Brooklyn Decker is as lovely as she looks – and I mean that; her charming, straight-thinking and comprehensible personality matches her wild good looks. She’s that rare package of sweets and smarts; it’s really no surprise that Hollywood is knocking down her door.
A model with brains and, based on what we’ve seen so far, some super performance skills, Decker is emerging as not only one of today’s most in-demand young actresses but one of the most admirable.
The busy blonde currently stars opposite Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in “Just Go With It”, opening locally at the end of March.
Brooklyn and I were discussing superhero films – namely “The Dark Knight Rises” – just before pressing record.
You’ve been filming for like a year, so I guess that’s why we haven’t seen your name linked to any of these superhero projects…
I just finished. I was working on a movie called “Battleship”.
I just finished it three weeks ago. So, while I was doing that… It was sort of a difficult kind of process because it was my first, like, action/war sort of intense movie. So, I was talking to my agent, I’m like, “Let’s just hold everything until after I finish the filming, just let me focus on this and when I’m done, I’ll like audition and go to LA, so I must be going on Saturday.
Oh, that’s good. I mean…
But I haven’t been to see anybody since I wrapped up that shoot.
So, yeah. Yeah.
So how was Pete Berg anyway? Because I’ve talked to Pete before.
He’s a funny guy.
I love him, yeah.
Yes. Big fan here.
Basically I’m like, if you want me to mop your floors everyday for the rest of my life, I will. Because he is such a pleasure to work for. He’s so funny and really talented, and has such a cool eye for things and him and I sort of agreed on everything. You know like when you kind of… I’m not saying I’m up to par with anything he did artistically exceed, I think amazing, but when you’re kind of, you’re on the same page with somebody, you’re like, yes… It’s just nice to kind of make films with people like that. So he and I were on the same page.
That was a pretty huge movie, wasn’t it?
Yes, which is a lot of pressure.
It’s like, the budget’s ridiculous and the cast was unbelievable and very intimidating, but he is great with new actors. He loves new actors.
I’ve noticed that, because even the cast…
Taylor Kitsch from Friday Night Lights.
Yeah, exactly. So he loves like all new actors and he loves them. I think he loves being able to kind of help groom you and there’s no ego to protect and we’re all kind of like making it together, so it’s definitely really collaborative with him, which is fun.
That’s cool. So what came first? “Just Go With It” or “Battleship”?
“Just Go With It” came first. I kept it quiet for a while, because it’s an embarrassing thing to say you’re a model-turned-actor, quite frankly.
I have been auditioning and working with coaches. I do one-on-one personal coaching with people in New York and LA.
On one audition I met Adam [Sandler], which was terrifying – I auditioned for this four times – and then he called me to do the table read! I’m there doing it with the whole cast.. you could imagine, Nicole Kidman, Jen Aniston and Adam!!
Everyone was right here. So we did the table read and one of my producers was like, “You know, you’re probably not going to get this. So just walk in, just have fun with it. You’re working with these great actors, enjoy the experience, it’s your first table read and then go on your way and whatever.”
I’m like, “I’ll show you,” you know.
I go in and did the table read and that night, Adam called me and he goes, “All right kid, if you want the part, it’s yours.”
And he offered me the part and so yeah, “Just Go With It” was my first film and then I came right off that. I actually auditioned for “Battleship” while I was shooting “Just Go With It” in Hawaii. I auditioned for that a million times, I met Pete and then started working on “Battleship” shortly after that. Yeah.
You got it, kid. That’s what you…
I got lucky, yeah. He said, “Kid, it’s yours. You want it, you you got it.”
I remember when I spoke to Pete we got into all things Chicago Hope.
We make fun of him all the time for that [Laughs].
He was trying to get hold of the episode, I remember, where he and a bunch of the other characters got fired, in one of their last episodes. And then they, you know, had a clean slate to cast the next season.
He was like, “Man, I’m trying to get this… “.
Yeah. He was so funny, yeah. You did it pretty well. Did he like it?
Yeah, yeah, exactly, yeah. He’s a cool… I mean, he’s one of my favorite people I ever worked with.
And he’d be an actor’s director. Because he’s…
Oh my, 100%! Yeah. It’s actually funny, I was talking with Liam Neeson briefly and I asked him… He was really sweet about people asking him questions and he was very welcoming with all of us and he plays my father in “Battleship” and I said, “So what kind of director do you like? Because I love Pete, like I’ll have him for every movie if I can.” And he said, “Actually, Pete is one of the better directors I’ve worked with because he is an actor’s director. He lets you do what you want, he gives you the right direction and gives you the right guidelines, but allows you to be comfortable and free in what you do.” So, he’s like, “You’ll notice everything Pete does is so natural, it feels like you’re in the conversation with the actors. It doesn’t feel like it’s this sort of polished super-styled movie. It feels gritty and real.”, and he was like, “It’s because of Pete’s direction,” and I thought coming from Liam, that was a pretty huge compliment for Pete. So, I was really lucky to…
And you’ve got Dennis Dugan. He directed you in “Just Go With It”.
And he was an actor too.
He was an actor.
I got really lucky. Everyone told me that it’s not like this with directors all the time, but I’m…
First two flicks out of the gate and with two directors who’re just…
Fantastic directors! And Dennis, he’s just fun. I mean he always said, “My main objective is to make sure you guys are comfortable so that everything feels natural on camera and to make sure that the crew is up and excited and lively because you’re going to feel that energy on film. And he, actually Dennis and I stay in touch now and I would call him if I was struggling on set with “Battleship” and I’d ask for his advice and he has sort been there as a source of guidance for me ever since we wrapped “Just Go With It.” And he just wants you to have fun with it. And you’ll notice in all of Adam’s movies, I mean everyone enjoys seeing them and they do so well because people have fun when they go.
You know, they are made for… He always likes to be PG-13 because he wants his kids to be able to see them and he wants the adults to be able to get a laugh that kids might not catch on to.
So it’s not kiddie humour, but it’s kind of good for everybody, and Dennis is really good at that. I mean there’s a lot of sort of dirty jokes thrown in that the kids won’t catch on to but that we kind of get. And he was just a really good… Just a great director because he allowed you to just kind of play. And I think when you’re too confined… I mean I understand a lot of times the writers… I mean they’re brilliant and they write material for a reason, but it’s also nice to be able to be flexible and do the way the writers want them and kind of, if they throw you a joke, you can do a joke because I think everyone kind of gets real action on there, you know.
Was it intimidating to work with Sandler?
Yeah. [chuckle] I was very quiet the first few days on set because I was… Part of me just wanted to watch the way he worked and another part of me was just nervous, because I grew up with him in my house. I mean, I listen to his recording and go and everything now and then. So he’s really an icon in comedy and even most comedians who are well seasoned will tell you the same thing about him. So it’s very intimidating but he is so good at what he does because he makes everyone comfortable. I mean, he’s… Not only is he an actor but he’s directing some of the scenes, he’s producing the movie. I think he’s very hands on with everything. He would pick wardrobe some days. He just… He’s very, again, very hands on. And so because of that, he was also very hands on with me. He was… He really took me by the hand and did a lot of pampering. He really took me by the hand and wanted to make sure I was comfortable and would let me try something a million times or throw something different at me if he thought it would work better and that just made me kind of feel like at ease. And I think you see that chemistry with all of the entire cast. Everyone just feels like comfortable. It seems like we’ve known each other for years, I think, when you watch it and I think the audience will see that as well.
I don’t know if you’ve met Rob Schneider?
I haven’t. I haven’t.
Is he in this one? He usually does a cameo in Sandler’s films.
He was written in this one and then actually changed the character. So he’s not on this one. But he usually does all Adam Sandler films.
Yeah. He usually does, yeah. And of course every time I interview Rob Schneider, he would speak about Sandler and he says, actually I’ll quote what he just said. “He’s just… He’s a machine. He’s awesome to work with” And the one thing he always points out is that, “He’s not what you see. He’s not what you see on screen, that’s for sure.”
He says he’s quieter, which I find is true with a lot of comedians actually. Just very laid back, down-to-earth guy.
Yeah. [laughter] Which I think a lot of people are surprised about that.
Right. You’re right. Well.
You know, saying that, I mean, would you… Did you find that comedy or drama is harder?
Oh, goodness. I think… It’s a tough question.
Because I guess with the comedy, you have to kind of play it straight anyways, so…
I played the straight character. I definitely wasn’t the funny character and just go with it. But I think comedy is harder to perform because you can’t play funny. I mean, a great example is Steve Carell. I mean he… Things that come out of his mouth are hilarious and he’s so funny but he doesn’t play funny at all.
No, he doesn’t. No.
And he plays his character that you want to hate but you love them at the same time, he does such a good job with that. And most people, myself including, you tell a joke you like how to punch line, kind of boom. And you want people to know that’s funny, but on camera that’s not how it should be. We sort of quite straight and that’s a tough thing to learn. However, on the drama side, it’s definitely more grueling. Like you take it home with you. I think comedy, it’s harder to play but at the end of the day, you’re still having fun on set. And drama, I think you sort of have to kind of tune in to it a little bit more. So you show up on set, you kind of put your iPod in, you put on music, you kind of get to into it, you take it on. It definitely weighs more in you, I think the drama does. So each of it has its challenges. I haven’t decided which one I like more. I mean both… When I was in… When I was shooting Battleship, I’m like I love drama more, I love the action more. But then at the same time when I’m shooting “Just Go With It”, there’s something really nice about being around funny people. It takes a lot of intelligence to be funny. And it’s a hard thing to learn, I think. And I’m just… Was trying to be kind of a sponge and soak everything in that they were doing. But, yeah. I didn’t answer your question but, yes. [laughter]
That’s all right. Long-winded kind of questions. With this movie, who do you work with the most? Is it Adam or …
Adam. Yeah, I worked with Adam most. We were a couple on the film and so we had funny scenes together. We had heartbreaking scenes together where you feel for my character. We had scenes where they’re in love. I also worked a lot with the kids; there are 2 kids in the film. And I worked a lot with them and they were wonderful. Like Bailee Madison, she was in Brothers. She was the daughter of Natalie Portman in Brothers. She’s unbelievable in that, yeah. She’s just fantastic and it was just fun. And yeah, Adam and I think we’re a good team just because he understood this is my first film and he went like at me, found a way to make me feel really comfortable and really relaxed and again, I think that’s just shows on screen.
That’s great. And did you actually work with Nicole? Or…
I did. Not much. We had 2 days together. She has a cameo bit. It’s a big cameo bit. She was there for 10 days. And I think earlier I’m surprised at how funny she is. She’s so good at comedy and you’ve seen her in Bewitched, she was seen in few of her films, she’s funny. But you don’t realize, I mean, this woman is unbelievable at what she does. She not only can nail the drama and win the Oscar for her dramatic work, she can also come in and knock out the park on set. And her and Jen, I mean, again Jen, I think, is like the queen comedian of all and her and Nicole coming together and doing these scenes, it was hysterical. I mean, they play up this sort of feminine banter with one another and which is a funny dynamic as it is with woman because you know how woman are, we’re all crazy, all of us. [laughter] And so they really play that up with one another and it was very, very, very fun to watch. Yeah. Those are some of my favorite days on set. I would come, I wasn’t working and I would come and just watch them work because it’s… Just to see them working, okay, that’s how it should it be. Okay, I get it. I get it. [chuckle] You know, it was fun to see.
Was this all on location?
Yeah. We were in LA for 6 weeks and Hawaii for, yeah, 7 weeks. So, yeah. Not so shabby.
Is that with both films, ‘’Battleship’’ in…
Yeah. Battleship was done in Hawaii. [laughter] Battleship was Hawaii for 2 months and then Baton Rouge for 3 months. So, I got very lucky working in Hawaii.
I’ve been told it doesn’t always work out that way. But I got very lucky with the first last two.
You have to do one in Australia next.
I know wouldn’t that be nice. They actually were thinking of doing Battleship in Australia. But…
I think I remember that, yeah.
Yeah. They were thinking of bringing it down here but I think we just had too many people to make this film, it would have been costly.
Yeah. And I think our dollar has been too good. So we haven’t had a lot…
It’s so good. I know.
…of the productions out here.
I know. It’s almost… I mean it’s great for you guys. We come and it’s like “How much is that?” Oh my gosh. Last year it was seventy five percent off. Yeah, the dollar is strong. So good for you guys.
It’s good for us, yeah. Except see a lot of my work obviously I get paid in American dollars. So my cheques come and I’m like, ‘’this used to be double!’’.
Oh no. That’s right.
Yeah. And sometimes I’m getting less than what’s on the cheque.
You need to go to the States now.
Yeah. I know – month’s supply of food at Johnny’s Big Boy for a buck.
When the dollar is not good, go to the states and say “I’m rich here”. And then when we’re doing well you come back here.
Yup. Diet Pepsi is twenty cents in the states at the moment…
Yeah. Exactly, exactly. That’s true. Everything now… I’m like I remember last year being like, “Oh, Australia is so reasonable” and now I think it’s expensive. It’s good for you guys. That’s a good thing.
Yeah. What do you do… I mean your obviously here with Andy [Roddick, your husband]. Is this a holiday for you?
It is a holiday for me.
Okay, “Just go With It” is released in March. And when does ‘’Battleship ‘’ get released?
Oh wow, that is a long way away off.
Not for a while. Yeah. May 2012. So I have a good year and a half.
So it’s in the can, but they are still tweaking it or?
We’ll do re-shoots. We have shot a bunch of alternate endings. We… They’re definitely… I think it’s going to come down to editing really. There’s a lot of CGI to be done, a lot of post. So that’s gonna take a big chunk of time. And I think depending on the story line and how they want to take it we might be doing some re-shoots, in spring.
Okay. It’s got a supernatural kinda slant.
It does. It does. Yeah. So they have to do a lot of CGI. There’s a lot of underwater explosions. Which they filmed a lot of that but they have the CGI as well. So I think that’s going to take a while.
You’ve got two busy years ahead of you there, talking to the press.
I’m very excited. I know. I’m very lucky to have that come out and Just go with it. It’s good. It’s a really…
Just the fact that you got these two big ones out of the gate, it’s amazing.
Yeah, I know. I’m totally lucky.
Thank You. Thank you.
And it’s really nice to meet you.
You too. You too.
“Just Go With It” is in cinemas next Thursday