On screen couples that have chemistry, and are also skilled with unique comedic timing, that seem to feed and boost one another to create classic characters are a rarity. Which is why characters like, Clark and Ellen Griswold (geniously played by Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo) of the National Lampoon franchise, are so epic and so cherished. Living up to this legacy is something most actors would shy away from, unless you are Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, who star in a newly release continuation of Vacation (read our VACATION review HERE).
Ed Helms takes on the role of the now grown up Rusty Griswold (who has been played by many actors) who embarks on his own family road trip to Wally World. Christina Applegate stars as Rusty’s wife, Debbie, who brings a modern “edge” to Rusty’s classic family values. I got a chance to sit down with Ed Helms and Christina Applegate with a few other journalists at a roundtable session for the film, where we talked about Chris Hemsworth’s abs, that crazy car and Kiss From A Rose (watch the movie!).
Ed Helms on working with Christina Applegate
I never met Christina before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I emailed Will Ferrell and everyone had the greatest things to say. She is just the dream co-worker. She is so professional and as an actor, I have never seen someone so natural. There’s something in the way she delivers her lines that is so effortless. She just seems to flow and it makes my job so easy and fun.
When Christina found out she wasn’t doing joint interviews with Ed, she exclaimed, “I’m so sad! Ed and I are super fun together. We have a lot of fun when we do interviews together”, so you can tell the sentiments are mutual.
Ed Helms on having Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as part of the cast
It can’t be overstated how important and wonderful it was having Chevy and Beverly on set with us. It was the ultimate affirmation that this was OK. I think there was a little bit of insecurity in all of us making this movie cause it’s such a sacred cow, especially for me, it’s such a precious world that you don’t want to be the ones to mess it up. To get a giant vote of confidence from Chevy and Beverly, by their eagerness to be on the movie, it was the ultimate pat on the back.
Christina Applegate on watching Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as The Griswolds
First, we were really honored that they wanted to be part of it. I mean, you think, you don’t want to mess up what they created. We’re not trying to “redo” anything anyone did, and we’re not trying to be a sequel, we’re like a distant cousin. You know what I mean? That’s how we like to think of it. They read it and were like yeah, we approve and we’d like to be there. It was really cool. It’s one thing to hang out with Chevy and Beverly off camera, they’re both so incredibly interesting and colorful people, but then you get on set and there they are- they’re the Griswolds! It’s like- ‘Oh my god, It’s the Griswolds! and I’m here between them!’ It was very cool.
Christina Applegate on cursing in front of the kids in the cast
I was the worst around them. You’re going to see outtakes, there’s a gag reel they had me approve recently. I say something when we’re in the car to the directors, that I can’t believe I said in front of this child. Then, Steele repeats what I said and says “what’s a blank blank” and you just see my face go like “fuck” and then his mom is all like “great parenting Christina.”
Ed Helms and Christina Applegate on Chris Hemsworth and his “abs” scene
(Laughs) “Fun.” You know what, it’s funny. It’s not a moment where we’re all sitting there being lascivious towards this man. We had already worked with him a couple days leading up to that scene, we had already seen how amazing he is. This was the first time we got to see what his abs look like. I swear, it was like, We all collectively as a group, didn’t get turned on, it wasn’t that kind of thing- we’re all married and we’re all really respectful- but with such a respect for what he has created and we just all like, were marveling at like… this was something I had never seen before. We’d all discuss it after…yea.
Here’s what no one knows: Chris Hemsworth has a six pack on his back. It’s mind-numbing. He’s like a human praying mantis. He’s a beautiful human being. It was really hard to keep a straight face [in the bedroom scene], not just because of the prosthetic, which is super funny as a visual, but Chris’ performance in that scene I think is, I think it’s like comedy genius, which to me is infuriating because I’ve spent my life trying to cultivate my comedy chops and he’s spent his life cultivating his abs and his dramatic acting chops, which are fabulous, and for him to just like waltz onto a comedy set and be funny as hell, I’m sorry, that’s annoying.
And really, what is Kiss From A Rose about? Did you like the song?
Someone died or something and then- don’t take the pills.
I liked it before we started shooting and now I’m ready to blow my head off if I hear it again.
VACATION is rated R and is now open.