What to expect from Diaz, Lopez, Rock and Morrison
May 23, 2012
Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a hilarious and heartfelt comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood.
Here the book’s author, Heidi Murkoff, and the stars of the film talk about the adaptation.
Since its first publication in 1985, What to Expect When You’re Expecting has become the definitive bible for expectant parents. What did you think/know of Heidi’s book?
Cameron Diaz: I’ve always heard the title being talked about. It’s one of those books that have been around and a part of almost everyone’s life.
When you read it, it feels like you’re getting advice from your best friend who’s been through it all.
Jennifer Lopez: The book is amazing, which is why it’s so popular. It tells you exactly, week to week, what's happening to you in the moment.
I think women, by nature, when we’re pregnant, are so worried that everything’s going to go okay.
And here you have this book saying, ‘This is supposed to be happening. Don’t worry. You're supposed to feel like this.’
I think the movie does the exact same thing. It reassures you by telling five totally different stories about being pregnant and making you laugh.
Chris Rock: This book’s been in my face for 10 years but it really helped. It’s rough having a baby.
My wife was pretty cool. But just imagine carrying around a seven or eight-pound ham for nine months.
Forget it even being in your body – just have it in a bag that you can’t put down – and you’ve got to sleep with that ham and swim with the ham and take a bath with the ham.
No matter where you go, you’ve got to carry this ham. So, you know what? You’re allowed to complain.
Heidi you were brought in as executive producer on the film, what were your thoughts on an adaptation for the big screen?
Heidi Murkoff: These guys plugged into the sensibility of What to Expect: the warmth, the friendliness, the hand-holding, and also the humor. I knew the book was in great hands.
There's some huge names in this movie, how did you get everyone on board?
HM: It was incredible how everybody who we really hoped would be in the movie ended up in the movie. 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 is Jules and Evan, played by Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison, Can you tell us a bit about their story.
CD: Jules doesn’t think she can get pregnant; but she does, accidentally, and it sort of speeds things up for them as a couple. 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.
Matthew Morrison: Jules and Evan are two very strong-minded people. 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.
The story of Holly and Alex (played by Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro) is also quite similar isn’t it?
JL: Holly and Alex have a lot of fun together. He’s into music and she’s into photography, and they’ve been married for a while. But their relationship has been mostly based on having a good time. There needs to be a transition into growing up, becoming a family, and really getting serious about their lives.
They’ve been trying to have children, but they can’t. So they decide on adoption. And that leads to a series of other decisions they have to make along the way. Holly lives with a tremendous guilt for not being able to do certain things and one of them is the fact that she can’t have a baby. The one thing that women are supposed to be able to do, she feels like she can’t deliver that. So she's always pushing to make this perfect life. ‘Let’s have the house and the baby and the this and the that.’ You realize how much it’s all weighing on her.
Rodrigo Santoro: [Alex] is a very interesting character because he represents a bunch of guys on this planet who are scared of becoming fathers, of growing up, actually. That was what made me really want to work on the movie.
Like Holly, the character of Wendy, played by Elizabeth Banks, is also struggling with fertility issues can you tell us a bit about the issue that so many women are faced with?
Elizabeth Banks: Wendy and Gary are on this crazy schedule, with timed ovulation and closely watched body temperature – everything is so scheduled. They’ve been so focused on this goal of creating a baby that they’ve forgotten the goal of having a happy marriage.
I think for a lot of women, just like it is for Wendy, pregnancy is really uncomfortable, and that’s one of the things that Heidi Murkoff does really well in her book – she really lays that out for you. It’s different for everyone and, for Wendy, it’s very different in that it’s the worst of everything.
Most of the female characters had to wear costumes and prosthetics, how did you find that?
EB: The costuming was so integral to the character, it was really a case of the character being created from the outside in.
We didn’t need that much coaching on how to walk, because when you put on a 10-pound belly, it makes your back arch, it makes you sit in a different way, move a different way.
And my boobs were outrageous in this movie. Let me put it this way. The boobs that I wore were bought online. I don’t understand what their purpose is outside of what we’re using them for. Who is buying these? I haven’t a clue. But thank you for making them, whoever you are, because we got great use of out them.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is in cinemas from Friday, May 25, certificate 12A.