'It has that summer feel-good vibe about it' ; INTERVIEW The Way Way BackMaya Rudolph and Sam Rockwell star in a summer movie that promises to deliver a ray of sunshine. Susan Griffin listens, and laughs
MAYA Rudolph, mother of three and pregnant with her fourth, is musing over the mania of holidays.
You just do whatever needs to be done with the kids. You're not having romantic walks. It's like, 'Who needs to eat?' laughs the Bridesmaids actress. The subject matter's arisen given that her new movie, The Way Way Back, is a coming-of-age story packed with echoes of summer holidays past and present.
It has that universal summer feel-good vibe about it, says Rudolph, 41, who stars alongside Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell.
It's written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won an Oscar for their screenplay for The Descendants, and marks the duo's directorial debut. They wrote an amazing script and then let us infuse it with our own stuff, which was really fun, says Rudolph, who first met the pair when they were all part of the legendary LA- based improvisational comedy group The Groundlings.
The actress - who already has daughters Pearl, seven, and Lucille, three, and two-year-old son Jack with director husband Paul Thomas Anderson, goes on: What's neat about the world of sketch comedy and improv is that we learned to be part of a group. So they're the directors and they're in charge, but they understand how to work as a team.
Rockwell, her 44-year-old co-star who's known for diverse roles in movies like Moon, Frost/Nixon and Iron Man 2, agrees. Working with directors who are also actors is always easier, as well, I think, he says.
Rockwell plays Owen, wise-cracking owner of the antiquated Water Wizz water park.
Owen's devil-may-care approach doesn't always work, the California-born actor observes. It gets him in trouble with a woman he cares about. He can't seem to get it together when it comes to her. Like a lot of comedians, he's developed a veneer of silliness to push away any real feelings.
The woman in question is Caitlin, the no-nonsense water park employee, played by Rudolph, who has everything under control - except her own love life. Caitlin came to the water park thinking she'd be there for one summer, and it became her life, says Rudolph. She's usually annoyed with Owen but the place wouldn't be complete for her without him.
He's this shining light, the guy everyone wants to be, the guy you want to be around and the reason she goes to work in the morning.
Rudolph reveals she enjoyed the excuse to live vicariously, because she never knew that Owen-like person growing up.
It was really fun to play him, Rockwell echoes. I wish I was as cool as Owen.
Rudolph suggests he might be, to which the actor laughs.
Maybe on a good day, he retorts.
The Way Way back opens on Wednesday and will be reviewed in next week's EG.
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