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The Cast of ‘Valentine’s Day’ Discuss the Romantic Comedy

Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts in 'Valentine's Day'

Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts in ‘Valentine’s Day.’

© New Line Cinema
Garry Marshall was in charge of getting his cast set for theValentine’s Day press conference at the Beverly Hilton, and after directing the star-filled film, getting them to just sit where they were supposed to was probably a walk in the park. Before his big-name stars entered the room, Marshall warmed up the media, joking around and setting the mood for the press conference.”I haven’t directed this many stars in one picture,” said Marshall, the director of Pretty WomanRunaway Bride, and Princess Diaries. “You know what it’s like? It’s like when you’re in high school and suddenly you’re with all those popular kids in school. They’re all with you and they all know you. It’s a very exciting thing. It didn’t happen for me in high school. Bradley Cooper is here. Here comesJennifer GarnerJessica Alba. I know them all personally!…”

Marshall packed Valentine’s Day with so many stars it would have been impossible to shoehorn in even one more. And almost all of them showed up for the press day for the Warner Bros Pictures romantic comedy. Cooper, Alba, Garner, Shirley MacLaine, Julia RobertsJessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Hector Elizondo, Ashton Kutcher, George Lopez, and Topher Grace all took their seats for what was a fun, though not very informative, press conference.

Valentine’s Day Press Conference

This film is a love letter to Los Angeles. What do you love about LA?Ashton Kutcher: “I love the weather.”

Jennifer Garner: “Farmer’s Market.”

Jessica Biel: “Real Foods Daily.”

Topher Grace: “The 405.”

What were the challenges of working with this big cast?

Garry Marshall: “Well, the key is you hire everybody whose name starts with ‘J’ to begin with. Jessica, Jamie, Jennifer, Julia… It all works out of that. You can say any name, just starts with a J. It is good for me that I knew many of these people, and to work with them recalls a shorthand because this was a tough schedule. The logistics alone [were difficult], so to work with them all was a pleasure because there was not much fighting. See how calm they are? Nobody’s pushing each other. It’s a nice group. Sometimes they push. ‘I don’t want to sit in this seat.'”

What was your worst Valentine’s Day experience?

Julia Roberts: “Yeah, you’re going to get a lot of takers on that one.”

How about your best?

Julia Roberts: “Well, that’s fair. Jamie, tell us something. Dazzle us with a story of love.”

Jamie Foxx: “Well, love in L.A. for me, when I first got here, when I didn’t have the name tag, it was a little interesting to even try to date in L.A. But it was great. I think when I met this girl on Monday, it was incredible. We went to a party, kicked it, went back to my crib, made love and then after that it was like we cuddled and talked. This was on a Monday. This is on a Monday, we cuddled, talked, then I woke up that morning and I smelled something. It was breakfast. She was cooking breakfast. I was like, ‘Wow, she’s great.’ Hung out, then she left.”

“That was Monday. That was back no cell phones at that time. It was landlines so I didn’t call Tuesday and then Wednesday I didn’t call. Then Thursday I was like, ‘Man, what happened?’ Then Thursday I was at the club and I saw her with another guy and she spoke to me. ‘Hey Jaime, how are you?’ ‘Hey… girl.’ She was like, ‘This is Michael. I told him all about you.’ And I said, ‘Okay, cool.’ And she said, ‘Oh, and by the way, he has a Range Rover like yours only it’s this year’s.’ So that was my early experience in love in L.A.”

Any ideas for a healthy Valentine’s?

Ashton Kutcher: “I think watching this movie is a healthy Valentine. We had a green set so there was a lot of dedication [to] using solar panels and clean energy and recycling. Due to the fact that the movie was shot in L.A. actually made that an easier thing to make happen. In some ways it worked out and in some ways it didn’t, but I think that every opportunity we have in our industry to make what we’re doing something more [of an] environmentally conscious effort is a good thing. So this movie was, I think, mostly a green movie. So coming and supporting a movie that was made that way I think can contribute to that.”

Jennifer Garner: “You get popcorn – without butter.”

Ashton, are you romantic in real life, like your character?

Ashton Kutcher: “Well, I had the good fortune of playing a florist in this movie, and one of my best friends is a florist. So I got to work with him and what I really learned about that was these guys are sort of like the real Cupids, passing these messages of love on from one person to the next person. It’s almost like if you can find something like that that can really translate what it is that you’re trying to say, it’s a big deal. So that was my experience on this movie.”

“As far as being a romantic, I don’t know. I love life and I love people and I love sharing. So I think, yes, I am, I would say.”

Topher Grace: “There wasn’t a Valentine’s Day that went by on That ‘70s Show where I didn’t get a card or something.”

Ashton Kutcher: “I did all kinds of nice sh-t.”

Topher Grace: “It was very, very romantic.”

How do you find time for romance with kids at home and how will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?

Julia Roberts: “My kids go to bed at 7:30.”

Jessica Alba: “Mine goes to bed at 7, but I’m usually too tired, unfortunately.”

Jennifer Garner: “You change the definition of romance. I mean, romance is romance, but in addition, romance can just be breakfast over the tops of heads. Just getting through the day, you’ve just got to create that being romantic.”

And Valentine’s Day plans?

Jennifer Garner: “I think most of us will be promoting a movie. That’ll be romantic.”

Jessica Alba: “We’re pretty spontaneous, like she said. We try to squeeze in a smooch here and there, a little card, just a note to say I love you.”

Julia Roberts: “For Valentine’s Day, we’re just going to be making out – the full 24 hours.”

Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba in 'Valentine's Day.'Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba in ‘Valentine’s Day.’

© New Line Cinema

Jessica Biel: “Laughing, definitely. Right? Just being able to laugh. Not take things too seriously.”

Jessica Alba: “I think communicating. I don’t know.”

Julia Roberts: “I think it’s the same in any city. LA isn’t distinctive in its uniqueness to what makes a relationship work. Two people who work at it in any town you go to, that’s what works.”

Shirley MacLaine: “Coming from a long line of Valentine’s Days and also a long line of cities where I experienced Valentine’s Days, and also a long line of partners, I would say that the key to a good relationship if you’re married is a husband that looks the other way. But mostly to have a successful Valentine’s Day in a successful city and a successful marriage and relationship is that you know who you are. Everything goes from there. We’ll have the next seminar in two hours.”

How much improv did Jamie get to do?

Jamie Foxx: “We had a great time. To work with Garry Marshall, to be back in comedy, working with Jess and Jen in my scenes and there’s aLaverne and Shirley-type energy going on, so it was great. I’m serious. […] We had a great time, and to be able to be back to some comedy and I’m so excited for the chance to work with everybody, it was a ball. I had a good time.”

Your character turns to chocolate. What do you turn to for comfort at disappointing times?

Jessica Biel: “That’s where it usually starts.”

Jennifer Garner: “I would recommend a piñata.”

Ashton Kutcher: “Xanax.”

[From a female reporter] My boyfriend says I’m a bad planner, so how can I get him to make me happy on Valentine’s Day?

Julia Roberts: “Wow, wow. This is, yeah…can we at least dim the lights? Okay, wait a minute. Are you asking me how to cook something? Or… Ah, yeah, well, hmm. Let’s really, let’s break it down. How long have you been with your boyfriend? Two years. And you have sex with him.”

Off the record?

Julia Roberts: “Well, talk to your friends. You opened Pandora’s Box, Pandora. Now, if you want him to make you happy…where’s the problem? Because we can fix this.”

I’m a bad planner.

Julia Roberts: “You’re a bad planner, okay. I heard something a little different. You’re a bad planner. You know what? Make a nice dinner reservation now because that’s the biggest night out of the year, says the former hostess at Simon’s Seafood Bar and Grill. Make a nice dinner reservation and have a nice glass of wine and then go home and, you know, take your top off. I think that’s a recipe for success, wouldn’t you say, Bradley Cooper?”

Bradley Cooper: “Absolutely.”

It seems like love and the pursuit of it is what everyone wants. It’s like a drug. People want to be happy and that’s really the only thing that makes us happy. Can you comment on if you think that’s the case?

Julia Roberts: “It is a drug though, isn’t it? Love and that feeling and what it does to make us all tingling inside and crazy, right? It’s a drug.”

Ashton Kutcher: “When it comes to love, everyone wants to receive it. But at the end of the day you don’t get to receive it until you start to give it. I think it goes for everything – what you give is what you receive. If you want the drug, you have to give the drug.”

In the movie you have a pity party because you hate Valentine’s Day. What are some other suggestions you have for those who like and dislike the holiday?

Topher Grace: “I would say go see the movie. There’s so many pointers in there and, really, you don’t get anything out of it unless you’ve seen it twice.”

Julia and Bradley, can you talk about shooting the sequences in the plane and what that was like?

Bradley Cooper: “I liked to sit down and talk all day.”

Julia Roberts: “We caught up. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and I grilled him pretty good.”

Bradley Cooper: “Yeah!”

Garry Marshall: “They were in a play together and did 83 performances together.”

Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper: “98.”

Garry Marshall: “98? I didn’t go to the last few. They get to know each through 98 performances on the stage together. They were the first shot in the movie – they started it. They were a little nervous, but Julia calmed everyone down.”

Shirley MacLaine: “That’s because Julia is the only one who can understand what Garry Marshall is talking about.”

Since this was such a large cast, many of the actors didn’t get to work together. To what extent were you together as a cast?

Garry Marshall: “The food is free so there were always people on the movie set. I don’t know if Julia met Ashton. This is the first time they’ve met. True story.”

Julia Roberts: “I’m sorry people. I’m sorry!”

Garry Marshall: “Who else never met?”

Julia Roberts: “Well I met Jessica [Biel] earlier. She is one stunning human being. It’s sickening. My Lord!”

Jessica Biel: “Right back at you.”

Shirley MacLaine: “Hello, I’d like to know what all the women here eat. I’d like to have a run down of do you diet all the time and is it worth it?”

Julia Roberts: “You girls are slim.”

Jennifer Garner: “I’m still breast feeding, but after I’ll puff back up.”

Julia Roberts: “All right, well we’ll stay tuned for that.”

Was there another character in the film that you wanted to play?

Jennifer Garner: “Well Julia got to sit the whole time and she pushed the cry button at the end.”

Julia Roberts: “I haven’t seen it. Does it work?”

Jennifer Garner: “It’s like, ‘Ding!’ I knew it was coming so I’m like, ‘Don’t be crazy.’ But (pretending to cry), yes.”

And George?

George Lopez: “I would have been Julia’s character and fall in love with Bradley. To sit with him and talk with him on an airplane would have been amazing. First class.”

Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx in 'Valentine's Day.'

Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx in ‘Valentine’s Day.’

© New Line Cinema

 

What did you think about the way LA was used as a character in the film?Jennifer Garner: “What’s great about the way Garry uses LA in the film is that it’s just a city. It’s not ‘celebrity central’. It’s not about Hollywood. It’s a city, and you never see it that way. You always see it as the backdrop for some other world and glitz and glamour. This reminds you that this is just a city full of people going through the same kinds of little triumphs and tragedies in their love lives as anyone anywhere else in the world.”

Ashton Kutcher: “A friend of mine once told me that Los Angeles is a city filled with the second best looking person from every town across the America. The best looking person stays home because they have it good there.”

Topher Grace: “By the way, wouldn’t you like to meet the guy in Iowa who is better looking than Ashton?”

Ashton Kutcher: “Casey Prince.”

This is for Julia, Hector and Garry. How does it feel to be reunited after Pretty Woman all of these years later?

Julia Roberts: “Well we have a lot of Pretty Woman people. That sounds funny. That sounds grammatically incorrect. Our D.P., Chuck Minsky, shot Pretty Woman, and our prop department. We laughed about a lot of things, particularly how old we’ve all gotten in 20 years. 20 years older, in fact, in 20 years.”

“Every 10 years we do this. We did Pretty Woman and then 10 years later we did Runaway Bride, and then 10 years later Valentine’s Day. So I will see all of you back here when I’m 51.”

Garry Marshall: “I can’t wait to see how beautiful you’ll be.”

I wanted to ask you about translating for Garry. Shirley said earlier his direction needs a little translation. Can you give an example of how you’d translate?

Julia Roberts: “If Garry were to say to you as an actor, ‘Do the thing with the thing and then go over there and be funny. Action!’ That would mean, ‘Sit up straight, smile, look to your co-star, say your lines and be very funny. Action.'”

Garry, you’re known for creating a family-like environment on set. Do you still have that environment with such a large cast?

Garry Marshall: “Well I’ve also had a lot of relatives who were involved. Part of my thing is when you work with these stars, you have to make them comfortable. You surround them with people you like. Bradley Cooper sat on that plane and seated next to them was my grandchild who won’t say a word. She won’t run up to him and say, ‘Give me an autograph.’ My assistant and her husband sat behind them and didn’t say a word. And with Ashton, my daughter was the other clerk with him so he’s comfortable.”

Why does this one day matter when you put so much work into the relationship the rest of the year?

Jamie Foxx: “You’ve got to remember all of these dates and put it in your cell phone if you have to – the birthdays and anniversaries and all of that. Women have fake anniversaries, like, ‘This is the first anniversary we went to Boa.’ ‘What?’ ‘This is our first anniversary for Boa. You don’t remember that?’ ‘We go to Boa all the time.’ So get all those dates down. The most important thing is to four or five days before that day comes, get something for her so you’re prepared. Then you can go without doing something the rest of the year. See, you’re thinking wrong. The rest of the year you can f–k around.”

Ashton Kutcher: “Okay, for the movie we’re doing a thing online. People are posting their best Valentine’s Day gifts and their worst Valentine’s Day gifts. They’re going to tag it V-Day Gifts. They’re going to compile them into the 100 best Valentine’s Day gifts and the 100 worst Valentine’s Day gifts. You’re going to go to the best list and you’re going to pick 

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February 14, 2010 - Posted by | 1

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