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WANDERLUST

Off the Cuff: Impro and Nudity Begin
Principal photography began in the rural North Georgia Mountains, where cast and crew filmed for six weeks at a 200-acre compound near the town of Clarkesville. The remoteness of the locale drew cast and crew closer together. "There were no other cast members except for this tight ensemble…and that's it," notes Wain. "It was a real bonding experience."

Apatow is known for the careful way in which he orchestrates improv in his movies. He appreciates that his fellow filmmakers work just as arduously. He says, "David is hilarious, as is Ken, and they work well together-watching the scene and deciding ways that they can build on what they have in the moment. In addition to a great script, they created space for the actors to do something else, and that made them think of a lot of new jokes."

Rudd observes that the sequestration and familiarity among the actors only added to the tones of the film. "Because we shot the majority of Wanderlust on a farm, we actually were living communally," he says. "We became a closer-knit cast. We would eat dinner together and hang out after shooting and on the weekends."

Aniston notes that she hasn't had this level of professional camaraderie since her days as Rachel Green on Friends. "There was this ensemble of people that I felt so connected to," she notes. "We shot for three months, but I wanted this to go on for 10 years. We had an incredible amount of fun, and it just kept getting better."

On set, familiarity bred improvisation to the point where the cast created an "alt" version of the script. Wain explains: "Improvising on set has its pros and cons. On one hand, there's great value to crafting the words. That is the way traditional film and theater have been done for years. But then there's a level of reality, spontaneity and creativity that only comes on the day of filming. So, ultimately, we did a mix."

Theroux commends Wain for creating a space that allowed for this freedom of creative expression. He says: "We always shot the scripted version, which is probably the funniest, but David knew that there were certain funny things that you can only discover once you start to shoot. Certain lines would just pop out of the hopper, and some were unbelievably funny."

The improvisation came naturally for Kenney-Silver, who has worked with many of the cast members and filmmakers before. "This comes from 23 years of being in each other's faces," she states. "But then David and Ken have this innate ability to bring in other talented people who are able to hop right on board this crazy train, like Alan Alda. He just fit right in."

Alda admits to being a big fan of this style of filmmaking. "I love improv. I improvised early on at Compass and Second City," he says. "When you're improvising, you have to pay attention to one another. That often leads to more intimate performances. Sometimes after I see a movie I think, 'How did they get those magnificent performances?'" And then I find the movie had been largely improvised."

Some cast members became much more familiar than others, as nudity was quite prevalent on set. It is a commune, after all. As Clarkesville is coincidentally home to a large nudist colony from which the filmmakers drew the comedy's extras, the omnipresent nakedness took some getting used to for cast and crew.

"When nude people are on set, you kind of can't stop looking at them," says Theroux. "I don't think they cared. They were after all, nudists, so I think their mind-set was 'Just deal with it. Yeah, my junk's out, so handle it.'"

Rudd also found the constant nudity to be a bit distracting. He notes, "It was weird to work with real naked people around. I felt bad for them because most people weren't naked, and more importantly, it was freezing. But when you throw a bunch of nudists into a scene, there's a paradigm shift. Everyone was professional and no one wanted to stare, but I think we all kind of caught each other at different points staring at them. Not in a pervy way, more like a it's-super-weird-that-all-those-people-are-naked kind of way."

No one related more to the nudity issues better than Lo Truglio, who spent most of his six weeks in the buff…save for a prosthetic member and a never-ending collection of shoes. "The first time I came out wearing 'the thing,' there was a big laugh from everyone," he recalls. "From then on, everyone just got used to seeing it."

Of his naked co-star, Rudd says: "With Joe, it's so weird how quickly I adapted. All of us did. When I initially saw him wearing the prosthesis, I laughed. The next thing you know, it just didn't faze me anymore."

Aniston adds: "Joe is just so funny that I could barely get out of a scene without bursting into laughter."

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