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Alexis Bledel and America Ferrera Discuss "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

Bledel and Ferrera on the Book, the Film, and the 'Chick Flick' Label


Alexis Bledel America Ferrera

Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel

© Warner Bros. Pictures

Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, and Amber Tamblyn portray a group of close friends who share a pair of magical pants in the movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," based on the best-selling novel by Ann Brashares.


Had you read the book before auditioning for "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?"

America Ferrera - No. I got the script, read the script, and read with Ken Kwapis and Deborah Martin Chase who is the producer. And then went out and read the first book because that’s what the script is based on. Then I had to read the second book because I was a big fan. Before the last book came out, Amber [Tamblyn] knew how much I loved the book and brought me an advance copy of it. She’s like, ‘You are the third person in the world to read it.’ I was so honored. I actually read it on set. So yeah, I’m a big fan of the books.

Why do you think the book is such a hit?

Alexis Bledel - I think it caught on because the stories that these four girls have individually in the book are extremely relatable. They’re very real teenage experiences. I think the friendship between the four girls is something that is more realistic than a lot of the relationships we see between girls in movies lately. A lot of the time it’s like backstabbing or petty or superficial. I think most girls’ relationships are real friendships like these. I don’t think they’re that much more dramatic.”

How long did you film in Greece?

Alexis Bledel - Three weeks. It was right as the Olympics were being set up, just is they were kind of beginning to go. …Usually it’s easy for me to pick up bits of languages when I travel, but Greek was so foreign to me. It was like a different part of my brain that I couldn’t access or something. But it was fun to hear it. People speaking Greek have a lot of passion. It sounds like they are excited or angry or something all the time.

Do you have any good stories from shooting in Greece?

Alexis Bledel - They had me running around like crazy. They had me riding Vespa scooters and motorcycles, which I hadn’t ridden before in my life. But I was like, “Come on, let’s go!” It was so fun. …I had like summer camp over there. They had me running around like crazy.

This could be classified as a chick flick…

Alexis Bledel - I think that if any teenage boys do end up getting either dragged to this movie or end up taking a girl to see this movie, they’re gonna realize that stories like Carmen’s story in the film are just human experiences that have to do with family, that aren’t so far beyond their realm of understanding. I think a lot of the guys who have seen it have actually said they relate most to Carmen’s story because it’s a story about miscommunication with a parent or the lack of a relationship or trying to find how you relate to a parent who has started a new family. That’s a very real topic in our society to any gender.

Have you filmed anything else since this?

America Ferrera - Yes. I did “Lords of Dogtown” at the same time [as this] and then I shot an independent over the winter break. I’m a full-time student at USC so I kind of restrict shooting to breaks, to my vacations, and I shot this last summer. It’s called “Steel City.” It’s about a boy’s relationship with his father who is in prison. I’m his girlfriend.

What are you studying at USC?

America Ferrera - I’m studying international relations. I’m very interested in it. I just feel a responsibility to be an educated citizen and be a smarter human being. I think being a filmmaker and being part of our media, which has such a huge effect on our society, I feel obligated to be an educated person when I’m creating the images that sometimes have more of a role in affecting young society than what we would hope would be like news and politics and what’s really happening in the world. Who are they really looking at and who are their role models in reality? Those role models should feel a sense of responsibility.

You were in three films this year: “Sin City,” “Bride and Prejudice” and now this one. They couldn’t be more different. How do you choose your scripts?

Alexis Bledel - I have a wonderful manager who is sort of, miraculously, on the same page with me most of the time. We just really like the same kinds of stories. We like good material, good stories. I think that helps.

“Sin City” was definitely more risqué than your other films.

Alexis Bledel - Well, I didn’t get a chance to read it actually. The script wasn’t out there but we did have a chance to pick up the graphic novels. The script is basically… They basically shot the graphic novels frame for frame. So I saw those and thought it was going to be a visually amazing, which it was to me. It was so fun to see it when it came together because we just worked on green screen so we were audience members too, in a way, when we got to see it all together.


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