If the saying is to write what you know, then Iliza Shlesinger certainly did that and then some. Her new Netflix movie, Good on Paper—which she wrote, produced, and stars in—centers on a woman (Shlesinger) who dates a pretty damn near “perfect” guy, only to discover he’s lied about everything. “Everything that the antagonist says in this movie, I took from my real life,” Schlesinger tells Glamour. “My inspiration was dating a real-life sociopath.”
There was nothing funny about it at the time—or for a while after—but eventually Shlesinger decided to find the silver lining in the experience. “Writing this film was absolutely cathartic,” she says. “As an artist, a large part of what we do is working through darkness or societal issues. While the end of the film is a bit of revisionist-history wish fulfillment, I wrote it so people who have been unjustifiably screwed over could feel vindicated.”
Prior to making the film—which is now streaming and costars fan favorites Ryan Hansen, Margaret Cho, Rebecca Rittenhouse, and even The Bachelorette‘s Tyler Cameron—Shlesinger found her forever match in Noah Galuten, whom she married in 2018. But ask her if she hopes the man who broke her heart sees the movie, and she says absolutely not.
“So many times in our life, as women, our point of reference for how we feel or react or think about something refers to what a man thinks about it,” she says. “What’s important is I got to create something fun and funny and relatable. Plus, I don’t think someone that inherently flawed would ever think they did anything wrong, so it might fall on deaf ears anyway.”
But Shlesinger isn’t angry; she’s moved way past that time in her life. “What I went through was such a freak thing, but in sharing it, it turns out a lot of people have dealt with a similar situation,” she says. “People are always like, ‘How did you not see this coming?’ and here’s my answer: This person didn’t lie about things that we think to flag. We were friends before we dated, and he didn’t say anything terribly boastful, like ‘Oh, I have a fleet of white horses.’ It was very normal things. But I made a really fun movie out of that awful experience!”
The last thing I purchased
I bulk-ordered a bag of fun-sized Airheads, and I have a couple of them every day and I love them. You gotta treat yourself!
My favorite thing in my closet
My dog has made a habit of making one of her nests where I keep my sweatshirts and workout gear. That has become her new bed, and it’s in my closet, so she’s my favorite thing in my closet.
The makeup product I always carry with me
TimeBalm makes a concealer that I’ve been purchasing for the better part of a decade. I get red under my nose ’cause I’m always kind of sniffly, so I always have that in my bag. I’ve been using it since my 20s, and I just love it.
The comfiest bra I own
Third Love makes some great bras, and yes, they do sponsor my podcast, but I wouldn’t let them if I didn’t actually enjoy their products. As someone with larger breasts, it was really easy for me to find a comfy bra on their website, and I’m really glad it exists.
My favorite pair of jeans
I don’t know what the war on high-waist jeans is all about. I take that as an assault on my generation, but I have a pair of J Brand high-waist black jeans that they don’t make anymore that I will wear until they become jean underwear.
The app I think is brilliant
I check Instagram the most, but I think the most brilliant app is Shazam. Whoever created that deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s the one where you hold it up to a song and it tells you what the song is. I’m the woman standing up in a restaurant booth, holding my phone up to the ceiling, like, Is that Jay-Z?
My must-have travel essentials
You’ve got to have a pair of Bose noise-canceling earbuds. I have the wireless ones and the wired ones. Bose does not compromise on quality. I also always bring a pair of wool socks for the airplane and a sweatshirt because you’re going to get cold, and it also doubles as a pillow. I love the brand Selki, and they make a lot of whimsical, princess-y dresses, but they also have a black sweatshirt that I’m pretty sure is made of butterfly silk. It’s so soft and the hood is so big you can pull it over as an eye mask. I love it.
The workout that always gets me moving
We bought a used, refurbished elliptical for our house…nothing fancy, and I make my own playlist of EDM and rap music and freestyle. I get on my elliptical for a half hour and sing out loud to Miley Cyrus or whatever is in that mix. I pretend I’m leading my own workout class, but I’m all by myself.
The TV shows I just binge-watched
I just finished Hacks, and I love that. I loved Mare of Eastown. Kate Winslet is brilliant, and Jean Smart is also in that, as well as Hacks. I watch a couple episodes of Frasier each night, and Jean Smart was also in that. And I watch this show called Industry on HBO and It’s a Sin, which is also on HBO. We take in a lot of media in this house.
My favorite sunglasses
I have two pairs that I love. One is Thierry Lasry. My husband bought me a pair several years ago, and I loved them so much that when I lost them, I bought myself a second pair. And when I lost those, he bought me another pair for my birthday, and the note said, “Last chance.” And the other pair are these oversized tortoiseshell, very big grandma glasses by Pro Acme that are larger than my face, but you gotta get that undereye protection!
My wardrobe staples
I love my Diesel combat boots because they’re cool without being too tough, and they’re well-made. I love my black leather Converse sneakers. I got them in Australia. And then keeping it punk rock, I have a jean jacket that I got at a random store in Georgia, but I put all my patches and pins and political agenda all over it in case anyone wants to listen. [Laughs.]
How I practice self-care
I’m not great at relaxing, but I am diligent about my skin care. If you take care of your face, it will go a long way. I think flossing is self-care. And taking breaks during the day is self-care.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.