Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Q&A session in support of Blended, the fun family comedy hitting theaters tomorrow. I already shared my interview segment with Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler, and Wendi McLendon-Covey; and now, I’d like to share some of the other highlights from the Q&A.
Drew Barrymore & Adam Sandler Q&A
On Working With Shaquille O’Neal:
Blogger: the supporting cast was really awesome. Like, the Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal] cameo, was that part for him?
Mr. Adam Sandler: Yes.
Mr. Adam Sandler: Yes, I love Shaq. I got to know him, and just thought it’d be funny. And in a lot of romantic comedies, the best friend is a certain type of guy that–I don’t know. It’s just more, plays the field a little bit.
And I just thought it’d be slightly different if Shaq was his best friend. And he’s a great guy.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: And he is.
Mr. Adam Sandler: And he’s funny. I’d never seen anybody like this guy. When he walks in anywhere–we shot at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
And it was open. So, there we’re, like, a thousand people walking around buying things, and they’re like, is that Shaq? He’s just kind to everybody who came up to him and took pictures with them all. And he’s just a great man.
On Acting vs. Producing:
Blogger: You both run such successful film companies. When you get a script, do you read it first as actors approaching a project, or do you read it first as producers?
Ms. Drew Barrymore: That’s a good question.
Mr. Adam Sandler: I usually go actors.
Mr. Adam Sandler: Because I’m more excited about me. What do I get to do? But, then when I realize it’s written for a 25-year-old handsome guy, I go all right, let’s produce this thing.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: I think it depends. Sometimes when you’re given a script, you’re either behind how it was even written in the first place. So, then you’re definitely thinking producer. Oh gosh, we were in meetings for a year on this thing. How did it turn out?
But, then if you’re giving something by your agency as an actor, then I think you read it more like that, so it depends.
On Reuniting for Blended:
Blogger: So, how did this come about? Why did you want to make a movie together?
Ms. Drew Barrymore: I mean, why not? I always joke that I call Adam, well when we first met I called him, because I know that we’re supposed to partner up. I just know it in my heart. And I stalked him until he accepted the ways. And then, he is always–.
Mr. Adam Sandler: –It wasn’t that hard by the way.
Mr. Adam Sandler: But, it was pretty much, Drew Barrymore wants to have lunch with you. I go, all right.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: Well, that’s good. That’s nice. And then, he found, or presented, because it was his project, the Wedding Singer.
Mr. Adam Sandler: Yes.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: And I knew reading it, I was, that’s it. That’s the one.
And Adam really, really cares and scrupulously as a producer and a great writer, really makes sure that the script is tailor-made for us, and has all the things, like our strengths, or things we want to try, or things we want to put in it, or fun set pieces where you’re, like, I get to do that? Oh my gosh, this is so fun. Okay.
And then, when we found 50 First Dates, I actually sat down to a typewriter and I wrote him a letter crying. And I was, like, I know this is the one. I know it. I know it. I know it. And then he got the letter.
Mr. Adam Sandler: And I said I better do this, or something bad is going to happen.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: I guess it was received well because we did the movie. I never questioned to be the letter or not.
Mr. Adam Sandler: Anything you ask for I do by the way.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: Really?
Mr. Adam Sandler: You asked for the Wedding Singer movie. We did that, 50 First–.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: –Yes, that’s true–.
Mr. Adam Sandler: –A year ago, or two years ago, about three years ago, right?
Ms. Drew Barrymore: Yes.
Mr. Adam Sandler: We had lunch and she said, come on, I think it’s time we should do another movie. And then, a few months later a friend of mine, my daughter and his son are in the same class. He showed me the script, and I loved it.
And I called Drew, I said, you got to read this script. I think this could be the one. And then, you called me that night.
Ms. Drew Barrymore: Yes, because I sat down to read it immediately. And it was special. I locked myself in my closet and read it, which sounds weird, but it wasn’t. And I laughed and I cried, and that’s what I care about in life.
I want to laugh, and I want to cry. I think laughter and crying are twins. And they’re the same thing seesawing together.
And I loved that it was about kids. And so that just is where Adam is at in life. I am new to that in life. And I thought this is perfect.
Q&A With Wendi McLendon-Covey
On Improvising Lines:
Blogger: It seems like there’s a lot of room for improv in this movie. Was it scripted? Did you get to do a lot of improv? How did that work?
Ms. Wendi McLendon-Covey: We didn’t do a lot. They did let us at times. And you can kind of feel where it is. There’s a scene where Drew and I are in the stands with the little league dads, and they’re being complete jack a**es.
I would do that. In real life I would do that. If somebody was picking on my friend’s kid, I would go off like that.
So, Drew and I kind of kept going, and going, and going. And we figured, well, they’ll stop us when they’ve had enough. And then, they just didn’t stop us.
We just kept going and going. And that was very therapeutic. And again, when Adam and I were trading insults, we rift a little.
And when I was trying on the different outfits in the closet too. The script was pretty tight, it didn’t need a lot of embellishing really. It was quite good. .
Blogger: So, in Bridesmaids, how much of Rita was scripted, and how much of it was you, because I don’t feel like anybody else could’ve played that?
Ms. Wendi McLendon-Covey: A lot of Rita’s lines were improvised. We did have a script, but that movie, we did a lot of improvising, and lots of my lines were improvised. And if you see the DVD, there’s three hours of extras, and a lot of my stuff is in there.
On Playing The Snarky Best Friend:
Blogger: What was it like to play a supportive best friend who was dating a weirdo? Because Adam Sandler at that time, we thought he was kind of weird. What was it like to play a supportive best friend?
Ms. Wendi McLendon-Covey: Oh, I loved doing that. I love being the snarky best friend who always has something weird to say. We’ve all been put in a position where you have to sit and make conversation with someone’s idiot boyfriend, or awkward date.
And you’re just, like, oh, let’s put an end to this right now. There’s no reason for this to continue. That was funny to me, because I was taking my cue from my friend, and she had already said she didn’t like him.
So, what’s he doing at her house? My protection instinct kicks in. Like, get him out of here. Get him out here, why is he in here?
She already said he was horrible. So, where am I going with this? Well, we’ve all felt like that.
I thought you guys weren’t going to do this again. Why are you calling, or why are you Facebooking? Leave the lawn.
You haven’t technically done anything to deserve a restraining order, but I’m giving you a verbal restraining order as the friend, you know? But, it was fun, it was fun to play.
Blended hits movie theaters TOMORROW, May 23rd – be sure to head to the cinema for some laughs this holiday weekend!