GROWN UPS 2
Playing Marcus's son, Braden, is Alexander Ludwig, who recently starred in The Hunger Games. "Braden is the son that Marcus didn't know he had -- but Braden doesn't know that," says Ludwig. "He's under the impression that Marcus knew all along, and was just ignoring his son. So theirs is a very strained relationship from the first meeting, because Braden has had years and years to build up anger toward his father. It was fun to play such a crazy, intimidating character."
Still, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. "He's a huge version of Marcus," says Ludwig. "He's got the crazy long hair, the goatee -- but he completely overshadows his father."
Ludwig was especially gratified by the chance to join the comedy. "After The Hunger Games, I'm glad to have the chance to do something different and keep people guessing. Besides, when Adam Sandler calls and says he's interested in you being in his next movie, you jump at the opportunity."
The film is also chock full of cameos and huge supporting performances. Heartthrob Taylor Lautner joins the fun as the lead frat boy in the pack that causes trouble for our heroes. "My character and his friends aren't the nicest guys, but that's part of the fun of the movie," he says. "I can't think of a better way to spend the summer than hanging out with Adam Sandler and his crew. I grew up watching his movies, I'm a big fan of his."
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal takes on the role of Officer Fluzoo, protecting and serving the good citizens of Stanton, Connecticut. In proving to be a Superman equally skilled in comedy as on the court, Shaq saw his role grow from a cameo to a true supporting role. "It's great to know Adam, great to work with him," says the 15-time All-Star. "In my first scene, I was actually kind of nervous -- I had to put myself in basketball mode. I saw Adam, Chris, and David, and I said to myself, 'OK, there's Jordan, there's Bird, there's Magic. Just go do what you do, Shaq.' And I did what I do, and I hope everyone enjoys the movie."
Shaq is paired with Happy Madison regular Peter Dante, who plays, appropriately enough, Officer Dante. "We met, and five minutes later, we were best friends," says Dante. "I can't believe I get Shaq as my partner. He's just the most legitimate, cool, regular, modest, great guy -- one of the greatest we've ever had join the party. Right from the first take, he just got it."
Dante says that all of the film's cameos raise the comedic level of the film. "You'll be in hair and makeup in the morning and look around, and there's Colin Quinn, there's Cheri Oteri, Chris Rock, David Spade, every actor you every laughed at on 'Saturday Night Live' -- they're all still friends, and they're all there because of Adam. It's his friendship and loyalty to them -- and theirs to him -- that is the most amazing thing."
Reprising their roles from Grown Ups are 'SNL' alums Colin Quinn and Tim Meadows, as well as Steve Buscemi and Dan Patrick. "These guys were the nemeses in the first movie," says Dugan. "And of course, they all still live in the town -- they'll always live in the town -- so they're all back -- eccentric as ever."
Also returning to the cast of Grown Ups 2 are the kids: Jake Goldberg, Cameron Boyce, and Alexys Nycole Sanchez as the Feder kids; Ada-Nicole Sanger and Frank and Morgan Gingerich as the Lamansoff kids; and Nadji Jeter and China Anne McClain as the McKenzie kids. "It's great fun to see all the kids again -- they've all grown up," says Dugan. "The kids that were pre-teens last time have grown into teenagers -- and you know teenagers and the last day of school. What are they gonna do? They're gonna sneak off to the quarry."
In real life, things have changed for the actors, too. "When we cast all of these kids four years ago, they were all just kids, coming in with their moms and dads," says Dugan. "Now, as we were scheduling Grown Ups 2, it was easy to get Salma and Kevin... but Cameron is in the Disney Channel show 'Jessie' and China has become a huge star with her show 'A.N.T. Farm!' She's super famous now. And all of the other kids are on their way, too. They're more famous than our famous guys!"
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