Emma Roberts, Sara Paxton, and JoJo talk about working together on the mermaid teen movie
What happens when three teen girls get on a set in Australia? Lots of fun! In the new film, Aquamarine, Emma Roberts and JoJo play best friends and Sara Paxton is the mermaid they find. They all immediately became really close friends and hung out all the time.
What else is there to do for three girls in a foreign country? All three talked about hanging out together. In fact, one day down under, Emma found out Sara lives only five minutes apart from her here in Los Angeles. "Yeah, we had never met each other before and we were in Australia and we were like ‘Where do you live?' and I was like ‘Yeah, I live like five minutes from there.' And I was like ‘No way!'"
For Sara, it was all about hanging out with the girls. "On set, we hung out nonstop because when we were living in the same apartment complex. We worked together every day for three months and it's a good thing that we all got along so well because we literally were seeing each other every second of the day so it was a really good thing we were really close."
JoJo was all about the malls! "We were in Queensland and we were staying right across from the beach. We would go shopping all the time and hang out with the locals. We made some local friends and that was fun and we went to the beach a lot too."
And even now, they all still hang out. I was eating at the Four Seasons Hotel and noticed all the girls eating at the table behind us. There was so much giggling and laughing, it was hard not to notice how much fun they were having together.
I could definitely tell they were all still good friends. "Me (Sara) and Emma live literally five minutes away from each other and JoJo lives in New Jersey I think, somewhere on the east coast but she comes over to visit all the time. We constantly keep in touch. We help each other with guy problems and stuff like that and we've just really been keeping in touch."
But all three of them have a very strong career outside of this movie. Sara stars in her own show on Saturday mornings called Darcy's Wild Life, on which she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. She'll also be co-starring with Rebecca Romijn in the new WB show Pepper Dennis; that'll start airing April 4th.
Emma is the star of her own Nickelodeon show, Unfabulous, and will be starring as Nancy Drew in the new live action film. Oh, and not to mention, she's the daughter of Eric Roberts and niece of Julia Roberts. Emma talked about working on the Nancy Drew film by saying "we just finished the first month of it. It's going to be Nancy Drew: Goes to Hollywood and she solves a movie star mystery. And yeah, there's a possibility of doing more than one."
JoJo is working on her sophomore album, coming out in August. Her first album, self titled, was a smash hit; the single ‘Leave [Get out]' skyrocketed to the number one spot on the billboard charts back in 2004. Along with Aquamarine, she'll be starring in the new film RV with Robin Williams coming out in April.
But JoJo isn't the only singer of the bunch, both Emma and Sara have recorded songs for their television shows and various films. Emma was very impressed with one of the tunes Sara has on the Aquamarine soundtrack. "Sara has the song that's playing in the previews called ‘Connected;' I actually called her when I heard it and I said ‘Don't you just love that song!' And she was like ‘That's my song.' ‘Are you serious? I want it.' Yeah, I liked it."
Sara says she had a great time singing with the other girls off set "Well, for fun, we were just like kidding around. Like not for real singing, but we would make up raps and stuff. We were constantly just joking around nonstop. They would tell us to be quiet sometimes."
As far as their characters, JoJo is probably the least like the girl she plays. She says switching from her music career to her film career took some getting used to. "There is a different responsibility that you have. As an artist, you can be whoever you want to be; you can be yourself, or portray yourself any way you choose. When you're playing a role, you obviously have to play that person who is different from yourself. I took that very seriously and I tried to make my character of Hailey (in Aquamarine) different from who I am; I'm not shy and she was kind of uncomfortable with herself. She covered up with baggy clothes and I'm not like that."
And for Sara, well, let's just say she doesn't normally have a tail attached to her body. But, it was certainly fun to wear the costume on set. "I spent four hours in makeup a day because it took two hours to do hair and makeup and then two and a half hours to squeeze my body into the tail, get it zipped up, glued in, airbrushed, painted, everything and then they would roll me onto a tarp and five guys on a stretcher would carry me like this like I was Cleopatra. And they'd sit me on the ground and flop me into the pool. It was an interesting experience."
In the movie, Sara wears talking starfish earrings; they give her small compliments like ‘You're so pretty!' and ‘You smell so nice!' Emma was telling us that they all got to voice their own starfish, and she was so excited about that, too. "I remember when we were shooting the movie, I went to Susan, Susan Carsonis, the producer, I was like ‘I would really like to do the star fish voice, I can do a really good star fish' or ‘I want to do a star fish voice.' And she was like ‘No, we've already got people do that, Emma; I don't think you're going to be able to do that.' So I was like ‘ugh.' So when we went back to do ADR (Additional Dialog Recording), they're like ‘Here's your star fish voice.' And I was like ‘I get to do it? Yeah!' So we all did three different voices and they laid them all on top of each other to make them sound all cool."
As the saying goes, ‘when you help a mermaid, you get a wish.' So I had to know what the girls would wish for if they got that chance. JoJo gave the easy answer first of ‘world peace, but what would she really want? "A selfish wish would be for a Mercedes SLK." Emma went the safe route as well with her answer. "It really depends on the situation at the time, but probably just have a long, healthy and happy life for myself, my friends and family."
This movie really is a fun adventure for teen girls. It's nice to see studios put out movies like this where parents can take their daughters to the theater and not have to worry about what they're watching.
Aquamarine splashes into theaters March 3rd; it's rated PG.
Aquamarine was released March 3rd, 2006 and stars Emma Roberts, Joanna Levesque, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman, Arielle Kebbel, Claudia Karvan, Bruce Spence, Tammin Sursok. The film is directed by Elizabeth Allen.