One of my favorite books when I was a young kid was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by author Judith Viorst (who I would learn later in life actually grew up in the same town as me). Like many of you, surely, I could easily relate to the story of a boy having an unbelievably bad day, leading to dreams of escaping off to Australia. The book has always stuck with me – so naturally it was a bit surreal when I, along with a small group of other journalists, got to visit the set of the movie adaptation of the story last summer when the production was filming in Los Angeles at the legendary Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio.
Directed by Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids), the big screen version of the classic children’s book stars newcomer Ed Oxenbould as the 11-year-old Alexander Cooper, who runs into one of those dreaded days where absolutely nothing goes right. When he’s unable to get any sympathy from the rest of his family (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, and Kerris Dorsey), however, the fates decide to have a bit of fun and "curse" them each with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of their own. Obviously some of the original story elements have been stretched and changed to fit a feature length film, but the core message is staying the same.
While on set, we not only had the chance to watch the production in action, seeing Steve Carell film a scene with a whole bunch of exotic animals, but we also had the chance to talk with members of the cast and crew and find out all kinds of fascinating behind the scenes stories and info about the film. Read on to learn more!
Jennifer Garner Pulled A Very Bizarre On-Set Prank On Steve Carell That Completely BackfiredDespite the fact that both Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell have spent years acting both in film and on television, they’ve never had a chance to work together before Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. What they don’t share in credits, however, they share in personal experience: both graduated from the Ohio-based Denison University – albeit years apart. While this seems like a strange bit of trivia, it actually fueled a very strange on-set prank.
On one day of shooting, Jennifer Garner purchased all kinds of Dennison University gear for the entire production to wear in order to play a joke on her co-star. Unfortunately, this little gag backfired in an unexpected way when Carell turned out to be too unobservant for it to work. The crew continued to sport clothes with the Dennison name for the rest of filming, but it still needed to be pointed out every time.
"At this point I just feel bad for him," Garner said laughing. "I point it out right away."