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Unlike many of the bro-centric comedies we've seen lately, I Love You, Man gives a lot of credit to the ladies, who get to talk dirty and spill secrets with the best of them in this new comedy. As the fiancee of Paul Rudd's character, Rashida Jones is a woman both in love and frustrated with her fiance's social awkwardness. She tells all to her two confidants and business partners, one of them played by Jaime Pressly, a straight-talker who has her own problems at home-- namely that she and her boorish husband (Jon Favreau) love fighting as much as they love the makeup sex.
Jones and Pressly were among the first of our many interviews during the I Love You, Man press day, and we talk to both of them below about being girls in a dude movie, getting the hang of improv, and in Rashida's case, just how many takes Paul Rudd managed to ruin by giggling. Check out both interviews below.
Is it fun to do a movie even though being on the set of Earl is so much fun?
Yeah, for me, because I hadn't done a film in years. The only fear I had was it wasn't going to be as fun and amazing, and everyone wouldn't get along. In this business ego can run rampant on set sometimes. But I walked on set and it was like I was on the set of my show. Everybody was funny and brilliant in their own rights. There was a lot of improv, which made it even more fun to go work .You never knew what each other was going to say. It was kind of like the Improv Olympics.
What was it about the character that made you say you had to do the film?
I read the script and laughed out loud, by myself in bed. Then I found out that Paul and Jason were attached to it. And I loved Denise because, different from the other characters I've played, she's conservative and slightly prissier than usual, and preppy. She's a great friend, she's married. But then I love, as I do with most of the characters that I take to, that she was strong and she's very honest and strong-minded. And I loved, loved loved the relationship she had with her husband.
You and Favreau had great chemistry.
Well, he had done our show before. But I also knew him from knowing him and Vince through other things, but I'd never been able to spend this much time with him. The day we started, I was like '$300 million? Really?' Because it was Monday ,and the three days before were when Iron Man came out. And he showed up to work, it was 4:30 in the morning, and I went 'Really? $300 million now? I guess you think you can direct me now...' Every take we did was different. He's so amazing at improv that he keeps you on your toes.
One of the things that impressed me about the film was the straight talk between the women. The men were a little taken aback.
It kind of calls you out a little bit in every arena. People love seeing Denise and Barry, mine and Fav's character, because we all know that couple, or have been that couple. Where you just break up to make up and you love to fight, and it's just constant. But they never break up. People love that, and there was a lot of honesty in that relationship.
We were talking about the sexuality in the film, and how frank and a little scary the women's talk was for the men.
So uncomfortable! Amazing, I love that. To me that was a pretty honest portrayal of how girls talk. We are detailed. I think guys don't actually know that, which is why I think it's a good thing that it's being represented in a movie. You don't get to see that that often.
Was that something that appealed to you about the character, that they would go there?
Yeah, I really loved the dynamic between the girlfriends. They all felt really different. It felt like they all had different points of view, but they found a way to converge and love each other through that. You don't get to see that that often in movies either. And also the fact that they were truly raw, the way that I know I can be with my girlfriends.
When do you remember first being inspired by comedy?
I don't know. I know my mom said as early as she can remember letting me watch TV, my one treat a week when I was like 6 was to stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. I'm completely obsessed with comedy. When I was living in New York, I would go and see stand-up as much as I could. I have a lot of awe for people who can make you laugh. It's an achievement, almost, in a way that it's not to make somebody cry. To me it's one of the best things you can do in the world, to make somebody laugh.
Did you go into entertainment because you had both parents in it?
No, I was like the rebel. I'm not going to do what my parents do! I was going to do everything to not be in entertainment. I kind of caught the bug. It's such a fortunate life, if you can work as an actor. I get to laugh all day, for hours and hours and hours a day. It's really nice.
is it weird to be coming full circle with Jason like this, since you were on an episode of Freaks and Geeks?
Freaks and Geeks for me was like a huge turning point. It was the first time that I read something and I thought, this is really good. this is the kind of stuff that I want to do. I had such a good time on the show, and I made friends with Jason, we've been friends the whole time. It's really nice to be able to come back together, and have kind of been working on our own. Obviously Judd Apatow has a big effect on people like that. Everybody starts with him.
It looked like you guys were having a good time on the set. We've been hearing a lot about improv.
There was a lot of improv going on. There were a lot of ruined takes. There's minutes and minutes of film of Paul just giggling, and nobody acting. Him just trying to get it together. It was a genuinely the most fun I've ever had working. We were given so much freedom to do stuff. I'm sure at some point John Hamburg was just like, OK, get it together. It was kind of part of the process. That's a good problem to have.
Did you do any improvisation?
I did. I've always kind of been scared of it. I took a Groundlings class in my 20s, and I was terrible. They didn't even pass me to the next level. I feel like I'm taking class all over again. I'm a little bit better this time. Between The Office and the new show and this, I'm learning what my take on it is. I do end up playing the straight man a lot. It's more about reaction than it is about playing some wacky character.