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LITTLE FOCKERS

I'm Still Watching You
Six years later, we find Greg the chief nurse at his hospital and Pam a stay-at-home mom. Together, they are facing some of life's biggest challenges as they raise their young children. They are finally beginning to settle into the daily routines with their kids and navigating the purchase of their first home…while still dealing with both sets of well-meaning, drive-you-crazy grandparents.

Retired CIA-operative Jack is floundering as he faces frustrations with his retirement and issues of his own mortality, while his wife Dina continues to blossom under the tutelage of the inimitable Roz Focker. For Jack, the family legacy remains of great importance as he looks to pass the mantle on to the next generation. Meet the Fockers touched on this with great comedic effect as Jack evaluated the Focker gene pool when he met the carefree Roz and Bernie Focker, portrayed with comic precision by Streisand and Hoffman.

When Jack's other son-in-law, Dr. Bob (introduced in Meet the Parents by TOM MCCARTHY, who reprises his role in this chapter), proves he is no longer worthy, Bob loses his exalted position as heir to the throne. Now, Jack anoints Greg as the new paterfamilias, which instills in Jack a newfound confidence, not to mention a host of new anxieties.

Stiller's character bore the brunt of the comedic mishaps in both Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, but in Little Fockers, the filmmakers flipped the script to heap indignity upon Jack Byrnes.

For Oscar® winner De Niro, the opportunity to take part in the film's more physical comedy was a refreshing change of pace. Whether being buried alive in sand or having an adverse reaction to an erectile dysfunction drug, De Niro plays it for laughs. He particularly enjoyed partnering with an old comedy buddy. "Ben has a way of reacting and delivering a line that's unique to him. It's just a line, but he does it in such a way that he's making a comment on it,” says De Niro. "He puts all these little spins on it that are very funny. We're practically old friends, and we have a terrific time working together.”

The woman who has portrayed his on-screen wife for more than a decade admits the actor quite liked returning to the role. "Bob enjoyed it,” shares Danner. "He has this wonderful Cheshire cat smile that spreads across his face, and then he laughs out loud. It's very funny.”

De Niro's director appreciated his willingness to do what was asked of him, no matter the request. Weitz recalls: "In one scene, Jack dives into one of those ball pits that are at children's parties before he gets into a fight with Greg. He did the stunt himself, leaping into the air, and he went face first into a bunch of plastic balls. It's the kind of thing that you would normally have a stunt person do, but Bob's in good shape and was up for it. It was fun to see his old Raging Bull moves kick back in.”

The perfect comedic timing between De Niro and Stiller is a result of the genuine affection they hold for one another and a testament to the longevity of the franchise. In fact, during the filming of some of the more raucous scenes, the two could often be found cracking each other up between takes, if not during one. "I finally feel comfortable calling him Bob after 10 years,” laughs Stiller. "For me, Little Fockers is all about just being able to work with Robert De Niro again.”

While the tension between Jack and Greg has regularly played itself out to hilarious results, the rivalry between Greg and Pam's former suitor, the wealthy, sensitive Kevin Rawley remains. Kevin's lingering feelings for his old flame and subtle one-upmanship of Greg continue to elicit laughter. "What's so fun about Kevin is that there is so much to work with,” offers Owen Wilson. "From the first time I played him, he was this very pretentious, yet earnest guy who doesn't have a lot of self awareness.”

It is rare for actors to be able to regularly revisit a character over the course of a decade, but despite gaps of several years, the cast stepped back into their roles with aplomb. "Everybody likes the characters they play, so the comfort level is automatically there,” offers Wilson. "That's always good for making things funny.”

Since officiating Pam and Greg's wedding ceremony in Meet the Fockers, Kevin's fixation with his ex seems to have abated, albeit temporarily. Surprisingly, he and Greg have become friends and keep up regular communication. However, one constant still remains, and to Greg's chagrin, Jack continues to be a stalwart fan of Kevin. According to Weitz: "Kevin is the image of the person who can walk upon water. He is the flipside of Greg, who can't function without shooting himself in the foot. Kevin is someone you want to strangle, but you can't because he's such a good guy.”

"I've loved the tense relationship between Kevin and Greg since Meet the Parents,” remarks Stiller. "The idea of the perfect ex-boyfriend who has this history with your girlfriend is intimidating to deal with, especially if it's a guy who's so obsessed with her. It was fun to have that show up again in Little Fockers. That was one of the reasons I was so excited about the idea of Kevin coming back into the picture. It's almost eight years later, and despite appearances, he's still obsessed with her.”

Soon after Meet the Parents, Stiller and Wilson were seen on screen together in 2001's cult classic Zoolander (which Stiller also wrote and directed) and have maintained a close collaboration over the years that has resulted in numerous films. "Working with Owen is always fun for me,” Stiller says. "He's a genuinely funny person and a smart writer. Whatever the role, he gets who his character is and finds those subtleties and nuances so well that when he's filming, he's able to try and go for different versions of how Kevin would play a scene.”

The women of the comedy series, particularly the Byrnes ladies, have taken their own paths over the years. Teri Polo's Pam Focker has fully shed the mantle of daddy's little girl and settled into the role of wife and mother, while the genteel Dina, portrayed by beloved actress Blythe Danner, has lost some of her Oyster Bay reserve and flourished under the friendship of the outspoken Roz Focker.

For Pam, the reconciliation between her father and husband is a welcome change that has finally allowed her to transition from Jack's "Pamcake” to Greg's wife and mother of their children. But with that move comes a new set of challenges. "There's always something to throw a wrench into the calm,” reflects Polo. "It happens to everybody on a daily basis in our relationships with in-laws, husbands and kids. One moment you want to throttle them and another you're madly in love with them. But you persevere and march on.”

When it comes to the Byrnes patriarch, the one enduring quality in his marriage is his deep abiding love for Dina; she accepts his many flaws. However, a well-placed look or poignant comment from Dina can easily penetrate Jack's wall of suspicion.

Danner explains that it's always a treat for her to check in with Dina and find out how she and Jack continue to fare. "I feel so fortunate to have been a part of the third Fockers endeavor. All the films have been a joy to work on. I jokingly said to Bob De Niro that I hope they keep coming, even if we're walking with canes on the next one and graduate to walkers and wheelchairs on the ones after that.”

Meeting the Fockers in the franchise's second installment gave filmgoers a glimpse into Greg's unorthodox upbringing and introduced us to his irreverent parents, Roz and Bernie. The incomparable two-time Oscar®-winning Barbra S

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