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GIGLI

About The Story
That "Gigli is a man with a name that nobody can pronounce, is yet another in an endless series of embarrassments for the character," explains Affleck. "My character is essentially a guy who's living a life he doesn't really feel is his. He's faking it. Underneath his macho posturing is someone who's actually very sweet and very unhappy. The story resonated with me in a way that usually doesn't happen when I read a script. It was extremely strange, unusual and heart breaking. What I didn't see was how funny it was. Then as we played out some of the scenes, I realized that it has a great deal of humor."

In many ways, Affleck continues, Gigli breaks all the rules of conventional movies and was, for that reason, a liberating experience for him as an actor. "You have a not very likable protagonist whose behavior goes against the grain of how people should behave. The woman is not an ingénue. Gigli's attracted to her and also intimidated by her. It was exciting to try to do something where you didn't have to follow all the normal guidelines of movie behavior."

The "strange family dynamic" of the three central characters constantly changes throughout the story, which made it intriguing to play, according to Affleck. "As Gigli and Ricki are shuttling this mentally troubled kid around he starts to act like a father toward Brian. At other times it's Ricki who is the father and Gigli who acts like the wife. So all our expectations are constantly being challenged. It speaks to the idea of how we create families, and I think people will be able to relate to some of the scenes with the three of them."

Lopez's character is veiled in mystery. "Ricki shows up out of nowhere and she's a very self-confident, self-assured enforcer," says Lopez. "But then she starts quoting pearls of ancient Asian wisdom. Somehow, that doesn't quite fit the profile."

Like Gigli, Ricki also develops genuine feelings for Brian. "She comes to see him as a little brother and wants to take care of him. Without realizing it, the three of them create a familial bond, however dysfunctional it may be."

There is a price to be paid for these attachments, however, Lopez points out. "This starts off as a routine babysitting job for Ricki and Gigli. I don't think either of them has any idea that the situation is going to escalate, until they realize they're in way over their heads, having kidnapped the brother of a federal prosecutor."

It is the pivotal role of Brian, the guileless innocent, who changes the destinies of Gigli and Ricki. Explains Brest, "all Brian really wants is to get to this imaginary place where life will be perfect – a kind of hallucinatory state based on what he's seen over the years on television. He refers to it as ‘The Baywatch,' but it's not the TV series he's talking about. In essence, it's really about all that he lacks in his life -- normality, sexuality, being attractive, having a date. But it all gets jumbled up in his head and he thinks if he could just get to that place, he would be normal and maybe even have a girlfriend."

According to Bartha, "the Baywatch is Brian's fantasy of a "normal" life. If he can only get there … if he can just reach it, he'll be "normal" too."

The actor anchored Brian's fantasy in common experien

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