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July 2006
My Super Ex-Girlfriend Press Conference

My Super Ex-Girlfriend Press Conference
Participants: Uma Thurman, Ivan Reitman, Luke Wilson, Rainn Wilson, Don Payne

July 17, 2006

Coming out on July 21 is a new superhero who’s a little bit of her rockers when it comes saving the world and all that. This is a hero with flaws and we get to see the insecurities they have when they the best of emotions get to them. In My Super Ex-Girlfriend, a man (Wilson) finds out that his girlfriend (Thurman) is a superhero, but when he breaks up with her for being too neurotic and controlling, she uses her super powers to torment and embarass him. Participating at a recent press conference in New York to promote the film were Director Ivan Reitman, Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Rainn Wilson, and screenwriter Don Payne.

Uma, is it hard to save the world in heels?

Uma Thurman: Well, if you’re going to save the world, you should do it in style. But, ah, no.

Did you have a lot of input with the costume design?

Thurman: Well I don’t know about you guys [gestures to Rainn and Luke] but, it’s such a part of your character. It can’t wear you, you have to wear it.

Luke Wilson: I know the first time she put it on, a huge amount of photographers showed up and I was told to stand out there with Uma and I could just sense that it wasn’t quite right. They kept telling me: “Could you just step to the side or Uma? A little further? Further?” Next thing I knew I was about 10 yards away. So people were very interested to see what her costume was going to be.

Thurman: Most importantly, the whole underthing of the movie is it’s a romantic comedy. It’s earth-based, that’s the humor. That’s what Don wrote, that’s what Ivan directed. It’s not like you’re a rubber suit… if you want ‘The Incredibles,’ animate it. We wanted to do something that’s about everyday. If you stumbled upon a meteor and suddenly had super powers, a New York girl, or from wherever you may be, what would you do? Target? The mall? Gucci? You have to put together a look, keep your identity under control. So we just approached it from a very earthly, working day, kind of like the texture of the movie.

Luke, did you ever think you’d have that fear on your face when the beautiful Uma Thurman was on top of you on a moving bed?

L. Wilson: No I didn’t. I don’t want to get too much into it, but that wouldn’t be the expression I’d have, let’s just leave it at that.

Filming that scene must have been a lot of fun?

Thurman: [Raises an eyebrow] Really? Right back at ya, babe. [Laughs]

It’s left you speechless?

L. Wilson: Oh I thought I took care of that answer. No, it was fun. Sometimes when you do a love scene it can get very serious on the set and they try and close it down, offer you robes, but when we did this scene it was these two big burly crew guys shaking the bed, cigarette dangling out of their mouth…

Thurman: Riding a sled. Boom!

L. Wilson: We had fun doing it so it didn’t have that, it was just like filming a fun scene.

Thurman: I generally don’t find sex scenes that interesting anymore in movies. I don’t know about you guys…

L. Wilson: Have you ever seen ‘Wild Orchid?’

Thurman: Yeah, I’ve seen Wild Orchid and you know I don’t find that sexy, but this scene is funny. Can you think of a funnier sex scene in a movie?

Rainn Wilson: Last Tango in Paris?

Thurman: [Laughs] You gotta go almost overseas to get the humor back in sex and I love seeing that in a mainstream American movie. Having some lightness, some humor, not all stagied up with the pasties on… it’s weird.

L. Wilson: The sweat on you…

Thurman: Yeah, fake glycerin all over their nasty backs. How about this shot, have you seen this lately? [mimics interlocking hands pounding against a headboard]

What about the super speed? I was talking to the writers at one point and they said something about super speed?

Thurman: In the sex? That wouldn’t be nicer. Why rush?

Ivan Reitman: It was actually a tricky problem because we were basically making a movie that we hoped as broad an audience could see as possible. It should be a sex scene that you would have some element that would represent, because I always thought as a kid when I read my comic books, I thought ‘Do they ever make love?’ And what would that be like?’ A whole series of questions we tried to answer…

L. Wilson: Rainn’s whole take on it, he was talking about Superman and Lois Lane, is he thinks it would be dangerous for them to sleep together. You’ve never actually seen a superhero in the sack like that, so I found it to be quite refreshing.

Reitman: So to get back to my answer…

L. Wilson: I thought I was trying to help you, boss.

Reitman: No, it’s just highly conceptualized. What are we actually going to see on screen that we could get away with and be funny and that wouldn’t take the movie in the wrong direction. As I was sitting with the crew in preproduction, because everybody’s worried about an R-rating, an X-rating, and I said, ‘What if we just start to see the bed move back and forth?’ So from that we sort of started constructing that and I thought if we just saw faces and the bed move, there could be something funny there, that was really the germ of the idea.

What about the rating, because you know kids are going to want to see this?

Reitman: What do you mean by kids, do you mean 3 or 13 year olds? It’s a PG-13 movie, I think it’s appropriate for that age group.

L. Wilson: We’re well within the law.

Thurman: Better take your kids to the movie so they don’t watch the news.

R. Wilson: I used to say, when asked what super power I would have, I’d want the power to blow myself, and we did an optional take there where I said the ability to orally gratify myself, so I think both 3 year olds and 13 year olds will get something from it and it’s safe for adult consumption, and we can all enjoy the joke.

L. Wilson: That’s what we call ‘a great save’ in the business.

Do all actors dream of playing a superhero?

Thurman: Every nerdy high school kid does, I sure did in high school

L. Wilson: Growing up, just watching cartoons, I was more an Alfred E Neuman guy, is that, anything? I was never really into superheroes, I was more into Alfredie Newman. I just liked the idea that anybody as a kid, he wore a t-shirt in this sketch in MAD that said ‘Ask me about our salad bar’ and that was more what appealed to me.

R. Wilson: I had some very deep fantasies about Linda Carter as Wonder Woman as a child that really screwed me up. He thighs and her golden lariat, it was…

Thurman: Golden lariat? Good grief.

L. Wilson: Is that what they call it?

What about horrible lines you’ve tried on women?

L. Wilson: You want to know a really bad one I heard? ‘Hi, I’m Rainn Wilson. Do you like TV?’

Thurman: ‘Do you have cable? Let me tell you about some Tivo…’

R.Wilson: Luke often uses, ‘Hi, I’m Owen Wilson’

Thurman: Good reach.

L. Wilson: You probably recognize the voice, I’ve had my hair darkened. I’m Owen Wilson. You know, as a kid growing up it’s tough to talk to girls sometimes. I’ve never had a good line really.

R. Wilson: I’ve used, ‘Hey, I’ve got my own bobble-head’

Do you have any idea who you’re hoping will see the film

Reitman: We’ve started to screen the movie and it doesn’t seem to break down or bisect with age. People have enjoyed the movie a great deal. My sense was that the main thrust of this is that it’s a comedy, perhaps a romantic comedy. It’s certainly what interested me about Don Payne’s script originally, the opportunity to kind of find some new moves in the romantic comedy area and it’s played very naturalistically, it’s in a real New York, with real people, except for the one supernatural element, that because of some accident this girl has special powers from the age of 17. What would her life be like and what would it be like for a regular guy who starts going out with this person.

Don Payne: I wanted to write what I thought was funny and what I wanted to see.

Thurman: Obviously Don’s been traumatized by some heavy-duty bitches. This is a cathartic expression of a survivor.

L. Wilson: The first screenplay was much darker

Thurman: We were all scratching our heads about poor Don and what he’d been through.

L. Wilson: We lightened it up quite a bit from what was on the page… I’m just kidding around. It’s a great script.


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