Hilary Swank, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron and Josh Duhamel recently sat down for a chat with Movie Fanatic about their new film: The superstar-laden New Year’s Eve.
The film also stars Robert De Niro, Jessica Biel, Halle Berry, Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Seth Meyers, Carla Gugino, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Abigail Breslin, Ludacris and Hector Elizondo in one of the hugest and most widely known casts of the year.
Garry Marshall (Valentine’s Day) directs and five of his New Year’s Eve players had lots to say about the biggest and last night of the year and gave us some insight into the romantic comedy that promises to set corks a-popping.
We started by asking the cast how they handle the high expectation that is maximizing the fun factor on New Year’s Eve. “When I stopped wanting my New Year’s Eve to be perfect, to bring in the New Year right, is when it started working out right,” Swank said.
“You have to keep expectations low,” Duhamel added.
In New Year’s Eve, Michele was paired with Kutcher, Pfeiffer with Efron and Swank got to achieve a dream of working with De Niro. “For me, working with him was on my bucket list,” Swank said.
Swank’s character is visiting De Niro’s, who is in a hospital, slowly dying. But, when Swank first got on set to work across the screen legend, the Oscar-winning actress found herself channeling the same approach to acting as the famous method actor, or so she thought:
“I walked in and was just trying to get a sense of the vibe. I walked in and Robert was in the bed and laying there. You hear all this stuff about Robert De Niro, and he’s method. This is a comedy, but he’s dying. So, he was laying there and he saw me, and then he shut his eyes, and I was thinking, ‘Wow, he’s giving it to me. We’re connected here. We are connected. Me and De Niro are method.’ I started getting a little emotional. The camera was not on me, but we were just getting into the mood of the father-daughter relationship as the father was dying. I was feeling it, and I was going deep with De Niro! The next thing I know, he’s like, ‘Anyone got that coffee?’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God, he was sleeping!’”
Lea Michele did not hide her affinity for Kutcher as their characters spend much of New Year's Eve trapped together. “Being stuck in an elevator with him for two weeks… was awesome,” she said and laughed. “He’s hilarious.”
For the Glee star, although being with Kutcher for hours on end was fabulous, her highlight in fact, should not surprise. “I got to be a back-up singer for Bon Jovi!”
Pfeiffer got right to the point of the appeal of working across Efron, and when you think about it, she mirrors Michele’s feelings on Kutcher. “I’m the envy of every girl across the planet. I got a kiss in there with Zac Efron, which was pretty clever of me, at the ripe old age of 53,” Pfeiffer said.
When Efron talks about his co-star, it is immediately clear the young star has quite the affinity for Pfeiffer as well. “I met Michelle a few years ago, during Hairspray, and had a huge crush on her, always, from day one. Back then, I was very, very young and very bashful around her, I tended to put my foot in my mouth a lot,” he said and laughed. “But then, I got to talk on the phone with her, about this part. She said, ‘I think we should take this to the next level. Let’s get a kiss in there.’ I was like, ‘I am in!’ Every single second with her was amazing.”
As our final moments with the New Year’s Eve stars came upon us, we asked their favorite ways to spend New Year’s Eve.
“I do the same thing every year and I’ve done it for the past seven years now. I’m from New York. I did the Times Square thing once, and I’ll never do it again,” Michele said and laughed. “New Yorkers have this special spot in Central Park, where they do this 5K run, the minute the clock strikes twelve. I ran once, and I’ll never do that again, either. But, it’s awesome to watch those people run. That’s where I’ll be!”
As for Swank and Pfeiffer, their plans are a bit more homebound. “I’ll be eating pie and drinking champagne,” Swank said. “I have realized the perfect place is with your loved ones and your closest friends, around the dinner table over a good meal, talking about the past year and the year to come and things that you want to change in your life. I never make it to midnight, ever.”
Pfeiffer concurred. “I also never make it to midnight. I celebrate New Year’s at 9 p.m., West Coast time,” Pfeiffer said with a chuckle. “I watch the ball drop in my jammies with some champagne. I stopped setting those unrealistic expectations for New Year’s Eve many years ago.”