Reese Witherspoon joined her How Do You Know costars Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson yesterday for a press conference in NYC during their weekend-long junket with writer-director James L. Brooks. Reese and the boys laughed their way through the questions and answers, and she chatted about being stuck between Paul and Owen, and even revealed one particularly bad date from her past. Owen shared a unique tale about firing a machine gun with friends beneath an embassy's tennis court, while Paul and Jack likewise weighed in with funny anecdotes — read selected excerpts below, and stay tuned for more quotes!
- Reese on bad blind dates: "I had someone correct my grammar on a blind date once, and I knew in the first ten minutes that the date was over. You just don’t correct someone’s grammar! I’m from Tennessee I probably said everything wrong. I probably said ain’t or something."
- Reese on her motivations: "I’m definitely one of those people who has post-its everywhere. The six evils of the world. I really do! Desire, greed, envy. . . Try to tell myself all those things to avoid! Positive affirmations, I have to say “Judge not lest ye be judged” has guided me through life."
- Reese on being unsettled like her character: "I think it’s really interesting to play a woman who can articulate that she isn’t ready to have a family — isn’t even sure she wants to have a family! I have a lot of friends like that. I think it’s a really interesting character than can say it. And I think Jim really wrote it so beautifully, that emotional honesty of someone who is not afraid to be honest about maybe not wanting what other women want. And I think there’s a lot of women out there like that. I think it’s really interesting to play a character like that. Obviously it’s not like myself, I have two kids, a very sort of settled-down life. But it was cool to play that girl."
- Reese on being the filling in a Rudd/Wilson sandwich: "It’s a tough job, you know ladies, but someone’s got to do it! It was great. How lucky am I to work with two of the most talented, funny, attractive, hysterical men. It was weird too because — oh I could go on. . . Every time I’d do a scene with Owen, I’d get really attached to Owen. Then the day he had to leave I started crying out of nowhere!"
To read about Paul's very bad blind date and Owen's gun adventures, plus more from Reese, just read more.
- Reese on what she liked in her character's flaws: "I think what was interesting about my character is that I’ve done a lot of comedies where a woman talks a lot about her romantic dynamics, and there’s always talking about men and then what should I do? And this character is woman who has a hard time conveying her emotions and doesn’t even want to talk about things, which is sort of an interesting female character. My character says to Owen, “If I wake up in the middle of the night and start crying, just ignore me please.” What woman would ever say that in real life? But that was sort of a fascinating character for me, because I usually play verbal characters and this woman is sort of interior."
- Paul on his bad blind date: "I and a friend of mine went on a double date with these two girls, and it started off we were trying to impress the girls and make each other laugh. It started off innocently enough with my friend kicking his shoe 30 feet in the air, just as we’re walking down the street, and it really struck me as funny, so then I tried to outdo him and I just jumped on a mailbox or something and kept walking. And each thing kept escalating and the girls didn’t laugh at any of these, but it ended, finally, while I was driving. I had a Jeep at the time and we were driving back and I thought it would be funny to, in the middle of conversation, jump out of the Jeep and run alongside and keep the conversation going as if it was normal. But I didn’t take into account that when you’re going slowly in a car it is still really fast. In the middle of the conversation, I just stepped out of the car and fell so hard on the road I ripped my jeans and I cut up my hands, and I felt the tire whoosh past my head and, in a split second, the car’s already 50 feet ahead of me going into a tree. And they were completely shell-shocked, and I felt so stupid, that we just drove home in silence. And that was the only date I had with them."
- Reese on bad advice she’s received: "I really wanted to be a Broadway kid so I went to all these camps in the Catskills, and I had to sing and dance and act. And I remember getting through the singing session, and I had my evaluation at the end. They said, “Whatever you do, don’t sing.” And I told that story when I won an award for Walk the Line. I was like, “Thank God I didn’t listen!” But it was hard to get over that mental block because someone had told me, basically you don’t know how to do that and don’t do that. You’ve got to be careful what you say to people!"
- Owen on the real machine gun story: "Somehow a friend knew somebody with one of the embassies that had a tennis court, and then when they let us on to play tennis, they had a machine gun range underneath the embassy that then they took us to shoot on."
- Jack on what he does when he’s not working: "I just like getting up sometime between 11 and 1, this is not movie hours unless you’re doing night movies. Play golf. I got a couple of kids in college so I’m on the phone a lot. See my pals. Chase women around. . . Talk to my Congressman."