Justin Theroux & Malin Akerman Interview For ‘Wanderlust’
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in ‘Wanderlust,’ a raucous comedy from director David Wain (Role Models) and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) about a couple who leaves the pressures of the big city and joins a freewheeling community where the only rule is to be yourself. George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) are an overextended, stressed out couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George’s awful brother in Atlanta. On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colourful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things. ‘Wanderlust’ stars Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, Lauren Ambrose, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and Alan Alda. The film is set out now in the US, while its set for a March 2nd release in the UK.
How did you work on the look for Seth, with the hair and beard?
Justin Theroux: It’s something that happens naturally, out of my face, but not so much out of my head. I had a wig for my hair, then I had to grow a beard out. Actually, I had to grow it again (laughs). There was a scene that David Wain wanted to pick up, right after I shaved it. He said, “Hey, in about a month, we’re going to do this other scene. Can you grow it back?” Trust me, after you’ve lived in Georgia in the summertime with a beard that big, it’s a pain in the ass. I don’t mind a little scruff, but it’s like going to bed with a small animal, like a hamster, with it living on your face. There were definitely days I wanted to unhook it, but did not.
I can imagine Seth being a lot of fun to portray. How was it for you playing Seth opposite Paul Rudd’s George?
Justin Theroux: Oh yeah. Seth is superior to George….spiritually, physically, in every way. He’s a narcissist. I think Seth, although he’s very modest (laughs), he looks for all places to prove that he’s better than George. I think he does that with most males. Most males in Elysium, before George’s arrival, they’re already cowed by Seth’s awesome-maness. I think George has to get used to that. Paul Rudd, he’s an awesome improviser. Some of the funniest stuff actually came from his improvising, he has a very interesting angle on jokes. He tossed me a couple lines for me to say, which also shows his generosity as an actor. Paul Rudd would say, “Maybe it’s like this,” then I would say what he said and it’s the funniest take we could have gotten.
Malin, how hard was it to for you to keep a straight face in the bedroom scene you had with Paul Rudd?
Malin Akerman: It was ridiculous. I never kept a straight face (laughs). The camera was literally behind my head, so you see these weird cuts. It cuts back and forth really quick because the whole time, as we were sitting there, I couldn’t even look at him. I was crying because I was laughing so hard. Poor Paul. But he kept it together. He’s so good.
Justin Theroux: If you look where they cut, I think you can see that the corners of Paul Rudd’s mouth are starting to twist up.
Malin Akerman: He broke quite a few times during that scene too. Just the ridiculousness of what he’s saying in that scene is brilliant (laughs). He’s so funny.
How did you find it working with David Wain and Ken Marin, and how much input did you each have into your characters?
Malin Akerman: It was a wonderful experience. I’ve incredibly lucky to be able to work with David and Ken Marin on ‘Childrens Hospital.‘ That group is so collaborative, and so not narcissistic or egotistical. They really just want it to be the best it can be. We would always do the scripted lines because they’re hilarious, and then they just said, “Go and do your thing, and do some improvisation, and see who you think Eva is and what she would say, in this situation.” They were really liberal with letting us bring what we thought was good for the characters.
Justin Theroux: Yeah, it was very collaborative. They have no ego when it comes to that. If it’s funny, they’ll stick with it. They’ll just be like, “Oh, that’s funny. Let’s do that one!” There’s a whole other movie that could be cut out of the alternate, ridiculous lines that we kept saying. David Wain would shout from behind the monitor, “Now say this! Now do that!” Then you’d crack up and try to get yourself together to say the line that he was actually asking you to say (laughs).
Malin Akerman: There’s probably another movie too, with just all of us just laughing for three or four hours, wasting so much time on set.
Justin Theroux: Universal Pictures doesn’t know how much money was wasted, just shrieking into cameras and laughing, cracking up (laughs).
How was it for you Malin, working with Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd….this great ensemble cast?
Malin Akerman: Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd are amazing. It’s so interesting because I always find that whoever is the lead in the film, they sort of create the tone for the film, and I couldn’t imagine better people to create a lovelier tone. They’re both just….I was shocked to be honest with you, not because I didn’t expect it, just because it went beyond my expectations even. Jennifer is so lovely and pure and loving, she’s so interested in people – truly interested. With ‘Wanderlust,’ we were all there because we all loved the project, and you really felt that felt on set. Paul Rudd, he’s worked with these guys so many times. There’s a reason for it because they work so well together. It was such a great cast, every single one of us have wanted to hang out. We done dinner parties, on Saturday’s we’d get together and we’d do karaoke parties, whatever it is. It was so relaxing.
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