Renowned as one of the bestselling pregnancy and baby bibles of the eighties, What to Expect When You’re Expecting was written by Heidi Murkoff and still hits the tops the New York Times best seller lists now. Kirk Jones recently transformed the guide book into a comedy drama by, transforming the theories, practical advice and emotional moments experienced by mothers-to-be into a light hearted film.
Starring the likes of Rodrigo Santoro, Matthew Morrison, Cameron Diaz, Chace Crawford and Anna Kendrick in the roles of expectant parents, either through normal pregnancy or adoption, the cast was recently in London to talk about their experiences on set.
The film's based on a best-selling self-help book. What was it about the script for this film that hooked you? What were you expecting and in what ways did it deliver?
I really did like the storyline of my character, because when I read it, I didn't know exactly what character they were thinking of for me. And I really did enjoy my storyline because I've seen people adopt before, I just never really knew what it was about, so I thought it would be interesting to put myself into that position and also get to know more about that. And also, this character, Alex, he represents so many guys all over the world that are really scared to commit and it's supposed to be a life-changing experience, so that was really attractive for me.
I got to dance with Cameron Diaz in the movie, so that was kind of the attractive factor for me. I had a good time doing the movie though. They took this self-help book – sorry, I feel like we keep doing these things and stealing each other's answers – that has a very scientific approach to things and made it like a real-life experience, it was a human experience. So I thought that was very special and it was really great how they did it.
The same. I thought that at first, it's an ensemble film, how are they going to marry this very scientific book into stories? And I thought they did it very gracefully and very well with humour and that they did it very well, that the story really connected well, it was heartfelt, it felt real, so I wanted to be a part of telling that story.
Well, I read it and I thought my storyline was with Matt [Morrison]. Turns out it wasn't with Matt, so I was very disappointed.
Weren't we all?
Exactly, so I had to work with this one over here [Anna]. I'm kidding. I read it and we had a more heartfelt storyline and I went into a chemistry read and that was it. I needed a job. It really was great, we all shot for like two or three weeks and that was it.
I guess I was a little bit surprised. I thought I knew what the script was going to be when I started reading it and I was pleasantly surprised that they went some of the places that they did, particularly with our storyline. I thought it was very candid and very brave to discuss some of the things that come up in such an unexpected situation and feelings of guilt. And I just thought it was surprising that what is essentially a light film would go those places and I thought that was very interesting.
Cameron, can you tell us about your experience of being “pregnant”, what it was like to have the bump and did it make you feel broody or did it in fact put you off the idea of ever having children?
Well, the prosthetic was really amazing, it's a piece of art itself. It's a sculpture that was cast on a moulding of my body and then sculpted it so that it looked as if it really belonged on my body, which is why it was so convincing. And then having it adhered to your body in Atlanta, Georgia, in August, makes it quite swampy.
I'm nearly 40 years old, so I didn't really have to do a movie to inform me on how I felt about children. I kind of know already. I love children, I have been an auntie for 15 years, I have three nieces and a nephew and I have many, many children around me, and I'm part of the village that has helped to raise many children, so I love them and I welcome them into my life as mine. I want my own family when it's time for me, I welcome it, however it may come, be it through my own body or if I adopt a child or if I have a partner who has a child, I welcome children in my life, always, and I'm excited for when it happens.
All those babies in the last few scenes in the film – how did they behave? What was the experience like?
Rodrigo had the most experience with the kids, right?
Well, the kids were great, actually. They behaved very well, they were twins. We actually had a great wrangler on set. Yes, it's true. And she had this toy, a hybrid toy called The Mesmeriser and whenever they would think about crying, she would come in and just shake, like 'Shhhhh' and there wasn't a sound. It was incredible. I don't know what it is. I told her, 'You should sell it', because this is amazing. It was this weird toy but it worked. But they did behave really well, they were lovely. Really easy to work with.