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JACK AND JILL

About The Production
Director Dennis Dugan re-teams with Adam Sandler for the eighth time on the comedy Jack and Jill. "What I found interesting was that somewhere partway through the production I thought of Adam as playing Jack, but I thought of Jill as if she were her own person. Adam didn't walk around off-camera acting like Jill, but after a while, it was as if Jill was a woman we hired who happened to look remarkably like Adam.”

In the film, Sandler plays Jack, an advertising executive who is one commercial away from hitting the big time – or, if the deal falls through, unmitigated disaster. Into this turmoil comes his twin sister, Jill – who always makes things more complicated than they need to be.

"I knew Adam would have no problem playing Jill. The part he worked at was to play Jack,” says Steve Koren, who co-wrote the screenplay with Sandler. "Jack's the kind of guy who's a little bit on edge – he's had to work to make that guy different from who he really is.”

While writing the film with Adam Sandler, Koren found some interesting things. "Some twins actually create their own language when they're little kids, so we invented a special, private language that only Jack and Jill speak,” he says. "We also found out that twins have a bond that is a lot stronger than some siblings, so we tried to incorporate as much of that as possible.”

Playing the dual role required an ingenious sense of timing from Sandler. "Part of the joke was that Jack and Jill would do the exact same things at the exact same time,” Koren explains. "What that meant, of course, was that Adam would do the scene once, and then he'd redo it as the other character. It was almost like a dance, a ballet; Adam had to have incredible focus and perfect timing. It was pretty incredible to watch.”

Describing the character and the plot of the film, Koren explains, "Jill had only two constants in her life – taking care of her parents and the love of her bird, Poopsie. She's sacrificed her personal life. When she comes to visit Jack for the holidays and won't leave, Jack tries to help her find a guy – a guy who he hopes will get her out of his house.”

Of course, nothing goes as planned. Instead of an internet date, Jill gets an impossibly unlikely suitor. In the film, Jack needs Al Pacino to agree to do a commercial – and if he can't get Pacino, Dunkin Donuts will take their business elsewhere. Just as he's wondering what he's going to do, who should fall for Jill but the Oscar®-winning actor himself. Just one catch – in the movie, the character of Pacino is suffering from a nervous breakdown.

For the role of Al Pacino, the filmmakers decided to get Al Pacino. "In the movie, Al Pacino isn't really playing himself – he's playing an obsessive actor who has gone a bit off the deep end and is losing his marbles,” says Koren. "So, when he falls for Jill, he goes overboard. He's willing to go to any length to get the girl. The trouble is, Jill's just not all that into him. She knows more about ‘American Idol' than she does about Al Pacino.”

Pacino plays the character in a way that is very different from the man he is in real life. "He's an actor who's losing control,” says Pacino. "He has had an overload of work and it's starting to take hold of him and affect his mental capacity. He's clearly in the middle of a breakdown. That's the track I've taken in order to play myself as somebody else – it's all heightened and exaggerated as to make it believable in a comedy. However, I tried to keep it real so that the madness is real.”

In the movie, the character of Pacino is starting to lose his grip on reality. He has been mulling an offer to play Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha” on Broadway – and when he meets Jill, he endows himself and Jill with characteristics of the characters. "In ‘Man of La Mancha,' Don Quixote is a madman who believes himself to be a knight, and he believes Dulcinea to be a princess, even though she's an ugly peasant. He falls madly in love with her by endowing her with virtues she doesn't really possess,” Pacino explains. "When my character meets Jill, he does the same thing. She becomes his Dulcinea. In a sense, my character unconsciously uses her as a tool to find out if he indeed wants to play the part of Don Quixote. He gives Jill all the traits of the character Dulcinea so he can rehearse it, try it out, and see if it fits. He doesn't even know he's doing it, but there's method in his madness.”

In addition, Jill represents something that the character of Pacino feels he has lost. "Our character of Pacino is at a crossroads,” says Dugan. "He's kind of lost in Los Angeles. The thing that's missing in life is who he used to be – a sense of home and roots. Suddenly, here's a woman who comes to him at the height of his fame and reminds him of who he used to be. He needs to go back to his home, and he thinks Jill is his ticket.”

"I love the idea of playing an older movie star, clinging, trying to get back to what it was that made him do this thing in the first place,” Pacino continues. "My character is a guy who just wants to go back home, wants to be simple again, but will never be able to be that way again. And no matter how crazy he is, his instincts are still working as an actor – if he engages her in the same way Don Quixote engages Dulcinea, he can find out if he can really play the part in ‘Man of La Mancha.' It's subtle and unusual, but this is the actor's journey out of madness.”

Dugan says that working with Pacino was, of course, a completely unique experience. "I didn't know what to expect – he's obviously a serious actor – but he embraced the insanity,” says Dugan. "He played his version of Pacino in a truly brilliant way. He's a genuinely nice guy and he had a terrific attitude about the whole thing.”

Naturally, the real Pacino provided exactly what you'd expect: a tremendous actor, having the time of his life. "Al was at the top of his game – Adam would throw something at him, and Al would catch it and fire it right back,” says Dugan. "He embraced the way we work, which I think is different from the way most sets work. But Al was never thrown off by any of it – he stood in there and hit it as hard as he could.”

The film's cinematographer, Dean Cundey, says that the film changes very slightly in tone when Pacino is on the screen. "Like a lot of comedies, we wanted a bright and high-key look – as opposed to something moody or dark – but in the Pacino scenes, we had an opportunity to bring more of an edge,” he explains. "Pacino is identified with many of his darker characters, so I thought it might be interesting to inject a little bit of that into his scenes. For example, for the reveal of Al in the restaurant, I took a cue from the way we've discovered Al in the past and put him in dark silhouette, with smoke wafting from his cigar and some light across his eyes and face in a darkened room. It's a fun moment in the film.”

Katie Holmes joins the cast as Erin, Jack's wife and mother to their two children. "She's a very busy wife and mother,” Holmes explains. "When Jill comes to town and creates a lot of mayhem within the family, she's the one who's trying to keep it all together.”

"It was wonderful to see Adam transform into Jill,” she continues. "As a woman, it was nice to have conversations with a man about shaving legs, how pantyhose and heels feel, and all of the tougher parts about being a woman. Adam was a great sport – it was really, really fun.”

One of Mexico's top comics, Eugenio Derbez, joins in the fun as Felipe, Jack's gardener, who genuinely likes Jill for who sh

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