For those of you that don’t know, Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opens in theaters everywhere October 10th. And I recently had the opportunity to seen a pre-screening of the movie. It was FABULOUS! I highly recommend it. In addition, I was invited to sit down with Steve Carrel and Jennifer Garner and talk about their roles in the movie. They are both so amazing, down-to-earth and a perfect match for characters in the movie.
Q : So, how did you both get involved with the project?
SC : Um, I was asked to be in it, and I said yes. I just, I liked the script, I thought it was funny, and, uh, and inventive, and different. I feel like I hadn’t really seen this kind of family movie in a while. Um, and, uh, and the fact that Jen was going to do it was a — a huge draw for me, because I’d been a huge fan of hers for a long time.
It’s true. I — and we — we met — we met a few times over the years, but just sort of in passing, and I — you know when someone not only lives up to, but exceeds expectations, of everything you’ve heard about them? That was her. She’s just — she was —
JG : Steve Carell!
SC : — the nicest person. She is. She’s the nicest person ever.
JG : Um, well, he’s fibbing a little bit, because he was actually on it, on this movie first, so I was the one who knew he was doing it and said “Oh, yeah, we — I’ve been dying to work with him forever.”
SC : I continued to do it because —
JG : [LAUGHTER] We had a really good time.
Q : Okay, so, I asked fans, and one of the burning questions they wanted to know was: were there any days on set that were really bad days, just like in the film?
JG : Go ahead, Steve.
SC : Um. There was one that we kind of point to. There we scene where we were outside, around the car, talking after the big accident and after the driving test. And it must have been — well, like it’s been the last week here. Like, 105 or something. And so that was probably the most arduous day, physically.
JG : You know, I think it was tough because the baby got upset.
SC : [LAUGHTER] Well, yeah.
JG : You know. Like —
SC : That too.
JG : — it — that just — you know what that does, I mean, that practically made me lactate. It’s like, “Whaa –!” And there’s nothing you can do. And — but, um —
SC : You know what? We can set her off just by going “Wahh!”
JG : Could. [LAUGHTER]
Q : How many shrimp did you have to catch?
JG : He did that. That was really —
SC : How many what?
JG : Shrimp. Did you have to catch.
SC : Oh. I caught the shrimp.
JG : He caught the shrimp. I mean, they were saying “We’ll CG” and Steve said, “I’ll give it a go.” He did it. We were very excited.
SC : Yeah, secret talent.
JG : Did you know you had that talent?
SC : I didn’t.
JG : Until that moment?
SC : I didn’t know that I had that — that shr — eye-shrimp coordination.
Q : I have a question. You guys made a film where the parents in the film are very relatable, and just the kind of parents you’d want to have, but I kind of, in doing my research, realized they kind of parallel you guys. Any experiences where you were like, oh my gosh, I’m filming this and it’s déjà vu ’cause this has happened?
SC : No. [LAUGHTER]. It doesn’t — it doesn’t — excellent question. However, um, no, I think I related in the broad strokes of being a parent, and — and my wie and I really co-parent. We — you know. We — we divide and conquer in terms of everything that we need to do with our kids. So, so I think I understood it and related to it on that level. But it’s — it’s crazy. It’s fun. It’s ridiculous.
It’s never what you think it’s going to be. And, at the end of it all, you can’t really take yourself too seriously, as a parent. Um, and that’s the joy of it. Um, but, yeah. I mean, but I relate. I think we both definitely related and brought our own experiences to — to the movie. And if things in the script or things that we were doing didn’t feel genuine, we would speak up and we would offer our own personal experiences.
JG : For sure.
Q : Steve, Lisa told us you did the fire scene yourself, so I just wanted to hear about that —
JG : So exciting.
SC : Jen was like, petrified.
JG : I was so nervous. Even though I had been set on fire before, you know what it’s gonna be, but I was so nervous to watch —
SC : Very protective.
JG : — Steve be set on fire, and I didn’t want the kids to see him be set on fire, like, our movie kids. It was very, very tough on me. Um, but they put gel on you —
SC : It really wasn’t scary. I — I think it — I hope it looks scarier than it —
JG : Steve, you got very, very unfunny —
SC : I got focused. I got focused.
JG : You got unfunny and very focused. You couldn’t say that you did not — you were not aware that you were on fire.
SC : I was aware that I was on fire, and I prepared to be on fire —
JG : Mm-hmm.
SC : And with the stunt coordinator, we — we prepared to light me on fire, but —
JG : Mm-hmm, and then you were on fire.
SC : And then I was on fire. And it’s the type of thing you don’t want to do a lot. You don’t want to do 25 takes of the Steve on Fire scene. So, you just try to get it right that first time, so you can move on. And —
Q : And it was the first time? You did it perfect?
SC : Once or twice.
JG : I feel like it was twice.
SC : Yeah. I think we did it, yeah, about twice.
Q : So, how was it, working with Dick van Dyke?
JG : So exciting. So exciting, I mean, Mary Poppins at my house, is like, one of the top three films of all happiness. Times. And, uh, so, the fact that I was there with him, was — and I got him to do “Chim Chim Cheree” with me between takes. All so great. He was just funny and warm and lovely, and so accepts his role as being somebody that we’ve all grown up with and an icon in entertainment, with such grace. He was really — it was really a great day.
Q : I mean, doing such a fun movie, how many takes did you go through without laughing, because I will bet you were laughing the whole time. How hard was that?
JG : There are definitely scenes in the movie that, I don’t know how they cut me to — I felt so — because I just wanted Steve to think that I was professional.
SC : [LAUGHTER]
JG : And I — there were times where I just couldn’t. I could not not laugh with him. I don’t know how anyone — I defy you to be in a scene with him and not laugh.
SC : Well, the same. The same from my perspective. The scene. [LAUGHTER] The scene where she’s screaming at the car in front of us. I mean, that’s a side of her I had never seen before, and it was crushing me. It was so, so good. I —
JG : The scene where we were in the car, making the weird sound, and I look at him and he’s going, “Arararara!” I can’t even think about it. I can’t watch it. Oh.
SC : But that, I think, was part of just, uh, the joy of doing it. And the kids laughed too. Like it wasn’t — it was work, and we tried to get it right, and we tried to, you know, to do it well, but it also had to be fun. And buoyant. And — and we had to feel like, you know, what’s the point of doing anything unless you’re enjoying it, and I think we really — had a — everyone had a good time doing it.
Q : What was your favorite scene to film?
SC : What was my favorite scene to film? Um. Boy.
JG : I liked when we were all together.
SC : That’s what I was gonna say. Like, any — well, we were all together for most of the movie.
JG : A lot. Dancing at the end. It’s just, all of the fun stuff, is really, it’s fun, it looks fun, and it is, and there was, um — there was a day between scenes where we had, um — they were setting up the cameras, and it’s the kind of thing, it was really, it was warm out, and it was the kind of thing where you would typically go back to your trailers, and do whatever you needed to do.
And I would do an interview with one of you guys about something. Or — but, instead, they just put us in a little room in the house, and we all had our phones with us. And we sat with those kids, and nobody ever looked at their phones, and nobody ever — we just talked. We just, you wouldn’t think that you would have that much to talk about with teenagers, you know, because it seems like they’re from another planet. But these are the coolest group of the smartest, most interesting, engaging kids.
And the five of us just hung out together, and had the best time, and that, to me, is kind of the crux of this whole movie, was just that feeling in that room, and that nobody came in and bugged us. Nobody else was there. It was just us as a group. And it was something that we chose to do.
SC : On my last day, uh, Dylan and Kerris did a song for me that they had written. And —
JG : And Ed.
SC : And Ed. Yeah. The three of them. Sang this song. But I think the two of them wrote it and the three of them performed it, and I — I broke down.
Q : Aww…
SC : I really didn’t see it coming. Yeah. I’m saying it because I want to elicit that response. But really —
JG : It was the —
SC : — it really crept on me, the emotion of it all, and kind of the — the feelings that we all had, just over a cop ule of months for one another. And to see everyone again, and be doing press, is really fun —
JG : It’s different when you work with kids. You — you know, you really feel a different sense of — like, I know I’ll see Steve. I’ll always be glad to see him and hopefully we’ll work together at some point, but we played these kids’ parents. You know. Especially the babies. If you are working with kids, even though there are people there, making sure they’re okay, and their parents, but you’re the one saying, “Do you want a snack? Do you have to pee?” Do you know? “Are you tired?”
SC : There is a responsibility there.
JG : Yeah.
SC : You know. You want to make it okay for everybody. You want everybody to be happy. And be having fun. But, also, you know, you try to sense what’s — what is going on with them.
It was really a great day, a great interview and all around amazing time to sit with both of these fabulous stars and talk about the new movie. I”ve always been a big Steve Carell fan from back in the days when he played in the “Office”. He’s always be super funny to watch. Anytime I want to have a good day filled with laughter, I’ll put something in that Steve stars in and it makes my day lighter every-time. He lived up to his reputation in Alexander Very Bad Day and I wouldn’t expect anything less. If you love Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner you’re really going to love this new flick. Don’t forget it opens in theaters October 10th! #VeryBadDay #DisneyInHomeEvent #VeryBadDayEvent!