Share & Connect
Casting ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, the star studded movie in theaters soon, was a daunting task – the filmmakers had to balance an ensemble cast of twelve leads – but actors were incredibly responsive to the film’s subject matter and the strength of screenwriters Shauna Cross’ and Heather Hach’s script.
Says producer David Thwaites, “You can’t ever be 100% sure about chemistry between actors until the cameras are rolling, so you have to follow your instincts. [Director Kirk Jones] and I spent a huge amount of time working out that balance. I think we have a tremendous cast – there isn’t a single role that I’d change or an actor who hasn’t exceeded my expectations.”
“It was incredible how everybody who we really hoped would be in the movie ended up in the movie,” adds author Heidi Murkoff, who also serves as executive producer on the film. “What amazed us watching the performances is how real they were. You could tell the actors wanted to be in this movie, that they were invested in it, and they were connected to the whole experience. I think that makes a big difference.”
Among the five couples in the film, the one that faces the biggest lifestyle change with the on-set of pregnancy are Jules, a celebrity personal trainer with her own weight loss TV show, and her partner, Evan, a professional dancer. Played by Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison, Jules and Evan have become the favored champions on the current season of Evan’s show, Celebrity Dance Factor, and their three-month run has seen both their professional and personal lives become increasingly intertwined.
“Jules doesn’t think she can get pregnant; but she does, accidentally, and it sort of speeds things up for them as a couple,” explains Diaz. “They’re both dynamic people with really busy careers, and Jules in particular is ‘Type A.’ She’s used to being in control at all times, and now that’s going to have to change.”
Morrison, currently showcased on the hit television series Glee and a veteran of musical theater, is the other Alpha parent in the power couple. “Jules and Evan are two very strong-minded people,” he says. “They butt heads all the time, and they’re challenged to find a compromise in nearly every situation or decision about the baby. From the little things up to the biggies, like circumcision.”
Jones adds, “With a baby about to enter the picture, Jules and Evan realize they have to become less selfish. They have to work with each other for the good of their child, whether that’s something that comes naturally to them or not.”
Also starring in the film are such big names as Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, and Dennis Quaid, including a slew of others.
Actors Anna Kendrick, known for her work in ‘Up In The Air’ and The ‘Twilight Saga’, and “Gossip Girl’s” Chace Crawford are two of the freshest faces in the cast, playing Rosie and Marco, two young, ambitious chefs who operate rival food trucks and grapple with an unplanned pregnancy after a one-night stand. Crawford explains, “Marco and Rosie make a bet on who can sell the most signature items during the rush, and afterwards they have some drinks and, well, one thing leads to another.”
When she learns she’s pregnant, Rosie is as blindsided as Marco, and her experience reflects the film’s motto: when it comes to pregnancy, expected the unexpected. Explains Kendrick, “She wants an answer. She wants a solution. And she wants him to have a great plan. But it’s never that simple.”
With the principals cast, Jones took just as much care casting the film’s supporting roles with notable talent. Those actors include Rebel Wilson as Janice, Wendy’s assistant, Wendi McLendon-Cover as Kara, Holly’s friend, Kim Fields as Holly and Alex’s social worker, and a long list of performers, many of whom appear as themselves: Megan Mullally, Cheryl Cole, Dwyane Wade, Whitney Port, Tyce Diorio and Taboo.
“It’s very easy when you’re putting a movie together with so many lead actors to lose sight of the potential of the supporting cast,” says Jones. “But it was a joy for me every day to turn up on set and be so impressed and appreciative of the contributions of the supporting cast, all of whom delivered above and beyond.”
Image Courtesy of http://whattoexpectthefilm.com/