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DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS?

...And Shooting In The Wild, Wild West
If it seems Marc Lawrence is an unlikely candidate to set a film in Wyoming, well, according to the people who know him, the word "unlikely” doesn't begin to describe it. According to co-producer Melissa Wells, who has worked with Lawrence for years, "We shot Music and Lyrics within ten blocks of Marc's apartment. Marc is a New Yorker at heart. He gets the Mets games on his iPhone and he eats a bagel every day.”

"Marc is a man who doesn't like to leave the Upper West Side of New York,” notes Hugh Grant. "For him, Central Park is too much nature, so to really have written this, set out here in the west, involving beasts, is for him a strange form of masochism.”

Masochism or sadism? After all, it was Grant and Parker who would have the toughest jobs, completing all the tasks that physical comedy demanded of them. "Riding horses, riding fake horses, jogging in the freaking desert take after take after take. I mean, there were some occasions where I thought, ‘They just think this is funny now. They're not cutting because they think it's funny to watch me struggle,'” says Parker.

Another case in point: handling a rifle. The script required Parker to fire the gun several times. "Obviously, Hugh and S.J. had to have the gun safety classes – they had to know how to handle the guns,” says Lawrence. "Of course, the guns wouldn't really be loaded, but you have to do that. At the same time, I didn't want them to be too comfortable with the guns – this character is very Democrat, very liberal. S.J. had to know what she was doing, but Meryl couldn't.”

So, the question became: where to shoot? "At the beginning, I think Marc and Kevin Thompson were joking, ‘Well, maybe we can shoot the Wyoming scenes in Central Park. Connecticut at worst,” kids Wells. "There's a joke in the script – Marshal Lasky says to Meryl, ‘Would you rather leave New York or die in New York?' And she has to think about it for a moment. I think that's basically Marc's answer to that question.”

All kidding aside, Lawrence knew what he'd need for the movie to work: "This couldn't be a Hollywood town and it couldn't be the type of town that two New Yorkers could show up and say, ‘Oh, this is charming,'” he says. "It had to be a real, functioning town.”

When the time came to choose a shooting location, they had their pick of the wide open spaces of the western United States. They discovered that the state of New Mexico had everything they would require – not least of which was the quaint but no-nonsense town of Roy, with a population of just 300 people. The town would become the inspiration for Lawrence to dub the scripted town "Ray” and where the crew spent their last five shoot days in New Mexico, roughing it just as Paul and Meryl do in the script.

"I think Hugh really looked forward to it,” says Lawrence. "He had an Englishman's fascination with the American west, like some Americans do about the English countryside – ‘Oh, we'll see these little English villages and it'll all be very Dickensian' – except it's all about cowboy hats and horses. Me, I was already unhappy. I would say that S.J. and I would be perfectly happy if we never left New York. So we get there, and all the people could not have been nicer, and everybody was lovely, but… well, I just do not like being away from home. It's all rodeos and dust and manure and animals. I panicked at not being able to order Chinese food. I kissed the tarmac at Kennedy when we got back.”

As the story of how they found Roy goes, New Mexico location manager David Manzanares' wife was in Roy taking scout pictures when a local woman named Tuda Crews came out of Annette's Restaurant and asked her what she was doing. Crews, whose family has been in Roy for seven generations, has been very active in trying to revitalize the town, which has been struggling in recent y

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