How Do You Know Reese Witherspoon, James L Brooks Interviews
It's really a different thing being
Reese Witherspoon: "No, not really. He created the character. He went away and wrote the character and then he just presented me with the script and it was amazing. She was this great, lovely woman who was a female jock. I thought I'd never played anything like that before so I was excited."
Well that must have been a challenge for you, getting physical like that. But we don't get to see you play softball very much in the movie.
Reese Witherspoon: "Yeah. Yeah, I think they decided that some of the stuff where we play a lot of softball took away from some of the more romantic elements of the story sometimes, and so we just tried to get to the story. But it was so worthwhile because I got to meet these incredible people. It's really a different thing being an athlete. I mean they go through high school in a different way. They go through college in a different way. It was really interesting to learn about their culture and kind of be part of a team."
And you get to reunite with Paul Rudd.
Reese Witherspoon: "Yes, which is fun."
How quickly did you guys click together?
Reese Witherspoon: "Oh immediately. We've known each other forever and we see each other all the time. Whenever he's doing a play I'll go see him and we'll go have dinner. We did the movie for six months together so I got to see him all the time."
James L Brooks: "You know, I got a hunch - wherever you admit it to yourself or you don't, and I did not admit it to myself - that every time you go out, you're trying to get a contemporary heroine. You're trying to have something to do with the time you're writing in, and Reese seemed to me the overwhelming choice to try and do that. And then it also seemed like somehow a world-class female athlete would be sort of the right example of what women are dealing with today generally."
That's interesting that you chose a female athlete because that never happens in a romantic comedy type genre.
James L Brooks: "Well you know I think there's a lot of romance in this picture, but romantic comedy sort of suggests a plot line that has two people warring with each other and then together at the end. That's not the plot line here. I have four people who question whether they have the capacity to really love. That's sort of all their secrets, some known, some unknown, who end up - and I think believably - having it and thereby save their lives."
And these four - Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson - they click so well. You knew that was going to happen?
James L Brooks: "No, no. You're playing catch; you're not even throwing. You can't, I don't think, you can write or direct chemistry between actors. I think you've just got to hope it happens and then play catch. And it happened like a virus on this movie."
How easy was it to get Jack Nicholson to say yes?
James L Brooks: "You know, there's a certain way to beg Jack that he opens up to."
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