The Other Woman actresses talk about acting drunk

Actress Cameron Diaz (above centre) with cast members Kate Upton (left) and Leslie Mann (right) at the gala screening of The Other Woman in London and the trio in a scene from the movie. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actress Cameron Diaz (above centre) with cast members Kate Upton (left) and Leslie Mann (right) at the gala screening of The Other Woman in London and the trio in a scene from the movie. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Actress Cameron Diaz with cast members Kate Upton and Leslie Mann at the gala screening of The Other Woman in London and the trio in a scene (above) from the movie. -- PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
Actress Cameron Diaz with cast members Kate Upton and Leslie Mann at the gala screening of The Other Woman in London and the trio in a scene (above) from the movie. -- PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton sail through new film by acting drunk

If there is one thing the female buddy movie The Other Woman has plenty of, it is drunk acting.

In it, the trio of women - played by Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton - on several occasions are happily intoxicated.

But ask them about the technique of acting drunk and fingers point to 42-year-old Mann. As Kate, the spouse of love cheat Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jamie Lannister on the hit television costume drama Game Of Thrones), she gives it the full treatment.

After she finds out about his philandering, a self-pitying Kate puts on her old wedding dress and squirts whipped cream directly into her mouth. She has had a few, naturally.

"Just allow yourself total freedom and get totally loose," she says, whipping her head around.

Diaz, 41, who plays the successful, no-nonsense lawyer Carly in the film, offers another idea: Copy what babies do. She says: "Maybe you just act like a baby. They always look drunk."

Mann and Upton, her companions at the press conference in Sydney on Thursday, voice their enthusiastic support for the idea.

There is obvious chemistry between the three women. Here on the interview couch, a few moments are spent in high-spirited chatter and the comparing of shoes before they turn their attention to the questions.

In the film, after Kate (Mann) discovers that husband Mark has been seeing the unsuspecting Carly (Diaz), the pair decide to join forces to seek revenge, but not before recruiting third member Amber (Upton).

Together, they find ways of making sure that justice is served on the handsome but despicable Mark.

The mood in the room turns serious for a moment when the subject of chick flicks come up. The Other Woman is anything but, say the trio. For one thing, the male lead, on whom the women wreak havoc, is anything but desirable.

Diaz says they made Mark as "ratty as we could, we made him the worst possible depiction of the liar, cheater, pathological individual".

The net effect, she jokes, is that men can watch the film and "feel good about themselves. They will say, 'I am not even close to being as bad as that guy' and their girlfriends can be like, 'Oh, honey, you're so great'."

Mann adds that for the male audience, there are "cars and poop jokes" as well as a scene in which Diaz is hit in the face with the genitalia of a large male dog.

"And dog balls. Whatever interests you," quips Mann, who is best known for her parts in comedies written or produced by husband Judd Apatow. She has been seen in Apatow productions This Is 40 (2012), Funny People (2009) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005). That moment with the dog is among the many bits of physical comedy in which the women - especially Diaz and Mann - flail, fall and act silly. Much of it is spontaneous, they say.

In one scene, the pair, attempting a ninja-like home break-in to spy on Mark, attempt to scale a wall, with Mann doing the climbing while being held up by Diaz.

Diaz says with a laugh: "She just climbs on me and I hold on for dear life. I just don't want to fall over."

Diaz got her break in the Jim Carrey comedy The Mask (1994) and gained widespread recognition for her performance in the Farrelly brothers comedy There's Something About Mary (1998). She is also known for her dramatic roles, winning critical acclaim for turns in Being John Malkovich (1999) and Vanilla Sky (2001).

Mann, looking at Diaz, adds: "She was shaking. There's a picture of me running at her to jump on her and she was just like 'ugh'. Bracing. But I knew I was safe, that she wouldn't drop me."

Upton, too, got physical, giving Mann a piggy-back ride in one scene.

Upton, who at 21 is the youngest of the three, is also the least experienced in acting. Her break into feature films came through her work first as a fashion model (a career that also gave Diaz her start) and subsequently, as one of Sports Illustrated magazine's most popular swimsuit models.

This is her third and most substantial role. She has appeared in smaller parts in Tower Heist (2011) and The Three Stooges (2012). All three roles have depended to a large extent on her statuesque proportions as much as her acting. She is not worried about being typecast, however.

She says: "I've only been in the spotlight for three years. In time, I will show people that I have more to offer. I'm taking the opportunities and I am grateful for them."

The three actresses may have ganged up onscreen to extract their pound of flesh from love cheat Mark, but in real life, they are aware that the best revenge on a bad lover is simply leaving.

Says Upton: "Cameron and I agree that the best revenge is just to walk away and not waste another second of your life with someone who is emotionally damaging. It's the best revenge because he doesn't get a chance to explain himself.

"You can imagine him just rotting away at the heart," she adds dramatically, a remark that has the other two women in stitches.

Mann, in admiration, repeats it: "'Imagine him rotting away at the heart. Damn."

johnlui@sph.com.sg

The Other Woman is now showing in cinemas.