July 23, 2010

Salma Hayek in 'GROWN UPS'

In Columbia Pictures’ new comedy Grown Ups, the filmmakers found a trio of extremely talented women to play the guys’ better halves. “Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph are all really excellent actresses and comediennes,” says director Dennis Dugan. “When the girls have their scenes together, it’s a very different kind of comedy than what’s going on with the guys. A movie needs that kind of change of pace, and these women, all incredible talents, gave us that.”

In the film, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider play best friends when they were young kids and are now getting together with their families on the Fourth of July weekend for the first time in thirty years. Picking up where they left off, they discover that growing older doesn’t mean growing up.

Salma Hayek plays Roxanne, wife of Adam Sandler’s character, Lenny. Roxanne’s a glamorous fashion designer who’s in for a bit of a culture shock when Lenny brings his family to the lake house. “They’re supposed to be on their way to see her fashion show in Milan,” says Hayek. “It’s a culture shock. She’s definitely a fish out of water.”

What was it like to be surrounded by so many comedians? “It was intimidating at the beginning. I was thinking, ‘Oh, they’re all used to stand-up comedy, and they’re making up all these jokes,’” admits Hayek. “But everybody was so nice – no one had an attitude. I just relaxed, and soon, I came up with little things – not even jokes at the beginning, just little actions – and they were so supportive. I was so excited – they were laughing at my stuff!”

“The other thing I discovered is that Adam is incredibly generous,” she says. “Adam never says, ‘Oh, this is the best joke, I’m going to say it.’ He gives the joke to the best character to say it. He also figures out who hasn’t had a funny thing in the previous scene – he looks after everyone.”

Maria Bello, who plays Sally, Kevin James’ character’s wife, went so far as to invent an entire backstory for her character. “I think Sally was probably a cheerleader back then. Eric (James) was probably the captain of the football team. We have two kids and I’m the ultimate mother. They’re the two from town who stayed in town.”

“Kevin is the loveliest, yummiest, most beautiful man,” says Bello. “I just fell in love with him from the moment we met. He reminds me of my brother, Joey, from Philly – he’s the ultimate dad, a husband who’s really committed to his family, committed to his work, down to earth. He’s very funny, but he also has great depth to him – he has real moments that moved me so much. I even cried in one scene, he was so authentic.”

Adam Sandler took a chance, seeing me in a light comedy,” says Bello of Sandler who also wrote and produced the film. “I’d never done that kind of a movie before, and it was a challenge. But Sally is a real character. She’s the kind of person who’s obsessed with celebrities – she reads all the tabloids – but she’s also so good-hearted and compassionate. She’s funny, simple, and sweet, and loves everybody.”

Maya Rudolph plays Deanne, the wife of Chris Rock’s character. “She’s the breadwinner of the family, so it sort of leaves Chris’ character to take care of the household, which includes their two children as well as Deanne’s mother. That provides a little bit of a tension in the household.”

“It’s been a lot of fun watching Chris play this part – the dainty, sensitive, stay-at-home husband,” says Rudolph. “It’s really different from anything I’ve seen him do before. I think he really enjoyed it, allowing my character to run over him a bit. He really made me laugh and forget I was really pregnant.”

“Being in this movie reminds me of growing up,” says Rudolph. “I had an older brother that was funny – he was older enough that when his friends would come over, I was excited – ‘The cool kids are at our house! I was always trying to be funny with the cool kids. This was just like that!”

Opening soon across the Philippines, Grown Ups is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and like the fanpage to get the latest movie news, video clips and contests.

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