Read what co-stars David Paymer and Mimi Kennedy had to say about their upcoming comedy Five Year Engagement!
While on the set for the upcoming Jason segel comedy “Five Year Engagement” myself and the other journalists had a chance to speak with co-stars David Paymer and Mimi Kennedy about their roles as husband and wife and parents to Jason Segel's character.
Synopsis: The director and writer/star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall reteam for the irreverent comedy The Five-Year Engagement. Beginning where most romantic comedies end, the new film from director Nicholas Stoller, producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Rodney Rothman (Get Him to the Greek) looks at what happens when an engaged couple, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle. The film was written by Segel and Stoller.
Check out the interview below.
How do your characters feel about Jason Segel’s character marrying Emily Blunt’s?
Mimi Kennedy: Marvelous.
David Paymer: Wait, are we in character? Are you interviewing us in character? We did this others where we were in character.
Kennedy: Emily is marvelous. She’s perfect for him. She’s brilliant. She’s gorgeous. We’ve done very well marrying our actor-son Jason Segel off to Emily Blunt. That’s really happening, right?
Paymer: She really is just terrific to work with. As friendly as can be.
Can you talk about your own relationship as characters? Are you both still together? Are you happily married?
Kennedy: Oh yeah.
Paymer: Oh yes.
Kennedy: We’re one of those marriages that’s just iconic. Iconic, right?
Paymer: I think so.
Paymer: I think that Jason looks at our marriage as -- even though we’re older and kind of kooky -- he kind of looks at us as an ideal. If he could have something that long lasting, that would be cool.
Kennedy: Yes. I think it happens often in that generation. I look at my own son. He’s been married for about a year and about to become a father, but I believe that having iconic parents that are still married is, for kinds, daunting sometimes. They think, “can I ever get that?” or “would I make a mistake if I married this person?” It’s a challenge.
We know this is an R-rated film. Do your characters get to participate in that vulgarity or are you both more PG-rated characters?
Paymer: Happily, we get to partake of it.
Kennedy: We do?
Kennedy: Like when?
Paymer: I say “no f*cking way!”
Kennedy: I do say, “you f*cking idiot!”
Paymer: I don’t want to start releasing other lines from the script.
Kennedy: I think of language as all being fair. After all, it’s only words.
Paymer: But yes, we do. And that’s kind of the shock value. You this sort of traditional-looking middle aged couple and we kind of start talking about having three-ways and things like that.
Kennedy: Oh, that’s right!
Paymer: See, she forgot.
Kennedy: I did forget! But Nick did come up to us and talked about the three-way before we were married. We were doing all that.
On-set, Nick throws out a lot of lines. How much are on the spot and how much are new? Can you talk about that working dynamic?
Paymer: He does that a lot with us and with everyone. I love that. It keeps everything fresh. It keeps everything spontaneous. It’s like it’s happening, obviously, for the first time. You can study your script and I’ve got all these notes myself, but he’s going to change it four or five different ways.
Kennedy: He draws out and really watches the actors. He’s a very good director. He can read human beings incredibly well. He draws it out of you and then says something that just twists your character, but not in the wrong way. It’s always the right way and it’s funny.
Was there much rehearsal before you both arrived on set?
Paymer: We didn’t do a lot of rehearsal at all. We had a read-through. I know he works that way and I love working that way. I was kind of prepared for it in terms of the improv and wasn’t thrown by it.
Kennedy: I hadn’t even known to that degree, but the first day we worked Nick came into the trailer and said to all of us -- though David was still in his trailer -- “Anybody who wants to throw anything in their own toast, feel free” and I jokingly said, “Yes, but then we’d have to rhyme it.” And he said, “That’s the only caveat. Yours will have to rhyme.” So I ran to your trailer and said, “Let’s come up with a toast!” Even if he didn’t mean it, we could just throw it in and make everyone be delighted going, “What are they saying?”
Paymer: And then he actually said that he liked that toast very much and that it might be in the movie.
Kennedy: So that’s when he started throwing things in. I had a little scene with Emily where he made my character get a little strange. I was like, “Really? You want me to do that?” and he said yes and it started to get really funny. I was telling her that there were 600 wedding guests and she goes, “That’s a lot.” He had me say, “Don’t get in front of this train, Violet. This train has been going for 30 years.” I don’t know if it’ll be in there.
We also heard that there’s a priest and a rabbi scene.
Paymer: Yes, very funny.
Kennedy: We’ll see if it translates to the audience, but we laughed till we were sick to our stomachs.
Paymer: I learned a lot about how Nick works by listening to the commentary on “Get Him to the Greek” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. He tells you about all those scenes and how he shot them and all the different versions. That’s one of the ways that I knew that it was coming.
Kennedy: David directs as well.
Payer: Well... But the priest and the rabbit scene is hilarious. There’s a whole scripted scene and then there’s a whole religious war that takes place.
Kennedy: And no matter how much the other lines changed, there was a line that the rabbi said that never changed. Was that guy a pro?
Paymer: You mean, was he a real rabbi? He seemed like one.
Kennedy: He just said this line so straight every time after every other line had changed. But it was as reliable as the sun rising in the morning and that’s what started to make us laugh.
We know Jason’s character has a culinary interest. What do your characters do professionally?
Paymer: I’m a lawyer.
Kennedy: I would say that,clearly, whatever my job is, it’s second to being a wife and mother. He either became a cook to stop having to eat what I made or he was inspired by my chicken rango.
Paymer: I think, at least from my point of view, I’m a little concerned about him. He’s a chef and I know he’s really talented, but I’m always like, “So what kind of job can you get doing that?”
Kennedy: Honey, he’s following his bliss.
Paymer: Yeah, but your bliss runs out after age 30. I just want to make sure he’s okay. At one point, he’s working in a deli. I’m like, “Is it a gourmet deli?”
Kennedy: I can’t wait to have his sandwiches. They’ll be great.
Paymer: There’s some concern, from my character’s point of view, especially as his wife to be is kind of doing very well.
Kennedy: That’s true. The style to which she is accustomed is her mother’s.
Paymer: That’s a whole other story.
Are you guys pressuring him at all to get married? Asking why it’s taking so long?
Kennedy: At the end.
Paymer: Yeah, there is a scene.
Kennedy: After five years.
Paymer: Because we think she’s so wonderful.
Any other secrets that are revealed outside of the threesomes?
Paymer: We got stoned when we were --
Kennedy: Did we do the embezzlement? The Bernie Maddof? When we veered into that?
Paymer: Yeah, we had a little mini-Bernie Maddof problem at my firm.
Kennedy: But it was just the partner. Not your father. The grand jury brought nothing.
I know you’re in the new Coppola movie. What was it like to work with him?
Paymer: It was just a dream come true. It was up here on his estate. He had all the actors taying on his estate. It was like Summerstock or something, just with Francis Ford Coppola. He’s just such a lovely and gentle man and surrounded by his family. They’re all up there. You just kind of feel the love of doing that kind of project. It’s not a big movie in terms of budget, but it’s a terrific experience.
How’s his wine?
Paymer: Fantastic. They sent me a case afterwards.
Since Jason Segel is 6’4”, is it strange to do scenes with him and have to look up?
Kennedy: A tall drink of water.
Paymer: Yeah, they’ve gotta get the apple boxes out for the Paymer stand-in. But it’s a lot closer when he’s sitting down, thankfully.
Kennedy: But he’s still tall. It’s actually very flattering for women. I worked with Peter Cook, the British actor and you’ve got to shoot down. You look petite.
The Five Year Engagement Opens at your local AMC Theatre on April 27th.
Click HERE to read my set visit report!