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James Marsden Turns Into a Disney Prince for 'Enchanted'

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James Marsden Turns Into a Disney Prince for 'Enchanted'

James Marsden stars in Enchanted.

© Walt Disney Pictures

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James Marsden Enchanted Press Conference

You were talking to this chipmunk that wasn’t there. Was that director Kevin Lima running around squeaking?
“It was Kevin running around squeaking. First of all, a lot of times there was nothing there so you were acting to nothing. When I grab him, you sort of have to imagine there’s something there. But, they also had a little stuffed chipmunk on the end of a stick.”

Did you see a drawing of what it was going to look like?
“Yeah, they would come to the set with a laptop computer and show us like a 10 second test of the chipmunk and what he would look like so you’d think, ‘Okay’ and you would just call on that. But, it’s standing there acting to nothing. The prince doesn’t really understand what he’s saying most of the time anyway.”

You sent a tape to the director to show you could sing. Why Sinatra and which songs?
“They were Sinatra songs mainly because they were the only recordings I had, recordings of me singing those songs for Ally McBeal. David Kelly, I did like I think 13 episodes of that show, and he had me singing in the bar a lot so I was doing Dean Martin and Sinatra. I had the recordings on a disc and I just sent them to Kevin because it was the only thing I had that was recorded. What were the songs? The Lady’s a Tramp and I’ve Got the World on a String or something. I can’t remember. But, very different than this style of singing.”

Would you say you are a romantic like your character or more practical?
“Kind of hard to pick. I think I’m somewhere in between. I am pretty practical and I can be fairly cynical, but I also like to think that I can be romantic [laughing] because I’m disillusioned. But I guess when I describe it, my romantic acts don’t take the form of rose petals on the floor and chocolates - all of those things that seem Romance 101. My wife thinks I’m romantic if I get up with the crying baby and let her sleep in. But, to me romance is thoughtful acts for someone you love. That would be filling her car up with gas or making her coffee. But very early on in our relationship, there was lots of serenading on the beach and things like that but once you have kids…”

You’ve had an action figure before but have you seen your doll for this?
“I haven’t seen the doll for this. I don’t know if they have one.”

They do.
“Oh, really? Okay. Well, having gone through that with the X-Men films, it was exciting when that happened and being on the side of Dr. Pepper cans, very surreal. But, honestly, I thought that was going to be the last of it. When am I going to get to do this again? I wish I could describe it. I’m just so honored and it’s very flattering. But, I’m always thinking, ‘How am I going to top this?’ I’ve done the superhero and the iconic Disney character. I just feel really, really, lucky.”

Is doing this musical thing going to be permanent in your future?
“Well, I don’t want to overstay my welcome in any genre but I really did enjoy these two films, Enchanted and Hairspray. They were just completely different than anything I’ve ever done before and, like I said, singing has always been a hobby of mine. To be able to do it in an acting job was a lot of fun. Both of them were fun. I would do it again for sure. But, in the same breath, I would also say that, to me, creatively, it’s always more interesting to do something completely different which is why I’m doing this dark, psychological thriller [The Box] starting in a couple of weeks.”

Do you have anything planned after The Box?
“I’m scheduled to do another film after that called The Sex Drive with Josh Zuckerman and it comes right after it. It’s another comedy but it’s in the vein of Superbad.”

Are you the guy with the sex drive?
“Well, my younger brother actually has this online relationship with this girl and he misinterprets what she writes to him. He thinks she’s saying ‘if you drive to where I am, I’ll have sex with you,’ and I play his older brother who is kind of a redneck, drives a classic car and makes fun of him. Remember Weird Science? Like Bill Paxton’s role, Chet. It’s something very different.”

You’ve got the comedy 27 Dresses coming up with Katherine Heigl. Can you talk about that?
“It’s a romantic comedy with Katherine that I would liken to When Harry Met Sally. A girl is described as a compulsive bridesmaid. She’s obsessed with love and weddings and going to weddings. She’s been a bridesmaid 27 times and she keeps every one of her dresses. I play a journalist who has tried to get out of the commitments or vows section of the paper to get into the more legitimate newsroom. He writes these what most women think are these beautiful sections in the paper, but he’s a very cynical guy and thinks it’s all crap. He just does it to make money.

He meets this girl and discovers she’s this perpetual bridesmaid and thinks it’s very interesting. He’s planning this expose thing about her for it to be the article to put him into the real newsroom and, in the course of that, they sort of become friends. It’s a very complicated and very twisty plot. But, that’s sort of the premise of it.”

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