In the upcoming indie rom-com Results, Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce star as a pair of dedicated personal trainers with very different approaches to their work. She's acerbic and intense, the kind of intense that'll chase you down the street for cheating on your diet. He's relentlessly motivated but too much of a pushover to take the big next step, be it professionally or personally. But with the meddling of a belligerent and obscenely wealthy eccentric (Kevin Corrigan), these two unlikely lovers might find common ground.
Of course, their Tracy/Hepburn-styled love story isn't all Smulders and Pearce have in common. When Screen Rant sat down with these two in New York City, we not only discussed the finer points of fitness and its relationship to Results, but also probed the possibilities for Smulder's Maria Hill in Captain America: Civil War and the return of Pearce's Iron Man 3 baddie, Aldrich Killian.
So what’s the weirdest piece of advice you’ve ever gotten from a trainer?
Guy Pearce: I don’t know.
Because I had a belly dance instructor who would explain moves to us as if we were mermaids. Like, she was very visual in her language…
Cobie Smulders: Right. There is a lot of animalistic metaphors. I do find that, which I find actually quite helpful. But when I was training and I was working with people to prepare myself to pretend to be a personal trainer, it was about that. it was like you have to figure out how to hook into a person’s personality, like to listen how they talk, and if they are a visual person or a tactile person. So that was interesting, going like you have to kind of approach each person and see what would kind of language would work with them…
Guy Pearce: Almost like being a director and having five different cast and going, “OK, well I’ve got to talk to him differently that I talk to her, than I talk to her.”
You had a background in bodybuilding, too…
Guy Pearce: Yeah, many, many years ago when I was very young. So like 30 odd years ago.
That’s insane to me. I was just watching Priscilla again the other day and it’s like it’s insane that that’s 20 years ago.
Guy Pearce: Yes. It’s true.
And also that you watch Priscilla and go, “Oh yeah, that guy as a bodybuilder, obviously.”
Guy Pearce: Right. Not so much now. [laughs]
No, no. I just mean that they’re so different personas.
Guy Pearce: Yeah. Look, the great thing about having had that gym experience, I suppose, from all those years ago…And, you know, I’ve been to the gym since then.
Yeah. I was going to say, I’ve seen this movie.
Guy Pearce: You know, it comes back pretty quickly, to a degree…
Cobie Smulders: Right. Lesson memory…
Guy Pearce: Yeah. That, and also just the feeling familiar in a gym. I’ve always felt really sort of comfortable and familiar with equipment, etcetera. So it was easy for me to slip into playing this role, to a degree.
It’s interesting, because the two of you in the film kind of have a Hepburn/Tracy dynamic where it’s a romance that starts from a place of conflict…
Cobie Smulders: We’ll take that.
How did you guys work on developing that dynamic?
Cobie Smulders: We just, like, wrestled a lot.
Guy Pearce: That’s right. We fought.
Cobie Smulders: We fought. And we made up.
Guy Pearce: It was there in the script, really, wasn’t it? We made up, yeah. There was a lot of makeup sex.
Cobie Smulders: Which is fine because we’re method actors and it was cool.
Guy Pearce: You were already pregnant, so…
Cobie Smulders: And I was already pregnant, so we knew…
Guy Pearce: So we were safe…
No harm, no foul.
Cobie Smulders: No, but we got along really well, which helps. Neither one of us are jerks, so that’s helpful.
Guy Pearce: Questionable. No, we had fun. And it was actually really delightful to kind of express that stuff, that awkward stuff that was there in the script, to sort of see how that worked for us. Obviously, Andrew is really good at going, “Well I want you to do the best version of this. I don’t want to make you do a version of this that isn’t going to be natural.”
So you were allowed to riff a little?
Guy Pearce: It wasn’t even riffing so much. It was just getting onboard in a way that felt right and appropriate.
Both of you have a little bit of Marvel background obviously. What can we expect to see Maria Hill do in Captain America: Civil War?
Cobie Smulders: That’s a really sneaky question. Way to try to just sneak that one in and I can’t say anything about it. Nice try.
Because she’s such a big deal in the comics!
Cobie Smulders: I agree.
Killing me, killing me, killing me! We hear a lot about the really intense contracts and stuff. So when you signed on, even though we know what happens to Aldridge and the end of Iron Man 3, were they at all like, “But this clause here says we can make you a robot clone”? Was there anything like that?
Cobie Smulders: Oh my gosh. That would be awesome if you could be a robot clone.
Guy Pearce: No. They just said, “You’re done”.
It was just a one picture deal.
Guy Pearce: Yeah. “You’re done”.
Cobie Smulders: I love how it it’s just like, “You’re both part of the Marvel universe.” Pretty soon ever actor is going to dip a toe in that water…
Guy Pearce: Yeah. It’s like being a member of SAG.
Cobie Smulders: It’s pretty much going to employ all of SAG at one point…
Yeah. Marvel is single-handedly paying every actor’s healthcare.
Cobie Smulders: Yeah, thank god they are.
Guy Pearce: Keeping the industry alive, because let me tell you, this lot, terrible.
Because not every movie is making you into a personal trainer.
Cobie Smulders: Yeah.
Guy Pearce: Correct.
Results is now playing in theaters.