Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz and Jack Black talk about their latest romantic comedy from Nancy Meyers
Two romances, two women, two very different situations, and an awesome movie - that's really the only way to describe The Holiday.
Nancy Meyers' latest film stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two people who just need a change. And that change comes in living in each other's world for two weeks.
Cameron plays a very successful movie trailer editor in Los Angeles, while Kate is a wedding journalist for a paper in England. When both their relationships collapse, they switch houses. That's when Cameron meets Jude Law, Kate's brother; and Kate finds Jack Black, a friend of her ex-boyfriend - and Eli Wallach, a neighbor, whom Kate befriends.
Immediately, there's a spark between Cameron and Jude. "Jude Law is a wonderful partner in these things," Cameron says. "Kate and I talk about it and she says, 'The level of professional with him, it's just not weird.' He's totally respectful, he's a very nice professional guy; he's the perfect person to do something like this with. It's like the same thing of when I take a bite of food; it's all the same process. It's being on a set, it's telling a story everyday; it's all the same. Nothing's memorable the way of it anymore than when we're doing the scenes where we're talking in the car or something."
For Kate, The Holiday was a chance to let out her romantic side. "I suppose it does; the experience of making it is very difficult to get any kind of overview on what the film is actually going to be like. I mean it was wonderful working with Jack, these little sort of romantic moments between us were incredibly sweet and enjoyable and also nice for me you know as well. I'd never made a film like this before and I really embraced it. And I really enjoyed every moment of working with Jack and working with Eli and playing this sweet lovely charming grounded honest woman, it was such a pleasure."
And certainly, we've never seen Jack Black in a romantic comedy before - at least not in this kind of light. "I was surprised because I usually don't get offers for romantic comedies, so that was flattering, and my mom was overjoyed. But Nancy is a fan, and she thought that I had the goods to pull it off; she believed in me, and in my adorableness, and my adorable side that has yet to really excavated. It was a challenge; I don't usually show the soft and cuddlies."
Jack was also happy he didn't have any full make-out session with Kate. "In fact, I was kind of worried they were going to try and sneak one in, just because I'm not one for public displays, and you can't get more public than in a major motion picture. So I was relieved that ours was the sweet one; the other one was the 'full tongues a blazin.'"
Cameron has kind of perfected these roles; The Holiday is no different. She really plays the part in a way only she could. "I've tried to think of other romantic comedies that I've done; but my brain always thought of romantic comedy being like Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks, those kinds of romantic comedies. What I loved about this one and why I was so comfortable doing it was because of Nancy Myers; I felt like her vision of what it was, was so clear and when something is clear like that and when something is right there for you and you have such great partners like Jude and Nancy to make the movie with, it's all about chemistry, it's all about making the right movie with the right people."
Everyone who has worked with Nancy Meyers has come away a better actor; more of her taking her actors out of their normal element. "I think it's about two separate relationships that happen with women and men," notes Kate. "I was so excited to do something new and also nervous; the worry of 'can I be funny' - it's a terrible thing to be concerned about. And Jude and I would speak on the telephone a lot before we started shooting, 'Oh my g-d, they're going to fire us, they're going to recast, what if we don't make them laugh?' - very nervous about the whole thing. But, I haven't played a contemporary English woman in a film either before; I've done a lot of period English films but never a contemporary person. I've done it in American, but this was new to me, and actually I did not like the feeling initially. I thought, 'Well what do you mean I can't hide behind something, what do you mean I don't have a wig or an accent you know or a strange costume? It was me and my hair and my voice and clothes that I would choose to wear and there was something oddly intimidating about that and it took a little bit of getting used to."
It definitely worked with Kate, and Jack would overwhelmingly concur. "Kate was incredible to work with, as I had anticipated. It was a huge reason why I wanted to do the movie; I'm such a fan of hers, and I love just love her work and her acting. It was interesting to find out she came from a family full of actors and she grew up in that theater world, and it makes sense cause she's so damn good - it's like she's from that world. And whenever we were doing a scene, I would get lost watching her cause you kind of go in a little trance cause she's so real, she's really so believable and beautiful that you go 'doy, snap out of it, get back in this thing.'"
The Holiday is a movie where you can pick a character and know someone just like that, or you've been in a situation like that. Cameron says that's exactly the case with her. "I loved that it's highly relatable to everyone; I can relate to Iris (Kate's character) and I can relate to Amanda (Cameron's character). I think we've all been through these relationships before, that's life; it's the journey of love. This lifetime is to try to figure out how to make love work and nurture relationships. There's definitely something that I think everybody can see a bit themselves, maybe not the exact same experience, but certainly the human aspect of it."
"I think I relate to all the characters, both men and the women to be honest with you," Kate says. "Because the subject of love, it's endless, it's absolutely endless and it can be the most glorious thing in the world but it can also be the most shattering thing. When you're in a situation like the one Iris is in, when you love someone who doesn't love you back, in a way I sort of relate to all of them. That's what Nancy Meyers does brilliantly, she constructs these stories that have characters in them that we feel as though we know. We feel as though we've either been that person or we're friends with that person."
The Holiday is one film you'll appreciate and definitely enjoy. It opens in theaters December 8th; it's rated PG-13.
The Holiday was released December 8th, 2006 and stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell, Miffy Englefield. The film is directed by Nancy Meyers.