Cape Town – Christina Applegate can be seen as Debbie Griswold in the hilarious new adult comedy, Vacation.
The film is the fifth installment of the National Lampoon's Vacation film series and is loosely inspired by the original 1983 film.
In the 2015 reboot Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) takes his own family on a road trip to "Walley World" in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.
Check out this quick Q&A with Christina about the flick: Do you have any bad vacation memories, either as a child or as an adult?
Gosh, no. I was an only child with a single parent and we didn’t go on a lot of vacations, so any time that I did spend with my mom and anywhere we did go was kind of great. It was the two of us against the world – that’s how we rolled on that one.
So all of my memories are pretty great of going to New York City all the time and going to Laguna. She did take me to Tijuana once when I 7, which was a strange choice but that was still fun. It was still a great trip.
Were you impressed with Chris Hemsworth’s… comic ability?
Everyone has their own gentle way of asking about that. Honestly—and I’m so sorry, Chris, I should have done more homework—I wasn’t familiar with Chris’s work, so for me it wasn’t so much impressed as just like, ‘Okay, he played Thor. Fabulous.’ I’d never seen it. But when he did our first scenes together and he had this fully realised character and was so funny, I was thinking, ‘Oh, he’s this funny Australian dude who’s really good at accents and he’s amazing and game for anything.’ So, in that respect, when someone can make me laugh and is really good at their job, I’m definitely impressed.
How did you keep it together during that scene in the bedroom, when he’s wearing the prosthetic?
Oh, the bedroom scene. I always deal with being uncomfortable by making lots of jokes, so that’s how I deal with things. It’s funny! We had all been standing at the bottom of the stairs after he had been doing some fittings upstairs, like: should it go to the left? Should it go to the right? So finally they narrowed in on the hero prosthetic and he came down and we were all just like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s it. That’s the one.’
And then we all saw his abs and there was a bit of silence in the air, not because I’m sitting there staring at Chris Hemsworth and, like, panting like a dog. It wasn’t lascivious in any way. We were all just so damn impressed at how a body can look like that, what exercise does one do to sculpt out the abdominal area in such a way that is unique to anything I’ve ever seen before except for The David. So we were all just really freaked out by that – men, women, children – everyone’s mouths were agape.
You are so naturally funny. Do you have a particular style of comedy that you consider your brand?
My brand? I don’t even know if I have a brand. You have to cater to what the tone is and what the theme is and make sure that everyone is doing the same movie. That’s always really important to me.
You go to an Anchorman and you have to take it up to its own dimension. It has to live in its own dimension. Everyone has to be living at that same level, which is heightened. Then there are things like Up All Night, where everything was a bit subtler. My sense of humor is a bit more off the cuff, off the side, a little dirtier, a little whatever. That’s just me. That’s how I grew up. So you have to live in that world. And then you do something like this, where so much of the comedy depends on the physicality of what’s happening. You have to really believe and to make that work.
So I kind of cater to whatever the tone is, where I find myself, but always starting from a real place – that each person is a real character with lots of dimensions and lots of things going on in their heads and lots of conflicts.
Can you talk about working with Ed Helms, and Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins, who play your kids?
The four of us spent a great deal of time together in that car, so if the personalities and the energies didn’t jive, it would have been a tedious process but it wasn’t. We were a little family, and we all had our place and what we contributed to the conversation or the song or whatever, and we had so much fun. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other people than the ones that I got.
I am so madly in love with Skyler and Steele, I can’t even tell you. I was their momma. I protected them, except for if I would say something really horrible in the car. Steele would be like, ‘What does that mean?’ And I’d say, ‘Oh, Applegate, why you got to do that again? That kids never heard that word before in his life.’ And Mom comes up to me and is like, ‘Great parenting, Christina.’ ‘I’m sorry. It just came out of my mouth. I forgot he was there.’ [Laughs]
(Photos: Warner Brothers)
Vacation will be showing in local cinemas from Friday, 11 September.
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