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Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson Discuss 'Marley and Me'

Aniston and Wilson Co-Star with an Adorable Dog in 'Marley and Me'


Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson Discuss 'Marley and Me'

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in 'Marley and Me.'

© 20th Century Fox
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play married journalists in the touching comedy/drama Marley and Me directed by David Frankel and co-starring Eric Dane and Alan Arkin. Based on the bestselling book by John Grogan, Marley and Me follows a couple who adopt a Labrador puppy who turns out to be one of the worst behaved dogs in the history of the planet. Marley gets into everything, but he's an important member of the family - and he's cute - so he's always forgiven. An emotionally touching tale, Marley and Me is the sort of movie anyone who's ever loved a dog can totally relate to.

Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson – Marley and Me Press Conference

Can you talk about the challenges of working with a dog and did having dogs help you in the process?

Jennifer Aniston: "Well, I think it helped only because I wasn't afraid of dogs. But honestly he was so easy to work with. I would say the younger Marley's were, to hit their mark, a little bit more challenging for the trainers. We had a ball. We never had a hard time."

Was there any scene that was difficult or took a long time to get?

Jennifer Aniston: "The scene where we were taking him to get neutered. That was definitely a challenging scene in the car because you also have Matilda in the back seat, the trainer who's fantastic. It was just a lot of action for the dog."

Owen Wilson: "Clyde was always good at getting his stuff. Getting the puppy to imitate like…"

Jennifer Aniston: "It was harder."

Owen Wilson: "...like he was going to the bathroom - that one took a long time because he had a stool that he had to sit on. They were going to I guess green screen it."

Jennifer Aniston: "Don't give it away."

This movie is sort of like a romantic comedy after marriage and you so rarely see that. I'd like for all of you to comment on how wonderful that is for married people. So many times marriage in the suburbs is portrayed as miserable and this was not the case.

Jennifer Aniston: "No."

Owen Wilson: "Yeah, it is true. It seems like every time you see a marriage it's always this like struggle. But in our scene, you're kind of saying that. I'm trying to say, 'No, everything is okay,' and you're like, 'Really?' It's like you don't really believe it."

How did you physically get ready for the movie?

Jennifer Aniston: "Well I trained five hours a day. [Laughing] How did I physically get ready? Not much. Physically, I had to show the passage of time. There were wigs and a certain extensions of hair, additions to a bang piece for a more youthful look. But that's basically it."

Owen Wilson: "But you did do a lot of training. That one scene where we had to do the running, you were kind of bandaged up, kind of getting helped back to the start mark. And every time they said, 'Action,' it was off like you see in Bolt."

Jennifer, you mentioned in the production notes that your character lets go of youth. How did you process that in thinking about the movie and bringing that to your character? Also, what did you name the dog you adopted?

Jennifer Aniston: "Oh, I didn't adopt a dog. I have a dog. I have an adopted dog - both of my dogs are. But that was years ago. I almost adopted the dog that's in the poster. What was the name of that dog?"

Owen Wilson: "Tank? Chud? Judd. [Laughing] There were so many dogs playing Marley that it was like doing a Vietnam movie where you didn't want to get to close because you knew that that dog might not be there the next day."

Jennifer Aniston: "They would grow up, literally. It's so true."

Owen Wilson: "And then some of the people that did adopt some of those puppies then called [the trainers] saying they were having sort of behavior problems."

Can you talk about why you wanted to do this? A lot of times when we talk to actors they will say, "You know, I never could have played this role unless I had been a mother." Do you think you should have waited?

Jennifer Aniston: [Laughing] No, I wanted to be in the movie."

Owen Wilson: "How many times have you played..."

Jennifer Aniston: "I have been pregnant in so many movies it's ridiculous."

Owen Wilson: "It's like Lady Madonna."

Jennifer Aniston: "The reason I wanted to be in this movie was exactly what you just said. It wasn't the sort of girl trying to get the guy or the guy trying to get the girl or the chase and then you end the movie where they ride off into the sunset. This is sort of the prequel to that."

Owen Wilson: "Sequel."

Jennifer Aniston: "I'm sorry, sequel. My bad. Thank you Owen. [Laughing] You know, where you get to see the ins and outs of a relationship and see them over 15 years and have this sort of human thread that takes you through, and have it be funny just because life is funny. I just loved it. I responded to the material."

What's more high maintenance - a dog or a woman?

Owen Wilson: "Which is more high maintenance? Probably humans, I think, tend to be more demanding."

Getting into the roles, you had the book down pat…

Jennifer Aniston: "Thank you. That was the material. It was on the page. It was something that was extremely important to us because this book has such an audience and such a fan base, and there are two people that are actually here on the planet and you want to honor their story."

Owen Wilson: "They came and visited early on and it was kind of strange, but it was like a little bit nerve-wrecking. Like, 'I wonder what he's thinking about me playing him…' But they came a few times and they were just kind of..."

Jennifer Aniston: "So sweet."

Owen Wilson: "Especially John, just talking with him and just easy to get along with. But I think what [Jennifer] was saying it was on the page, stuff kind of made sense."

Page 2: The Appeal of Marley and Me and Learning from Dogs

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