The fantastic kids of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day are charming, funny and just love to be normal kids. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette & Kerris Dorsey characters of the movie, Alexander, Anthony, and Emily. We were laughing and learning about how close actors get on a movie set. They felt so close to Steve Carell that they made up a song and sang it to him, and that brought him to tears. Check out our full interview with them.
What was it like to act with Steve? Was he funny everyday and off camera?
Ed : He was– no, he wasn’t fun– no, I’m kidding. He was like the funniest person. He could make anything sound fun, anything.
Dylan : It’s effortless. It’s effortless.
Ed : Yeah, it’s like just completely–
Dylan : He can say what he’s having for lunch and you’re just like in tears on the floor.
Ed : Yeah, you could– you could just look at him. And he’ll give you one look. And you will just be in uncontrollable laughter.
Kerris : Yeah, and he’s so like one thing is he’s so smart. He’s such a smart person. I think you have to be that intelligent in order to be that funny because it’s
Ed : His humor is just so–
Kerris : It’s so witty and so like impeccable. Um, so that was really cool. You can just tell by looking at him, like talking to him that’s he’s just so smart. And the wheels are always turning. So–
Q : What was everybody’s favorite scene with him?
Ed : I think the party scene.
Dylan : I’ve been saying the party scene.
Kerris : Party scene.
Ed : Yeah, it was really cool.
Kerris : Party scene was so fun.
Dylan : Yeah, I mean it was just like, what, 200 people and animals and swimming and music and food and just-
Kerris : It was so cool. We were there for a long time. So it sort of became like a home to us, you know? So, yeah, that was so fun. We actually ate the food at one point.
Dylan : I was stealing– I was stealing candy all the time.
Ed : It was poisoned.
Kerris : We were eating. We were dancing.
Dylan : It was poisoned too.
Ed : It was fake.
Dylan : It was plastic candy.
Kerris : But it wasn’t real. But it was so good.
Q : How many takes actually did it take to film those parties? Or you did it just in your own with one swing and everybody was happy, you know, with what they got?
Ed : It took a lot of dancing, a lot of barbequing.
Dylan : There was three– wasn’t the part– didn’t the party take three days?
Kerris : Yeah, we were at a set out in Newhall for two weeks, and then we did the party, um, like three consecutive nights. So ’cause there were so many things to cover. There were like, you know, his shots and all of–
Ed : There was dancing, barbecuing, DJ’ing.
Dylan : Except the animals–
Kerris : Thunder from Down Under. Um, the animals– yeah, yeah, I don’t know if you’ve– you’ve heard of them. Um, so yeah, it took a lot of coverage and a lot of– of days to do. But it was actually fun. Like it sounds like it would be–
Ed : It didn’t even feel like we were working.
Kerris : Yeah, we had a party. We were all just dancing, and there’s one shot that we laughed over every time because it’s like– it’s on Jen and Steve. And you can see past us. I don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just like dancing the whole time. It’s like so awkward. But I mean hopefully no one notices it.
Dylan : Now they will.
Kerris : Now you will. So–
Dylan : Yeah, and then the– then it goes directly on us.
Kerris : On us. It focuses on us. And we’re just like, ok, cool, this is happening.
Q : So a lot in your role in the film, you were sick. I just wondered if you had any good tips for us in case we wanted to take a sick day.
Kerris : Um, I feel like if I ever get like sick and sound sick my parents are gonna be like, no, mm-mm, we know your tricks. Um, uh, it’s all about the voice I’ve found. So it’s like– you really have to sort of like– it’s more like nasally. So it’s like back in your throat and then in your nose. So anything like– M’s have to be B-sounding. So it’s just sort of like, I don’t know, I just watched a lot of– like I’m not gonna talk like that for the whole time. Um, I just watched a lot of like You Tube videos of people talking when they’re sick.
Ed : How to talk sick.
Kerris : Yeah, no, just like people when they’re sick. People post videos of themselves in any, you know, capacity. So there are literally people like, hey, I’m sick today. You know, and you just listen to it. Um, so yeah, I– it’s all about the voice. And then real– like really heavily lidded eyes and then maybe like eyeliner or something underneath your eye or something like that.
Dylan : Can you believe her sick voice, though? Like, uh, every day on set I was like how are you doing this?
Kerris : I would go home, and I would be like, hey, Just– [STAMMERS] hey, so, my sister, I’d be like, hey, Justine. And she’s like what’s wrong with your voice? It’s like, oh, recalibrating– [LAUGHTER] go back to normal.
Ed : it never faltered. It was always the uhhhh!
Q : Ed, what about you? Learning an English accent, so how was that for you?
Ed : An American?
Q : I’m sorry American accent. [LAUGHTER]
Ed : Um, that was pretty– it was pretty hard. But also kind of easy at the same time ’cause I’m– I’m– I was brought up on American film. Because there’s a lot of American TV, a lot of American film in Australia. So it’s not like it’s a completely different, um, accent that I’m kind of thinking, well, it’s American. It’s– it– I– I knew what it was. But it was a little rough around the edges. Actually, it was really bad. So– [LAUGHTER] so I had training. And, I learned all the little tips and tricks on just to sound authentic.
Kerris : Sometimes I would forget that you were Australian. Well, I mean I knew, but like ’cause I forget that when I’m talking to him now like after we were filming it was just like, oh, that’s your– your real voice. You have an Australian accent ’cause it was so good. It was so impeccable.
Q : Have any of you experienced anything similar to what, you know, happened to you in the film either in high school proms or driver’s training? Anything like that?
Dylan : Well, Kerris has yet to do her driver’s test. So maybe– so maybe–
Ed : Well, don’t jinx it.
Kerris : Well, oh, shut up. Um–
Dylan : No, I– I actually– [STAMMERS] I aced my driver’s test luckily. I, uh, what else happens to me? I’ve never knocked a trophy case over. Um–
Kerris : I feel like we exercised it all out of our systems when we filmed it because we just got out– we’re like, well, this can never happen to us in real life ’cause we just did it. So that’s nice.
Ed : If– if it does happen we’re preparing
Kerris : Yeah, and you’re right. We know how to react. And we know, um, we know how to sort of adapt to it. But, yeah, I mean I have like, you know, those days where you wake up. And you’re sick. And then everything falls down in front of you, and you trip over things. It’s– those days happen to me all the time. Yeah.
Dylan : All the time.
Q : What was the hardest scene for each of you to keep your composure in?
Kerris : The car scene.
Ed : Yeah, there was one scene during the car that was completely improvised. And we’d get– the director just said– ’cause I would walk around set going brr-brr-brr, just making the stupid noises. And Miguel the director said I just want all of you to do it. It was kind of what? And then so we all did it. And Steve started doing it. And you can see in the background everyone’s laugh. And like there was blood in our faces ’cause we’re moving our shoulders like that. But when– it’s so hard to keep a straight face.
Kerris : That was so– like I don’t even know– like Steve’s instrument that he was like– he was like ya-ya-ya-ya-ya. [LAUGHTER]
Ed : And he’s like going.
Kerris : Yeah. And like I was playing the trumpet. And Ed was just like, I don’t even know. And so I, uh–
Ed : I don’t know either.
Kerris : No, it was amazing. I just don’t remember.
Dylan : I’m the only one that didn’t have to do anything in that scene. So–
Kerris : Yeah, but you had to keep a straight face though kind of. So, yeah, so that was all the car scenes ’cause we were in such close quarters. I think we got kind of loopy at one point.
Ed : Yeah, yeah.
Dylan : Also the scene outside the– the van at the DMV when we were all yelling at each other.
Kerris : Oh my God, yes, that was so–
Ed : Ohhhhhh.
Dylan : That was– that was, uh–
Kerris : When we had to ice–
Ed : We spent a whole day filming there.
Kerris : We had to isolate it so that, you know, you could hear the sound of every– so we didn’t have to like go back in post and do it. So Dylan would do his part. And we would all have to like mime talking. And then when Steve did his part, literally, I could not– you had to be normal and like yelling at him.
Dylan : Well, he was– he was– he was like yelling at me like about cra– about crashing the van improvising. And I’m off camera. And I’m just– feel so bad ’cause I’m near tears on the ground laughing. And he’s still yelling at me on camera not breaking character. It was just– that was so difficult.
Kerris : Oh my God. I just wanted them to like never call cut so we could just keep going. It would’ve been funny for like two more hours if– at the least.
Dylan : And also the scenes with Jennifer Coolidge. That was, uh, I couldn’t keep my cool like that.
Ed : Yeah.
Kerris : I can’t imagine.
Dylan : That was– that was an unintended pun, but, um, yeah.
Kerris : Just– I just got it. Ok.
Dylan : Yeah.
Ed : Next question!
Q : Were you all familiar with the book, you know, the story and the book before you started making the movie before you got involved with the project? Had you read it as kids?
Kerris : I read it as a kid. My mom read it to me and my sister. And I grew up with it and loved it.
Dylan : I actually didn’t grow up– [STAMMERS] I– it’s– it’s funny. Like I– it was one of the– I didn’t read– get that read to me when I was younger. And, um, but I’m very glad to be a part of it now and bringing it back to people’s attention. Um, but, no, I– I didn’t.
Kerris : It’s Saturday.
Dylan : It’s Saturday.
Ed : I– I was familiar with it. Uh, I never had it read to me like Dylan said. But I knew what it was. I knew, uh, yeah, that’s the book with the stupid title. The Alexander– [MUMBLES] and I still call it that today.
Kerris : The Alexander then dot-dot-dot.
Dylan : Ed Oxenbould from Alexander
Ed : It’s what I do.
Kerris : Well, at a certain point, it’s like– it’s– it’s too– it’s a lot. Like every person I’ve been like, so, you know, what do you have next? They’re like what’s that movie you’re in? I’m like, ok, get ready–
Ed : Alexander the no bad good. And then if you go terrible, horrible, no good, good day.
Dylan : For me, I could never finish the title. They’ll say like, oh, you’re in, oh– [STAMMERS] what’s the name of your movie? I’m like, no– I’ll just be like Alexander the– they– oh, right, right, right.
Kerris : Nobody– you’re so lucky.
Ed : Stop yourself now. That’s fine.
Kerris : Nobody ever cuts me off. I want people to cut me off so I–
Dylan : They always cut me off.
Kerris : I never get cut off. And like you– no?
Ed : Neither do I.
Kerris : You don’t want to help me out here? No? Anybody?
Dylan : But then when they don’t cut me off and I’m done saying the title they just go–
Kerris : Yes, yeah.
Dylan : Ok?
Kerris : It’s a long title.
Dylan : But I don’t think we’ll ever be in a ten-word, 18 syllable title movie again.
Kerris : No. Harry Potter and the–
Dylan : Oh, true, true.
Kerris : But.
Dylan : Very bad day again.
Kerris : Part two.
Q : What was your take away personally for each and every one of you from this movie working with fabulous, you know, cast and the director–?
Kerris : This was our take away.
Q : No, I’m just wondering is this like one of your favorite projects that you guys have worked on?
Ed : This is the best project I’ve worked on.
Dylan : But you’re actually– yeah, no, the– I mean– I mean this, uh, is– it goes without saying that this is just– like I said, it’s life changing. I mean I– it’s– the amount– the experiences that we’re all gonna have together throughout life now just because of this we’re gonna– I’m gonna always be able to watch this movie and– and think that this was such a great time in my life that I’ll never regret doing it ever. Um, so, um, it’s really special. And the premiere night’s gonna be great.
Kerris : It’s gonna be so fun.
Dylan : Having it– seeing it in theatres with people is gonna be great.
Ed : Yeah, I can’t wait just to see it in front of the real audience.
Dylan : Even I saw the trailer, I saw the trailer in a movie theatre. And they showed it and the theatre was packed. And everybody was laughing at the trailer. And I was like, wow, this is good. Like, this is–
Q : My question’s for Kerris. How was the scene where you performed Peter Pan on cough syrup–?
Kerris : It was really fun. And I— when I was, um, doing the audition process and I read the script. I was like I can’t wait for this day. And I kept asking like the– everybody like, when am I filming it? When am I filming it? And they’re like it’ll be the last day. So my last day on set– both of our last day was, um, uh, I– I got to do the flying scene. And it was so much fun ’cause it was like, it was a life goal to, uh, to play Peter Pan. And, um, you know, I’ve always wanted to play Peter Pan. And I grew up with the Cathy Rigby, um, DVD of Peter Pan. And so, um, so, yeah, it was just– it was so fun. And like to do a twist on Peter Pan, which was that I’m just intoxicated with cough syrup, which I don’t think I ever picked–
Ed : [OVERLAPPING] her own weird drugs– drug twist on Peter Pan.
Kerris : Yeah, it’s Peter Pan like you’ve never seen her before. So–
Ed : And you probably don’t want to see her.
Kerris : And you’ll never see her again and don’t want to. No, but it was so much fun. I really loved being the harness, and I really like how it turned out.
Ed : I was there watching it. I wasn’t even called for set. And I was just there watching it. And it was hilarious.
Kerris : Laughing probably.
Ed : Everyone was laughing. Yeah.
Kerris : It was really fun. It was a good day.