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Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin Talk About 'The Back-Up Plan'

Jennifer Lopez Returns in a Baby-Centric Romantic Comedy

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Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin photo from The Back-Up Plan

Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin in 'The Back-Up Plan.'

© CBS Films
Apr 19, 2010 - Jennifer Lopez returns to feature films with a starring role in CBS Films' romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan. Lopez plays Zoe, a single woman who decides she's never going to find Mr. Right and so she opts to get pregnant through artificial insemination. Aussie actor Alex O'Loughlin (Whiteout, Moonlight) co-stars as Stan, a guy Zoe meets and falls for shortly after she's made up her mind to get pregnant and go it alone.

In a case of art imitating life, Lopez' character gets pregnant with twins. In real life, Lopez and hubby Marc Anthony's twins are two years old.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin The Back-Up Plan Press Conference

We’ve been hearing about this being about a comeback year for you. How important is this film? And it's a romantic comedy, but it seems to have a very serious message about pregnancy and children and the complications of love and lust. Do you think this movie is sort of like a message movie in a way?

Jennifer Lopez: "It’s not a message movie, it’s a romantic comedy. It definitely deals with modern issues, which I love. That’s what I really liked about it. [...]That’s one of the things, it had a very modern voice, you know? It seemed very up to date. I think that’s very important for romantic comedies, that they do deal with issues. It doesn’t feel like it’s a story from 20 years ago, which some romantic comedies can be like. So, that was one of the things that really attracted me to it."

"As far as the comeback or whatever, I don’t really think of it that way. I was just home kind of on maternity leave, working and making music and doing things like that. And now, my first movie’s coming out since I was fat. So, that’s that."

In the film you two are overwhelmed shopping for all the crazy twin paraphernalia you had to get. Did you have that same feeling shopping for twins?

Jennifer Lopez: "I mean so many things in this movie was art imitating life for me, because I had just gone through the pregnancy. It was really just fresh in my mind. Kate [Angelo], when she wrote the script, she had just gone through a pregnancy as well. When we first met, we met at this aerobics class. I don’t know why aerobics is such an '80s term. It was a boot camp. She comes up to me and I had just signed on to the movie. I was really excited about it. It was right before Christmas. She said, 'I’m Kate Angelo.' I was like, 'Hi.' She was like, 'I wrote The Back-up Plan.' I was like, 'Oh my god.' She’s like, 'I just had a baby too.'"

"It was very kind of like perfect. It was so fresh in our minds that we really fought with the guys sometimes with certain things. Like, 'This has to stay in. And this has to be there. No you don’t get it. This is important. Women are going to love this.' So, we used a lot of the stuff from real life."

Can you talk about how you came about signing on to the film and why was it so important for you to be involved with it?

Jennifer Lopez: "I mean it was just time for me to do a movie again, I think. I just love romantic comedies. It was just the first thing that I wanted to do back. So, we started looking for one and this one came up. It was just perfect. I mean obviously throughout my career I’ve always felt like certain things come to me at the right time. When I look at the work that I’ve done, it’s always very kind of indicative of where I was in my life at the moment. This was the same thing. It was just very kind of serendipitous that it happened this way. It was perfect."

Could you both talk a little bit about finding the rhythms of playing in a romantic comedy?

Alex O’Loughlin: "Jennifer’s the queen of romantic comedies. I mean she’s so comfortable and successful in this genre. We all know her films…you know her romantic comedies before The Back-Up Plan. I was sort of trained in drama. I went to theater school. I started on the stage. Comedy is absolutely an essential part of what we do as actors. But I think in the grand scheme of things, comedy was born from tragedy. First there was tragedy and then there was comedies. I studied a bit of it at school. [...]We did really classical stuff. I’ve always loved, as an Aussie, comedy, part of my life. My friends and I are always ribbing each other and that’s how we get through the days."

"When it comes to cameras rolling and getting that timing right, the only way to do it and do it well is to throw yourself into it, which is what Jennifer does incredibly. I mean we met before we did the film together. We met to see…you know, we just had a meeting; we had a cup of tea at your house there in Long Island. I met the family. We realized that we were both cool people and we go each other’s sense of humor. So, we understood that we could spend a bunch of time together and not want to kill each other, essentially is what it was about. That freed us up. Because the thing is, to have a friend and a comrade as your co-star, especially in a romantic comedy, is really important. It’s easier to give yourself and the other person permission to play. That’s what it’s all about. So, I actually learned a lot about the art of comedy and romantic comedy from Jennifer in this process."

Jennifer Lopez: "I think with romantic comedies it’s a lot about tone. Because different romantic comedies have different tones. I think you have to really understand what the director and what kind of story he wants to tell and what kind of tone he wants the movie to have. Once you’re there…sometimes, it actually gets created on the set as well. With how you start playing with an actor with the material and what the director likes. He’s like, 'That’s good. Let’s go in that direction. Let’s do that.' It becomes created through the actors with the director during the film. But I think everything needs to be played real, for realities sake, for truth. And that is the drama and the comedy. When you do that it’s funnier. And when you do that, you really do hit the emotional beats. I do it the same way as I do a drama. I just play it for truth and then maybe have a little bit of fun with it sometimes."

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