The romantic comedy Valentine’s Day is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood, with a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, George Lopez, Shirley Maclaine, Hector Elizondo, Taylor Swift, Taylor Lautner and Emma Roberts, just to name a few. And the man responsible for getting all that talent together is director Garry Marshall, who the all-star ensemble was excited to work with.
Following the intertwining storylines of a diverse group of Los Angelenos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day, the film showcases new love, young love, long-time love, the love between best friends and the heartbreak that can result.
During a press conference for the film, co-stars Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace talked about love, romance and living in Los Angeles.
Question: A theme of this film is the idea that the right person for you could be your best friend that’s been there all along. For the ladies, was there a moment you realized you had a friendship that became more?
Roberts: Gary just said he and I didn’t get married, even though we are best friends.
Garner: Somewhere around the second kid, I thought, “This is turning into something.”
Alba: I married my best friend. We were friends first. It lasted 10 days.
Biel: I guess that’s been more my experience too.
Garner: You were never friends.
Biel: Okay, that’s true.
Do any of you have a worst Valentine’s Day experience?
Foxx: Well, love in L.A. is tough. When I first got here and I didn’t have the name tag, it was a little interesting to even try to date in L.A., but it was great. I met this girl on a Monday and it was incredible. We went to party, kicked it, went back to my crib, made love and then, after that, we cuddled and talked, and I woke up that next morning and smelled breakfast. She was cooking breakfast. I was like, “Wow, she’s great.” We hung out, and then she left. That was Monday. That was back when there were no cell phones, and I didn’t call Tuesday or Wednesday. Then, I was at the club on Thursday and I saw her with another guy and she said, “Hey Jaime, how are you? This is Michael. I told him all about you. Oh, and by the way, he has a Range Rover like yours, only it’s this year’s.”
Can you give any tips for a healthy Valentine’s Day?
Kutcher: I think watching this movie is a healthy Valentine. We had a green set, so there was a lot of dedication to using solar panels and clean energy, and recycling. Due to the fact that the movie was shot in L.A., that was actually an easier thing to make happen. In some ways, it worked out and in some ways it didn’t, but I think that every opportunity we have in our industry to make what we’re doing something more environmentally conscious is a good thing. So, this movie was mostly a green movie and coming and supporting a movie that was made that way can contribute to that.
Garner: And you get popcorn, which has lots of fiber.
Ashton, are you romantic in real life, like your character in the film is?
Kutcher: I had the good fortune of playing a florist in this movie, and one of my best friends is a florist, so I got to work with him. What I really learned about that was that these guys are like the real cupids, passing these messages off from one person to the next person. The way that arrangement shows up can affect a relationship. It’s almost like, if you can find something like that, that can really translate what it is that you’re trying to say, it’s a big deal. That was my experience on this movie. As far as being a romantic, I don’t know. I love life, I love people and I love sharing, so I would say that I’m romantic.
Grace: There wasn’t a Valentine’s Day that went by on That ’70s Show where I didn’t get a card or something from Ashton.
Kutcher: I did all kinds of nice shit.
Grace: It was very, very romantic.
For the parents, how do you find time for romance with kids at home?
Roberts: My kids go to bed at 7:30.
Alba: Mine goes to bed at 7, but I’m usually too tired, unfortunately.
Garner: You change the definition of romance. Romance is romance, but in addition, romance can just be breakfast over the tops of heads. You just have to get through the day. You’ve got to create that being romantic.
How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?
Garner: I think most of us will be promoting this movie. That’ll be romantic.
Alba: We’re pretty spontaneous. We try to squeeze in a smooch here and there, or a little card or note to say, “I love you.”
Roberts: For Valentine’s Day, we’re just gonna be makin’ out for the full 24 hours.
This film is a love letter to Los Angeles. What do you love about L.A.?
Kutcher: I love the weather.
Alba: I second that.
Garner: Farmer’s Market.
Biel: Real Foods Daily. The fact that you can go to the mountains and the ocean, with no more than an hour drive.
Grace: The 405.
What’s the key to a successful relationship, especially in L.A.?
Biel: Laughter, definitely. Just being able to laugh and not take things too seriously.
Alba: I think communicating is important.
Roberts: I think it’s the same in any city. L.A. isn’t distinctive in its uniqueness to what makes a relationship work. Two people who work at it, in any town you go to, is what works.
What do you think about the film’s representation of L.A.? Is that how you see it?
Garner: What’s great about the way Garry uses LA in the film is that it’s just a city. It’s not celebrity central. It’s not about Hollywood. It’s a city and you never see it that way. You always see it as the backdrop for some other world. This reminds you that L.A. is just a city full of people going through the same little triumphs and tragedies in their love lives as anyone, anywhere else in the world.
Kutcher: A friend of mine once told me that Los Angeles is a city filled with the second best looking person from every town across the America. The best looking person stays home because they have it good there.
Grace: By the way, wouldn’t you like to meet the guy in Iowa who is better looking than Ashton?
Kutcher: His name is Casey Prince.
Jamie, how much improv did you get to do in this?
Foxx: We had a great time. To work with Garry Marshall and to be back in comedy, working with Jess [Biel] and Jen [Garner] in my scenes, it was great. There was a Laverne and Shirley type energy going on. I’m serious. We had a great time and, to be able to be back to some comedy, I was excited for the chance to work with everybody. It was a ball. I had a good time.
Ms. Biel, your character turns to chocolate for comfort. What do you turn to for comfort, at disappointing times?
Biel: That’s where it usually starts.
Garner: I would recommend hitting a piñata.
It seems like love and the pursuit of it is what everyone wants. It’s like a drug. People want to be happy and that’s really the only thing that makes us happy. Do you all think that’s the case?
Roberts: It is a drug though, isn’t it? Love and that feeling, and what it does to make us all tingling inside, is a drug.
Kutcher: When it comes to love, everyone wants to receive it, but at the end of the day, you don’t get to receive it until you start to give it. That goes for everything. What you give is what you receive. If you want the drug, you have to give the drug.
Is there another character in the film that any of you would have liked to play, instead of your own?
Garner: Well, Julia got to sit the whole time, and she pushed the cry button, at the end. I knew it was coming, and I still cried.
Jennifer, you did great work with the baseball bat and the pinata. How did you prepare for that?
Garner: I like batting cages, as much as the next girl. Girls can do that stuff too. I’m from West Virginia, and we tip our cows like that.
Julia and Bradley, can you talk about shooting the sequences in the plane and what it was like to work in such a confined space?
Cooper: I liked to sit down and talk all day.
Roberts: We caught up. We hadn’t seen each other for awhile and I grilled him pretty good. We did 98 performances together on Broadway.
Bradley, when you found out your love interest was going to be Eric Dane, what did you think?
Cooper: He has a beautiful body and succulent lips.
Was there an extended version of your scene together?
Cooper: Absolutely. I have the rights to it, though.
Why is Valentine’s Day so important? Shouldn’t you put effort into being romantic the rest of the year too?
Grace: You’re right.
Foxx: You’ve got to remember all of these dates, like the birthdays and anniversaries, and all of that. Put them in your cell phone, if you have to. Women have fake anniversaries, so get all those dates down. The most important thing is, four or five days before that day comes, get something for her, so you’re prepared. Then you can go without doing something the rest of the year. The rest of the year, you can fuck around.
Biel: Just do it all day, and all year long too.
Kutcher: For the movie, we’re doing a thing online where people are posting their best Valentine’s Day gifts and their worst Valentine’s Day gifts. You tag it V-Day Gifts. They’re going to compile them into the 100 best Valentine’s Day gifts and the 100 worst Valentine’s Day gifts, so just go to the best list and pick something off of that.
Julia, how did it feel to be reunited with Garry Marshall and Hector Elizondo, all these years after Pretty Woman?
Roberts: We had a lot of Pretty Woman people on the set. Our D.P., Chuck Minsky, shot Pretty Woman, and our prop department was the same. We laughed about a lot of things, particularly how old we’ve all gotten in 20 years. In fact, we’re 20 years older, in 20 years. We seem to do this every 10 years. We did Pretty Woman, and then, 10 years later, we did Runaway Bride, and then, 10 years later we did Valentine’s Day. So, I will see all of you back here when I’m 51.