Taking the road less travelled

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interview Jennifer Aniston talks of the journey she takes with Jason Sudeikis in the comedy We’re the Millers

Jennifer Aniston plays the role of a stripper called Rose in the just-released comical road movie We’re the Millers . In the film, she is hired by David, a drug dealer, played by Jason Sudeikis, to pose as his wife. Excerpts from an interview with the actress:

What was it about We’re the Millers that made you want to do the movie?

Well, I thought it was a really fun idea. It felt like a fun movie being shot on the road. The idea of playing a stripper was intriguing, and the idea of getting to work with Jason again was, of course, a big selling point for me.

It just seemed like an original, fun movie, and I had just done Horrible Bosses with New Line, so we were eager to do something together again.

When you first read the script, was there anything that shocked you because of how outrageous the comedy was?

Not really, I have to say. If anything, we wanted it pushed a little more. And that’s why it was fun to just elaborate some scenes, like the scene where Emma Roberts’ character teaches Will Poulter’s character to kiss. And the mom comes in and joins in on it. It was like, ‘Well, you’re here. Why not go even crazier?’

What did you like most about Rose? Rose is a tough woman, which is kind of a departure for you, isn’t it?

Well, she’s tough, but, at the same time, there’s this very vulnerable person inside. I think where she has ended up in her life is certainly not where she expected to be. There are a lot of defences built up, so that tough attitude is just a little armour around her. And I think that in going on this crazy adventure, her soft and maternal side, sort of naturally emerge. I thought that was fun to see, and then they end up caring for one another as a family.

When you were making the comedy, how did you balance being funny with making it real, and finding the heart in it?

Well, I had to say the comedy is pretty grounded in reality. Nothing is played for laughs, like little Kenny getting bitten by a tarantula; that was played like, ‘Holy crap!’ And then, one of my favourite lines is, ‘It’s all right. Just rub some dirt on it.’ We just played everything as real as possible, even poking fun at ourselves. Even our attempt to escape or save the day didn’t take itself too seriously.

Speaking of the ‘Flashdance’ scene, what was it like for you to do those stripping scenes? How did you prepare for that?

Well, I prepared a lot. Training, first of all, and I had an amazing choreographer. But I’ve never quite danced like that before, so it was interesting to try to figure out how to do it. I belly-danced as a kid. [ Laughs ] But that was pretty much the extent of me trying to publicly seduce someone, like in the lap dance. So, I trained, but then I got into it. It was so much fun. The hardest part, honestly, for me was that I had to have knee surgery in May, and we were shooting in July. I was slammed down on the floor and had to do these squats. So, the timing of everything was a little challenging, but it was all right.

Did you surprise yourself? When you saw yourself on camera, were you like, ‘Wow, that’s me’?

No, I was like, ‘Oh, yeah.’

Does each of you have a favourite sequence of Jason Sudeikis? Something that made you laugh or was particularly memorable?

Oh, you have to move onto another question because there are almost a hundred of them. [ Laughs ] I have to say — for me watching Jason — there are so many things that make me laugh, I can’t even name them. But it’s the scene where he basically yells at all of us after we all yell, ‘Fireworks, fireworks!’

He tells us that we’re not a real family, and he’s Marky Mark. These rants always killed me. He’s an amazing writer. I have to say, he gave our script a lot of love which was needed. We wanted it to be the best.

Can you talk of the director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, and what he was like on the set. Did he encourage collaboration and welcome this spirit of bringing it together?

You’re putting it so perfectly I’m not going to say another word. I would only repeat what he said. That was such an eloquent way of saying it. Yeah, he just let it happen. He didn’t have any kind of resistance.

What do you think your characters find that they didn’t expect from this journey that they take together?

Family. One hundred per cent. They find their family.

The idea of playing a stripper was intriguing, and the idea of getting to work with Jason Sudeikis again was, of course, a big selling point for me




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