Nothing can quite prepare you for Cameron Diaz bounding into a room. Jude Law, her co-star in seasonal rom-com The Holiday, recently commented that the Californian cracker is like a permanent beam of sunshine. Yeah right. These bleedin’ lovies, eh.
So, as TF perches in a hotel room, waiting with
So, what was Cameron like to work with? I know she's sitting right next to you but there's no need to be polite...
So Cameron, how much of your larking about is on the page and how much do you improv when you're on set?
Cameron: There's a considerable amount of it on the page. Then Nancy and I would fool around with it. We didn't want to take the film into a broad comedy, so we tried to play it realistic. Moments that would happen, like hitting your head, you know, sometimes you just hit your head, and you're like – ‘What? How did that happen?’ So we just played it easy; we just found it together.
We hear you're like a human anti-depressant when you're on set. Do you see it as your role to perk up the mood?
Cameron: You know everyone is on set for a bare minimum of 12 hours a day and we're all there away from our families and friends and we're dedicated to the time that we're there. So yeah, I do feel that there's a tone you can set on a set that lets people know that they're appreciated for being there and that we're all part of the same team.
Do you often have celebs in mind for your characters, like Jack Black for Miles?
How did you get him interested?
He came over to my house; we sat in my kitchen and had pasta together and I told him the idea and I said, 'would you ever be in a movie like this?' And I said I was thinking of Kate Winslet, and he said 'you want me in a movie with Kate Winslet?'. It's funny because when I told Kate that I wanted Jack Black to be in the movie with her she was so excited, so I thought, 'I'm onto something, I'm not the only girl who thinks he's really cute and great.’
And a lot of fun on set I'd imagine?
Cameron, what was it about the character of Amanda that attracted you to the role?
Cameron: First off,
How do you pick your projects? Is it literally just if something speaks to you like that?
Cameron: It's always director and script first. Those two things are pretty much head to head. Because even if I loved the script, the director has to be right, because it's all about the filmmaker; it's their vision. They're the ones that go back into the editing room and they assemble the film. I have to really be able to trust that person and work out whether or not I'll be able to have a relationship with them and want to follow them down that road, wherever it may lead.
TF heard that Hugh Grant was a possibility for Jude Law's character. Were you writing with Hugh Grant in mind?
Talking about Jude - he's kind of known for playing these quiet, broody roles. Is it true that you had to keep telling him to stop being such a grumpy git?
Cameron, was the project made anymore appealing to you when you realised you were playing a romantic lead opposite Jude Law?
Cameron: Jude was the last to be cast on the film so I didn't know who it was going to be. Kate wasn't even locked into the movie when I joined the film. Neither was Jack or Eli. So I guess I was the first one.
Nancy, in the two couples, you've got one who's a natural comedic character and then you've got the Oscar nominated one. Did you find they were learning from each other?
Do you think you learnt anything from Jude, Cameron?
Cameron: So much. I always think it's something if you're working with somebody, especially somebody like Jude, who's done it all you know. He's wonderful on the stage but he's played wonderful characters with very little dialogue too. How natural he was and how effortless and how open he was in allowing himself to play a character that fell in love on screen, you know, who cried, whose heart was just open to these possibilities - it was something that I really admired in him.
You've also got a great scene with Ed Burns as well, and you get to spark him out. That must’ve been a pretty cool day…
Cameron: My hand killed! No, Eddie's the greatest. I really wish there was more with his character, Ethan. When
Eli Wallach's ageing screenwriter is the one who helps to mend Iris' broken heart. Was that something you came up with initially, or...?
Cameron, your character is pretty culture shocked when she comes across to Blighty. What do you think of how we do things over here?
Cameron: Well I think it's crazy that you guys drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car, but that's what I love about Amanda - she's like, 'I can do this, I can drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car,' which is totally terrifying.
You're very convincing as a terrifying driver...
Cameron: Thank you!
And how was it filming in
Cameron: We got really lucky with the weather. We didn't have a lot of rain. A couple of times actually it did snow, like blanketing the countryside which all the British crew swore never happened so we got lucky a couple of times and got to say ‘told you so.’ But in movies these days we can make anything, anything's possible, so of course we had the best snow guys in the bizz. The snow bizz, and they made beautiful snow.
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