Jacinda Barrett on Tackling a Very Emotional Part: Barrett says shes able to turn it on and off. Its impossible to just stay in that emotional state all day long, including your lunch hour, including a hour while they set up the lights. It just doesnt do you any good. At a certain point if you keep doing that, it dissipates. The emotion leaves you altogether.
I find for me what is the best sometimes, depending on the scene - like the scene with Blythe [Danner] where Im on the floor and shes leaning over me and talking to me and I was crying - they just used music before every take. But then that confrontation scene with Zach [Braff], we shot that all day for 12 hours. I just would go into it and then go out of it and start laughing at the end of it, because laughters often the other side of that extreme tears and vulnerability. Its sort of like ridiculousness at what youre going through, so I would forget about it. We would joke around and then we would start up again. Thats how we got through that.
What is it About Zach Braff?: I think he has a charisma and a wit and a lightness about him thats fun to be around, and obviously he has a real intelligence and determination to have done what hes done in his career at such a young age. And as an actor, obviously all of that comes through. But also there was with the two of us just an incredible freedom and ease with each other, and no sense of worrying that anything was inappropriate or you couldnt take risks with the other person. That was really important for all the behavior that we had to have with each other, and that sense of comfort and ease you have when youve been together three years.
The Specifics of the Fart Scene: He did it for real a couple of times, I think. He has a little bit of talent that way; hes an on-cue kind of guy. Its impressive. I dont know if we had a sound effect (laughing). I think a sound effect would have been too funny to hear a random fart coming from the other room, so I dont think we had that. But it was a funny moment for us every time wed be shooting it, because even in real life that stuff happens. Its both gross if someone does it on you and at the same time hilarious. That was a fun day.
Figuring Out Men: Although her character claims to have figured out Zach Braffs character in half an hour, in real life Barrett says theres no way that actually happens. Its such a ridiculous statement to make that assumption about anybody. The way she sees life is black and white, and things fall into their [category] and thats just how they are. If anything falls outside of those parameters, she judges it negatively. I dont agree with that at all. I agree more with the way Blythes character is talking, that things are in many shades of gray sometimes. So that was a little bit hard to do, but I also loved that the character had that, because she had something to evolve through. Her evolution of growing up was releasing some of that harsh imbedded idealism of youth, and to grow up into a more evolved understanding of being an adult.
Spending Time with Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson: Id worked with Tom in a really different movie and a different role, especially for him and for me too, in London years ago on one of the Ripley books that they had adapted - one of Patricia Highsmiths books. Barry Pepper was Ripley, and then it was Tom and Willem Dafoe and Alan Cumming. I know it came out in film festivals and then it had a hard time being released, so I dont know if it actually ever came out.
[Tom] just has this incredible strength and is the calm inside the storm in this character, and this stoicism that was such a different quality than what Blythe brought, which was this more frenetic, emotional and very mercurial in the way she would be happy one minute and then upset in the next. In that scene in the dining room, especially when we first tell them were pregnant, you see all those qualities in her. And so it was really fun to watch how they each approached their characters. Blythe would literally put a hand on my face and she has such a mothers touch, it would get me emotional. It was a great experience working with both of them, and theyre clearly the old pros in the movie. Theyve been doing it longer than any of us.