Hilary Swank & Josh Duhamel Interview For ‘New Year’s Eve’
Director Garry Marshall and a stellar ensemble cast will ring in the 2011 holiday season with the romantic comedy ‘New Year’s Eve.’ ‘New Year’s Eve’ celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts. The film stars Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Academy Award-nominee Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, two-time Academy Award-winner Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Academy Award-nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Ryan Seacrest, two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank and Sofia Vergara. ‘New Year’s Eve’ is set for release December 8th, 2011.
How did you both join this huge ensemble?
Hilary Swank: Katherine Fugate (Screenwriter) and I were looking to produce this other project that we were doing, and she said, “I just finished writing ‘New Year’s Eve,’ and I wrote the role of Claire Morgan for you. I just see you in it.” It’s such an honor to have a screenwriter say, “I saw you, when I was writing this.” It’s so touching, to be thought of in that way. When I read it, I fell in love with Claire, and the idea of feeling like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can’t imagine New Year’s Eve without the ball drop right? There is no New Year’s Eve without the ball drop. The idea of this woman who really takes her job seriously and is responsible, I felt very in touch with that. I take a lot of things pretty seriously. But I also love that speech that she has because it’s so universal. I was so thankful that Katherine thought of me for this role, and I was so thankful that Garry was like, “Yeah, Hilary? Sure!”
Josh Duhamel: It was flattering to get that phone call from Garry, I’ve been a big fan of his movies for a long time. And this cast, just to be apart of this, I felt like I wanted to be a part of it. I really liked my little story I got to be a part off, it was a no brainer. Garry is a very genuine and sweet man. You feel very safe working on his set, you can’t always say that. And as an actor, you wanna be able to go in and do your best work, feel comfortable, and feel safe – that’s exactly the way Garry runs his set. When there’s so many people, in a movie like this, you want to be able to go in and do your best work right away, and feel comfortable and contribute, as best you can.
You have a nice little mix of people you get to work with….
Josh Duhamel: Oh yeah, with Cherry Jones, unfortunately I didn’t get to work that much with her, but she’s amazing, she’s one of the best. Then you look at Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa in ‘The Simpsons,’ that was really cool. Larry Miller, Sean O’Bryan, I actually worked with him on ‘Las Vegas’ years ago, he’s a lot of fun. I got to work a little bit with Hilary, at the very end, we sort of run past each other. But I can now say that I’ve worked with Hilary Swank (laughs). It would have been nice to have a Robert De Niro moment, but he had to put in his contract that there would be no scenes with Josh Duhamel (laughs).
How was it for you Hilary, you get to work with Robert De Niro?
Hilary Swank: Robert De Niro, for me, he was on my bucket list. He was on the top of the people I have to work with before it’s all said and done, so I got to check that off. I also do mostly dramas. I usually die in my movies. I don’t live to see the credits, but this was to work with Garry Marshall in a comedy (laughs). They had already started. They were working three weeks, and then I came in. I was thinking, “What’s it like? What’s the vibe? Am I going to be one of those things that’s not like the other?” And yet, I started with a dramatic bit with De Niro. My first two days were with him, and it was the real dramatic stuff. I thought, “This isn’t really funny, I’m not being funny.” So I got onto the set, and it was the latter half of the day. I went in and Halle Berry and Robert were in the room. They’d been working all morning and they had their thing going, and I was the outsider there. I didn’t even know the crew or anything. I walked in and was just trying to get a sense of the vibe, before I started working. I walked in and Robert was in the bed and laying there. You hear all this stuff about Robert De Niro, and he’s method. This is a comedy, but he’s dying. I didn’t want to get in anybody’s way. So he was laying there and he saw me, and then he shut his eyes, and I was thinking, “Wow, he’s giving it to me. We’re connected here. We are connected. Me and De Niro are method.” I started getting a little emotional. The camera was not on me, but we were just getting into the mood, of the father-daughter relationship, and the father dying. I was feeling it, and I was going deep with De Niro. The next thing I know, he’s like, “Anyone got that coffee?” I was like, “Oh my god, he was sleeping!” I thought he was going deep for me (laughs). The truth is, he’d been in that bed all day and he took a nap. So that was that. But getting the opportunity to work with him was an absolute highlight for me.
I can imagine working with so many people you respect, that must have been a blast?
Josh Duhamel: I had a blast working on this movie. When I was working with Yeardley Smith, I kept thinking, “This is Lisa Simpson.” She was playing the pastor’s wife, and there were a few takes where she was really frisky. My character is telling her this story about this girl that I’d met the year before, and she played it like she was getting all hot and bothered. I kept thinking, “I’m making Lisa Simpson all hot and bothered,” and there was something really wrong about that (laughs).
Hilary Swank: It was so fun, so fun! Everyday I would think, “When are we gonna get to work?” We were laughing the whole time, joking around the whole time, then you realise that’s just a part of making a Garry Marshall movie.
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