There is repeated mention in the film of an “incident” in 2008 in which the indomitable Amy Squirrel (seemingly) went off the deep end and created all manner of chaos that no one wants repeated. The specifics of the ordeal are never revealed in the film, however, leaving the audience to fill in the (in my version) debaucherous blanks.
SR: Now, I know that you said you didn’t want to give specific details about what happened in 2008, but did you and Jake talk about it at all?
“We didn’t actually, but you know in my mind it was just something totally embarrassing that she did, like she went crazy and perhaps started taking her clothes off in public – that sort of thing – and had to be sort of shuffled out and sent to the hospital for a couple of months to sort of rest, relax, and regenerate and find her inner Squirrel again. But I really enjoyed that aspect of the character that it was never divulged what happened. That it was sort of, you know, fresh in everyone’s memory — all these sort of crazy things that she had done.”
You said that Cameron, Jason and Justin were all down to earth and lovely to work with. There also seems like there’s a lot of joking around. Were there any on-set shenanigans?
“There weren’t really pranks or anything like that, because I feel like within the script there are kind of enough pranks going on so everyone had gotten it out of their system. Also, we really were working pretty fast but certainly we were laughing all the time and it was such a pleasure because we were waiting for lights to be set-up and rather than just going back to the trailers everyone was just hanging around on-set and making jokes and just cracking each other up.”
SR: Were there any scenes that were tough to get through?
“I found the scene with Justin where I give him “Eat, Pray, Love” (and it’s his favorite book) and we’re looking at each other and… the pair of us kept cracking up during that scene. I think, sadly, it was so ludicrous to both of us that he could be falling in love with me. I mean it was just such a ludicrous situation, and I found the voice that he was doing so funny, he had on this very gentle voice, very sincere and earnest and he was just looking at me and falling in love… it just completely cracked me up.”
Even in our brief meeting with Punch we can see a myriad of reasons why JT would fall in love with her — Amy Squirrel however, is a whole other matter.
SR: Is there anything that you’re looking forward to seeing that was cut out of the final film?
“I did a scene that was my worst scene to shoot that didn’t make the movie, and it’s where Cameron vomits on me. I’m sort of talking about my sort of ideal guy and it’s totally nauseating and she’s also really hung over and she threw-up all over me. And we did so many takes and Camron is incredible, she was just holding this awful stuff in her mouth. It was like mushroom soup mixed with something else — cold — ugh, and the smell of it, I wanted to be sick. Phyllis and I were both doing the scene and we were both just like gagging. I’d like to see that because I just need to see it once. I guess it was so gross that it got cut. It was decided that we don’t need to see people throwing up — but I’d like to see it.”
SR: How many takes did you do?
“A-lot! And I had to get changed — it was going down between my boobs…”
At this point the two of us must pause to make ralfing noises and laugh.
“It was awful! I was really, really awful and I just couldn’t believe how great Cameron was about it. She was just like happy holding it in.”
SR: Where do you go from being thrown-up on repeatedly by Cameron Diaz?
“I’m actually about to start working on “Yellow” which Nick Cassavetes is directing. I’m excited for that because it’s really dark and a very dark character. She’s this girl that’s just getting out of an insane asylum, I keep playing all these unhinged characters, and she cuts herself and she’s talking in tongues and she’s in love with her brother.”
SR: Who’s her brother?
SR: Oh wow. I literally measure an actor’s performance by degrees of Ben Foster. Eight degrees of Ben Foster is pretty much Brando.
“Isn’t he wonderful?
SR: Yes, he really is. So she’s in love with her brother and is he in love with her?
“No, she’s kind of the monster in the attic, this crazy girl. But no he’s not, that’s sort of why she was so screwed up because he’s sleeping with our other sister.”
SR: Whaaaat! So, does it become a thriller, a modern-day Jane Eyre-esque thriller?
“It’s not a thriller. It’s actually got comic elements — but the darkest of dark comedies.”
SR: Okay, so it’s about the interplay in those relationships?
“Yes. Nick Cassavetes’ wife is the lead character in this incredibly dysfunctional family.”
SR: She’s the other sister?
SR: Well that sounds absolutely amazing.
“You know I love doing comedy, but it’s lovely to go between the two. So as soon as I finish that up it’ll be like, ‘well now I’m ready to do something light and fluffy!’”
SR: What about your character at the end of the film, where does someone like Amy Squirrel goes from there?
“Well at the end of the movie she’s going off to Malcolm X high school.”
SR: I know it’s hilarious.
“I know. I mean I think that’s another spin off. I don’t think they’re going to make another movie about that but maybe a webisode. I think it would be really, really funny to see her life at the school and to see how she copes. I think she kind of, she’d light the charge…”
SR: Or get shot. (Both laughing)
“Or get shot. Yes.”
SR: Or a little of both, I feel like she’s a little unstoppable.
As is Ms. Punch, who (aside from playing a mad-as-a-hatter brother lover for Nick Cassavetes) is now also slated to star in Powers, the new show based on the comic series about a homicide detective who works cases involving people with superpowers.
You can see Punch go toe-to-toe with Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher, beginning this Friday, June 24th.
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