs Colaizzo, after catching a performance of Colaizzo's play, "Really Really." Impressed by what he saw, Maguire met with Colaizzo to discuss possible future film projects. One of the ideas discussed - "Brittany Runs A Marathon."
  • While filming part of the marathon sequence in which 'Brittany' struggles through the race, Jillian Bell's performance was so dialed-in that neighboring runners, who didn't know she was acting, rallied around her to help her keep going.
  • A week after shooting the actual New York City Marathon, the filmmakers re-created the race in miniature on a block in Brooklyn to capture additional shots, including Brittany's feet coming across the finish line.
  • Amazon paid out $14 million for the rights to the film.
  • Jillian Bell used the Couch to 5k app to help her get fit enough to go long-distance running. She now runs regularly.


  • Writer-director Paul Downs Colaizzo wrote the script not long after his best friend Brittany completed her first run, and correctly predicted several things, including that she would successfully complete a marathon, and that she would hurt her leg.
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