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Casting the Commune
With Rudd and Aniston committed to the project, it was time to find the players to serve as the supporting cast of Wanderlust. Apatow sums the approach to casting: "This film is a combination of some new friends and a lot of people that David and Ken have worked with before. There's nothing more fun than knowing you have seven or eight fantastic parts that you can get your favorite people to perform. It's exciting to be a part of a movie with all of these amazing actors."

To portray Elysium's founding father, Carvin, Wain and Marino approached legendary performer Alan Alda. Recalls Wain: "Alan was our shoot-the-moon choice. We would say things like 'Obviously, he won't do it, but let's put him on the list.'"

Though initially unavailable, Alda ended up meeting with Wain to discuss the role. Remembers the filmmaker: "We were both at coincidentally in Chautauqua, New York one weekend, so we had a chance to sit and talk for over an hour, after which he agreed to do the film. It was a big 'pinch me' moment."

His production partner was just as surprised. "The fact that Alan Alda agreed to do this movie blew David and me away," shares Marino. "He's an icon. Then you meet him, and he's a hundred times better than that. He is the most gracious, kind, loving, talented man I've ever met."

Though he appreciates the accolades, Alda says he made sure to do his research before setting foot on set. "I looked up communes and found out that they actually still exist, except now they call them 'intentional communities,'" the actor shares. "But some are polyamorous, meaning they're amorous all over the place. I thought these places were just a thing of the '60s and '70s, but apparently they are still common."

Carvin, referred to as "The Lion" by the rest of Elysium, is wheelchair-bound, is a bit touched by senility and has a memory that ends in the 1970s. Alda extrapolates upon his character: "Carvin started this commune with nine friends, and he doesn't know what happened to them. Still, he can't get them out of his head and what they all meant to each other. He likes to recite each of their names, first and last, whenever he gets the chance."

Aniston reveals that she was thrilled to share the screen once again with the performer, with whom both she and Rudd had screen time in The Object of My Affection. "Alan is phenomenal. I'm just so deeply in love with that man," the actress says. "He's so smart and so wise, and I've learned so much from just sitting with him."

With the exception of George and Elysium's charismatic leader and lothario, Seth, Wain and Marino admit that they didn't write the script with specific actors in mind. Justin Theroux previously worked with Rudd, Wain and Marino on The Ten, and they were quite eager to ask the multitalented performer to come back to their team.

Of their decision, Wain laughs: "The first day we wrote 'commune,' there was a 'Justin Theroux-with-long-hair-type guy' in that draft. We weren't even planning on casting him, but it was one of those things where we kept looking for that guy. Then we thought, 'Let's just cast Justin Theroux!'"

Theroux shares his interest in tackling the role: "In this incubation they've created, David and Ken have a very strange, wonderful sense of humor that has been allowed to marinate. These guys have a completely unique voice in comedy, and I love watching the way they work."

Swedish-native Malin Akerman was cast to portray Eva, the enchanting beauty in Elysium who proves to be most distracting to George when he and Linda agree to open their relationship. The Swedish native previously worked with Marino and Wain on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital. According to Wain: "Malin was a natural choice for Eva. She knocked it out of the park."

Akerman felt comfortable with her team and easily slipped into character. She shares: "It has been such a pleasure working with everyone. To be surrounded by these amazing actors, whom I cherish, well, I couldn't have asked for a better situation."

As Wain and Marino are known for a specific type of comedy, they wanted to ensure that Wanderlust stayed very much an ensemble cast, one featuring many of the performers with whom they've previously worked. Shares Wain: "There's this core group of actors who we like to work with, so when it came time for casting, we looked to the people we knew best." He adds: "In my opinion, they also happen to be the funniest people in the world."

Kerri Kenney-Silver, who plays Kathy, the seemingly omnipresent hippy with the ability to show up at the least opportune time, felt right at home on set. "David, Ken, Joe and I have a comedy group called The State, on which we've worked together since we were 18," she explains. (The State's mid-'90s MTV series was a big inspiration for many current comedy stars.) "So it's been 23 years, and we've had these characters under our belts for a long time."

Joe Lo Truglio recounts that he wasn't remotely fazed when asked to portray a character who remains naked throughout most of the film. Recalls the actor: "I had read an early draft and loved the character of Wayne. At the time, I had no idea I would be playing him, but I found Wayne to be both a funny and sad character. His very first scene made me laugh."

In order to allow Lo Truglio to retain a modicum of modesty, the makeup team fit the performer with a prosthetic penis to cover up his actual business. He offers: "It's a monster in terms of size, and I'm not kidding. It took a lot of work to put it on, too." Always willing to take one for the team, Lo Truglio laughs, "But I have to say that for being nude for six weeks in the woods, I came away with only a small case of poison ivy on the ankle."

Kathryn Hahn, who plays Karen, an adult-film star turned moon goddess, describes her character as a "damaged soul." The comedienne shares: "She's just in a lot of pain. Her husband ran out on her after he convinced her to tie her tubes, and he left her with a son, Grisham [IAN PATRICK]. Karen is always ranting about something and threatening to go back to her life as a porn actress. She has issues."

Karen's younger sister is Almond, a pregnant free spirit who is much more suited to the commune lifestyle than her wild-card sibling. Almond is portrayed by Lauren Ambrose, best known for her role in the critically acclaimed television drama Six Feet Under. Explains Hahn: "Karen, who's harboring a lot of anger and hostility, is also dealing with a ton of sibling rivalry."

Ambrose, who previously worked with Wain and Marino on the film Diggers, relates that this experience was an educational one: "It was a very different way of working for me, just rolling with it. It was also a great pleasure to be in a comedy world with these folks and in the beautiful red-clay countryside of Georgia."

Wain offers that Ambrose's addition to the team was as much for her dramatic choices as it was for her more humorous ones. He says: "Lauren is more known for her dramatic roles, but we love to try to find actors who aren't known for being in silly comedies and put them in our movies."

Rounding out the cast is Jordan Peele, who plays Rodney, the father of Almond's baby. He embodies the spirit of Elysium and believes what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine. Wain says Peele was chosen for his impeccable comedic timing: "Jordan is a consummate improviser and comedian, and he brought a whole level of gravitas to this role, which wasn't easy, since he had some of the weirder material to execute."

Discussing his character, Peele laughs: "Rodney likes h

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