Annie and Jay
Kasdan notes that the roles of Annie and Jay were written expressly for Cameron
Diaz and Jason Segel. "Working with Cameron and Jason on Bad Teacher was one of
the great experiences I've ever had," says Kasdan. "And I really wanted to find
something else for them - I knew that they were hilarious together and I knew
that, in these very different roles, we could pick up where we had left off on
the first movie and do something completely new. I had a strong hunch that there
would be something kind of spectacular between them, in these characters, and
they surpassed all of my hopes and expectations. As actors, they are both hugely
supportive teammates that really commit, and as comedians, they're generous with
each other and eager to set each other up to get a laugh. They pitch jokes for
each other... And then of course, they're both just hugely appealing, on their
own and together."
Kasdan says that the parts play to each actor's strength. "Jay is well-meaning,
an optimist who loves his wife and kids and has a powerful desire to make things
right, but doesn't always know exactly how to go about that," he says. "I think
Annie is slightly more pragmatic; she's a mommy blogger and concerned parent who
is feeling somewhat remote from her more carefree past."
"Everybody's eyes lit up when the idea came to cast Jason and Cameron,"
remembers producer Jason Blumenthal. "To me it's like the pairing of Goldie Hawn
and Chevy Chase. When they come together, magic happens."
To portray Annie, Cameron Diaz says she embraced her character's everywoman
qualities. "Annie is a mom, she's a wife-someone for whom everything is about
her family," describes Diaz. "She loves her partnership with her husband and has
an adventurous and playful spirit-she's content with her life and she utilizes
her blog as a release. It's a way of talking about the things that she cares
about, to work them out for herself as well as her readers. As Annie expresses
on her blog, you always remember what it was like in the beginning of the
relationship and wonder how can we get that back. When you've been with somebody
for a long time it's hard to keep the physical part of your relationship going -
you really have to work at it."
Diaz says she was never intimidated by the material, because she knew that she
would be working with Segel. "Considering that this is a film where we had to be
naked with each other, here was a partnership where I could feel so safe and at
the same time, completely playful," she says. "We could laugh and find humor in
what we were doing and at the same time tell the story of these two people who
really love each other in a real way. We're not trying to be shocking just for
the sake of shocking. Annie and Jay are doing some crazy stuff that they never
thought they would ever do, and they're doing it with somebody they each feel
safe with. And that's how I feel about Jason - he's just the guy you can do that
"Cameron is really game," says Segel, "and she's a student of comedy. One of my
pet peeves is people who settle for pleasant instead of funny, and Cameron goes
for it every time."
"Jason is a double threat that we haven't seen in a long time," says Blumenthal.
"He's a great actor and a phenomenal writer. A lot of writers lead with the
'funny' and that's it; Jason leads with the character. And he's an inherently
relatable actor -- you root for that guy."
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