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BEDTIME STORIES

Multiple Personalities
Casting "Bedtime Stories” meant that the filmmakers had to imagine each actor in a variety of roles. Says director Adam Shankman, "I think what attracted a lot of the actors to doing ‘Bedtime Stories'was the fantasy element, the idea of playing different characters. They knew they would be in a lot of crazy costumes and get to do a lot of crazy characters alongside Adam Sandler.”

A Mouseketeer Returns to Her Roots

With Sandler in place as leading man Skeeter, the filmmakers tapped Keri Russell for the role of Jill—in addition to a host of fantasy characters including Jillian Queen of Fairies, Raven Jillian and a Mermaid. Her performance marked a return to her Disney roots. "I think it's funny that I'm doing this movie now because I was a part of the Mickey Mouse Club when I was growing up,” says the veteran Mouseketeer. Russell starred in the all-new "Mickey Mouse Club” from 1991-1994.

According to Shankman, Russell was chosen to complement Sandler's comedic sensibilities. "She's a really great match for Adam because they make each other laugh and that's a real blessing,” says the director. "They really seem to enjoy working together.”

"Keri's incredibly likable and smart,” adds Sandler. "Our characters don't really like each other at first, so it was fun to bicker back and forth.”

"At first, my character thinks Skeeter is really immature and irresponsible and annoying, which he is,” says Russell. "But after spending more time with him, she starts seeing him involved with the kids and starts to think he's not such a bad guy. He starts to charm her.”

"The two of them are just fireworks,” says Shankman of the twosome.

Newcomers Jonathan Heit and Laura Ann Kesling were cast as Skeeter's nephew Patrick and niece Bobbi. Says Sandler, "They're both very hard working. Jonathan is really smart and Laura makes you smile all the time. They both had a great time on the film.”

Says Heit, "Adam Sandler plays my uncle in the movie. It's actually hard not to laugh during the scenes 'cause he's so funny.”

One example was when Sandler first sat down to tell them a bedtime story and is surprised to find a guinea pig on his head. Bugsy, the children's pet—so named for his shockingly big eyes—was portrayed by two previously unknown guinea pigs, Stitches and Thimbles. With carefully trained behaviors ranging from running on a makeshift treadmill to tucking himself into bed, Bugsy contributed his own style of comedy to the film.

Courteney Cox was called on to play Skeeter's uptight sister Wendy. The actress was drawn to the part because of her on-set brother Adam Sandler. "I just love him and he makes for the most fun set. He surrounds himself with fantastic people,” she says. "The story is heartfelt, whimsical, adventurous, funny. I was blown away.”

The filmmakers turned to Guy Pearce for the role of Kendall Duncan.

Says Pearce, "I play the manager of a hotel and Adam Sandler's character wants my job.” "He belittles Skeeter a lot and makes him feel like a loser,” adds Sandler. "So through the bedtime stories, Skeeter fights back a little which starts to connect with his real life. But Pearce is committed. He enjoyed hurting me. He's a funny guy and a great actor.”

"I first saw Guy in a comedy with intensely dramatic undertones, ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,' and he was brilliant in it,” says Shankman. "He has great comic instincts and I thought it would be fun to have an actor's actor play the part.”

"This is a broad comedy and it's not my normal fare,” admits Pearce. "But I'm a fan of Shankman's and a fan of Sandler's and it seemed fortuitous that I find something that's a bit light.”

Pearce, in particular, liked what the bedtime stories brought to the role. "Every time Skeeter t

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