When In Rome :: Interview
Check out this interview for When in Rome with Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel and director Mark Steven Johnson who sat down to discuss the movie!!
Kristen Bell stars in WHEN IN ROME as an ambitious young woman who is disillusioned with romance. On a trip to the romantic Italian capital, she scoops a handful of magic coins from a fountain – a fountain of love. The result is that she inexplicably ignites the passion of the various men who threw in the coins.
So when a charming and handsome reporter, played by Josh Duhamel also pursues her – how can she be sure his love is genuine? Is he – like the other men – under the influence of a potent spell?
The delightful comedy also stars Danny DeVito, hilarious as Al, a sausage tycoon, street magician Lance, played by the very funny John Heder, Italian painter Antonio, portrayed by Will Arnett, Dax Shepard as Gale, an aspiring, narcissistic model, and Anjelica Huston.
Set in New York and Rome, the action packed movie is lovely to look at, as well as being full of hilarious comedy, romance – and warmth.
Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel and director Mark Steven Johnson sat down together in Los Angeles to discuss the movie.
Q: Kristen, how much fun was it being pursued by all these guys?
KB: Well first of all, being surrounded by these guys was great and it is so flattering, because they are all wonderful and funny. I love their comedy and style and I often laugh out loud at them. I was grateful for the opportunity of working with all these guys. I’m glad that they had the faith in me to be able to pull it off and I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I could not stop laughing on set because they are all so funny.
Q: Can you explain a little about what happens to your character when she is in Rome?
KB: She goes to Rome for her sister’s wedding – and in a drunken stupor, wades into the fountain and takes out several coins. Then the guys that have thrown them in wishing for love or passion start to stalk her. There’s a lot of chasing and running around in heels. I loved being the object of affection of all those men, from Will Arnett to Dax Shepard. Oh yes, and did I mention I get to kiss Josh Duhamel?
Q: Josh, can you talk about Nick’s relationship with Beth?
JD: We really hit it off in the beginning. It almost seems like love at first sight; it’s going that well. And then something happens and she doesn’t want to talk to him again. After that it’s all about him trying to get her back, a lot of the story is how he is trying to figure out what happened. He thought that everything was perfect, and then all of a sudden it wasn’t.’ Then he finds out why and he discovers that he’s competing with these other guys, and he doesn’t know why he’s doing that either. So it’s pretty chaotic.
Q: Kristen are you driven in real life - like your character? What comes first for you - career or romance?
KB: Personally I think your significant other should be way more important than your work. I love to work, but I don’t know that I’d say I’m a workaholic because I also love relaxing. I have a great balance I think and love both.
Q: Do you believe in magic and superstition?
KB: I am not very superstitious at all. I never have been. I’ll walk under ladders. Who cares? I like to smash mirrors any chance I get. (laughs).
Q: Can you talk about the physical comedy. Did that come naturally – did you get injured at all?
JD: There was a scene where I was supposed to run into this car but the stunt coordinator had it set up so that the car was going to sweep out my leg and I was going to roll under the front of the hood and roll up onto the windshield and look in and see that it’s my friend Puck. It wasn’t the most well conceived stunt ever performed - it took us a few times to get it right. So I’m running at this car and the first two times we did it, I literally went right over the top of the car and one time fell on my shoulder or on my neck. And then another time I fell over the other edge of the car and they almost pulled the plug on the stunt. But I talked them into letting me do it one more time and I figured it out. But to answer your question, this kind of comedy fits in with the way I am anyway. I’m clumsy in real life, so I just had a lot of fun coming up with as much funny stuff as possible in this movie.
Q: Kristen and Josh, how did you build the relationship between you? Can you explain the rhythm of the romance and the comedy?
KB: It is definitely a difficult thing to capture. I’ve seen a ton of movies where I’ve believed the couple and I’ve seen a ton of movies where I have not believed them at all. And unfortunately as an audience member you check out – you don’t stay connected if you don’t believe in the couple, so we knew it was really important. I think that’s something you have to trust to your director to bring to the film as well as doing your best to capture those moments.
Q: What was the atmosphere like on the set amongst all of you?
KB: Loud. Very loud.
JD: It was great because I’m a big fan of everybody here. These are all the people that I’ve always wanted to work with, so I was thinking: be careful what you wish for sometimes – which is the theme of the movie. It literally involved me staying out of the way and wiping my eyes a lot and trying to just keep everything on track, because everyone’s so good, everyone’s so funny. That is always the challenge - getting all the funny stuff and making sure we’re advancing the story at the same time as letting everybody run loose, it was great.
Q: Mark, could you describe what Kristen and Josh bring to the comedy?
MSJ: To be honest with you, we hired both of them because they’re such great actors and they look so great together and they’re just so likeable. And then the idea was to surround them with the funniest people we could get, the best actors, the best comedians. We got all these great guys. But honestly, they’re both so funny themselves too so it worked really well.
Q: What was it like filming in Italy?
JD: I loved it, I fell in love with Rome, but it was just so hot. We were in the middle of a heat wave when we were shooting the scenes in Rome.
KB: And Italy has not discovered air conditioning; that was different for us, because usually we’re so spoiled with every room being air conditioned.
JD: I loved Rome because I have studied a lot of history in school and college and it was always a dream of mine to be able to go to Rome and so that for me was the best part of it. I had a day off sightseeing. I rented a Vespa and just went out and got to see as many of the amazing sights in Rome as I could. I still can’t believe that I was brave enough to do it, because there are nine million people on Vespas riding around Rome as well as cars and I had no idea where I was going. It was really scary and I couldn't believe I had the guts to face some pretty wild drivers, but it was a great day.