When you’re discussing a film about a guy who puts together a fake family so he can smuggle an RV full of marijuana across the US-Mexican boarder, there’s only so many serious press conference questions to ask.
We’re the Millers stars Jason Sudeikis as David Clark, a guy who never grew out of his college pot-dealing days. When he winds up getting attacked and robbed by a gang of teens, David’s got no choice but to report to his boss, Brad (Ed Helms), to tell him that he lost his entire stash. Rather than get mad, Brad opts to get even, offering David an opportunity to clear his name and even make back some money in the process. All he’s got to do is go down to Mexico and come back with a “smidge” of marijuana. In an effort to avoid being the lonely 30-something white guy the boarder patrol is bound to search, David recruits a local stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway (Emma Roberts), and his geeky neighbor (Will Poulter) to pose as a vacationing family, the Millers.
Considering the large majority of the questions focused on topics including stripping, boobs, a weed baby, and a variety of other questionable concepts, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the press conference with director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, Poulter, and Kathryn Hahn got silly, fast. In an effort to preserve some of the hilarity in text, we’re taking a serious and sarcastic approach to our report. To help put the quotes into context, we’re dubbing the material either silly or sober, so you can accurately indulge in the meatier behind-the-scenes tidbits and enjoy the playful banter.
[WARNING - MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW]
On looking good during the stripping scenes …
Sober: “It was an amazing choreographer, a wonderful trainer, and a beautiful cinematographer.” – Aniston
Silly: “No food. There was a lot of celery, lot of salads, lot of celery sticks, lot of cucumbers, ice chips. They did let me eat ice chips … You can eat normally, but no carbs.” – Aniston
On performing in the stripping scenes …
Sober: “I worked with this amazing choreographer and started learning some pretty crazy moves, and it kind of just became easy. It was really fun actually.” – Aniston
Silly: “It was really fun, so I have a stripper pole in my house now.” Someone asks if a sex tape will be next and Aniston jokes, “Me and Paris Hilton - and Kate Hudson.”
On getting into character to play an “angry stripper” …
Sober: “I think she’s a sad stripper who’s sort of built up this tough exterior from being disappointed many times throughout her life and making just some bad choices, bad men choices … I thought of her maybe as a classically trained dancer at one point who then didn’t quite make it, obviously.” – Aniston
Silly: “But how did I get into it? I pretended. And acted.” – Aniston
On working with Aniston …
Sober: “We’ve worked together in the past, but then, Jen’s made Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, every major comedy guy star for the last ten years look good, so I just stood there.” - Sudeikis
Silly: “I just stood there and looked pretty … Just a piece of meat in khakis.” - Sudeikis
On Sudeikis’ lack of a sense of smell …
Sober: “Since I was a kid, I never had a sense of smell.” - Sudeikis
Silly: “It makes it tougher to memorize lines because smell’s connected to memory. So it’s a real struggle for me and I’m glad to shed some light on it … But I can act like I’m smelling something bad or good.” – Sudeikis
David Clark vs. David Miller …
Sober: “Between Denver David and David Miller was how many buttons I had buttoned on my shirt. And that was literally how I made the distinction. When I was playing buttoned-up that means there was somebody of authority around … and then one button would be when I was like chilled out and relaxed and more angry.” - Sudeikis
Silly: “If you can see chest hair, I’m angry and if you can’t, then I’m annoyed.” – Sudeikis
On the characters becoming a family in the film …
Sober: “They basically find their family. They sort of, out of this crazy situation, they kind of all find the soft spot in each other and find partnership, which is what everyone’s hopefully looking for, companionship.” - Aniston
Silly: “Dr. Phil says you gotta fake it till you feel it. You know? So they faked it and then they ended up feeling it. Hopefully the audience feels the same way. That is his thing. [Imitating Dr. Phil] You gotta fake it till you feel it! Fake it till you make it? Is it Dr. Phil? I think it was Dr. Phil. Or maybe it’s some other fake doctor.” – Sudeikis
Sober: “That’s sort of what was fun about it … I don’t think it happens where it’s an illusion. I think we actually become a family. You spend three, four months of your life every day, all day, sometimes way too long, and you just have each other.” – Aniston
Silly: “It’s the reality show model; put people in the same town in the middle of North Carolina for four months, give ‘em a job … and then you end up loving each other and liking each other and hating each other and getting annoyed with each other.” – Sudeikis
On doing research and getting into character …
Sober: “Yeah, actually that was my phone the whole time so I was actually listening to my music and kind of tuning everyone else out … I got to wear fake facial piercings, which I guess helped me get into that character.” - Roberts
Silly: “You had to drag me out of that strip club every night.” – Aniston
“I tried to spend 20 minutes with a drug dealer about every two months.” - Sudeikis
“A lot of virgin conventions.” – Poulter “Will had his hymen reconnected, you know, rejuvenated for the role.” – Sudeikis
On the infamous black skateboard drawing …
Sober: “I think that was week one, end of the week. I think we were outside and there was a bunch of mosquitos. It was a joke I really loved. It was in the script and Jen was game to kind of do it. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but I think she nailed it. The only thing I’ll say is the picture you see of the big black skateboard, I drew.” - Thurber
Silly: “That’s your thing. Hitchcock would always appear in his movies; you always draw a big black penis.” - Sudeikis
On Poulter’s big make out scene …
Sober: “Originally it was just Kenny and Casey, it was just Will and Emma, and I think it was Jen who thought it would be funny if Rose joined it, and it made all the difference in the sequence.” - Thurber
Silly: “It felt like a lot of coverage … It’s like boohoo, tiny violin, because it was the greatest experience of that young boy’s life, which he will remember forever.” – Poulter
On editing the film …
Straight Sober: “You do your best early and then you put it up in front of audiences and you sort of take your lumps as you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and a lot of times you’re taking out jokes that don’t work and you’re keeping the jokes that do work. I know that sounds simple, but once you take out the stuff that isn’t working the stuff that is gets closer together and then sort of a rising tide kind of lifts all boats.” - Thurber
“There was one beat where Jen and Jason, they stop for gas, the Millers stop for gas, and then Rose gets sort of accosted by a creepy trucker and then Jason saves her and everybody takes off. The scene worked, it was really fun, it was kind of funny, but we literally were stopping for gas in the movie and we couldn’t do it just from a rhythm perspective.” – Thurber
When someone asks how it feels to take down a drug cartel …
Straight Silly: “Someone thinks it’s a documentary … Let’s look for Avengers-type numbers for this movie!” - Sudeikis
On the weed baby scene …
Silly/Sober: “There’s a lot of imagining of what that would be if we actually thought that a child had been run over by a semi multiple times after being hurled into the air by its mother … and then crushed into leaves while looking at a little taped X. That was fantastic.” – Hahn
We’re the Millers will get a wide release on Wednesday, August 7, 2013.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.
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