Walk of Shame: James Marsden Interview
CraveOnline: We always hear about the biographies that actors do for their characters. Your character, Gordon, says he’s a writer of “post-modern romance novels.” Did you come up with some titles and scenarios? Or is that occupation a pickup line?
James Marsden: [Director] Steve Brill and I explored it and I came up with some titles that we didn’t end up using. I’m shooting in New Orleans right now [after Paul Walkers untimely death, Marsden replaced Walker in the Michael Hoffman romance, The Best of Me], ugh, I can’t remember what they were, but they must not have been any good! But Gordon isn’t a character that would lie to anyone. But he does have to believe in it and say that line with conviction so that it isn’t cheesy.
And what is your favorite post-modern romantic literature?
[Laughs.] Beats me. I don’t know if it’s a real thing. Romance beyond romance. Computer love. Is that what it is?
I guess it might be 50 Shades of Grey. Changing the subject, did you really wear the same yellow dress that Elizabeth Banks did? Or did you get your own? It fit really well…
Sadly, I wore the same dress.
Sadly? You looked great!
Well, you don’t want to be able to fit into your wife’s jeans. It was a tactical strike by Elizabeth [Banks]. It was never written in the script. We were shooting late into the night coming up with fun things to do throughout the “first date” escalation and she said, “James is gonna wear my dress! It’ll be fun!” I was like, “C’mon you planned this all along and dropped it on me at the last minute in front of everyone.”
I pointed at her, “I’m on to you” but I wanted to maker her happy. So I put it on and came out and her face dropped. She was upset! “Why are you frowning?” I asked and she said, “Well, you look better in that dress, than I do!” [laughs].
Recently you’ve played a few good looking nemeses – Bachelorette and Anchorman 2 – but although you’re the knight in shining armor, you kinda get let off the hook because essentially it’s also your fault that everything happened because Gordon parked her car in a red zone …
You’re right! He’s trying to right a wrong. He wants to rescue a damsel in distress, but he has to do it twice because he put that damsel into distress. Well, none of them are really damsels, but it’s a guilt driven romance.
Maybe that’s the post-modern romance: guilt driven romance.
[Laughs.] Yeah, maybe that’s it. We just came full circle.
That won’t sell many Valentine’s.
Actually it would!
Ha, you’re right.
He’s a good guy and she’s a good girl, they’re both consenting adults. But there’s a poor woman roaming LA by herself. She’s lost on top of that. You don’t see them sharing much screen time. You spend a short period of time with them and just kinda slide off and have that foggy feeling of, “who was that person? We should hang out more.” Which in a city can happen often. You wonder about people you don’t know that well.
I’m not sure if this is a sore subject, but have you seen Nailed? [Nailed is a David O. Russell film that was shot before The Silver Linings Playbook starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel and Marsden; but when the production ran over budget and shooting stalled, Russell moved onto other projects, despite most of the film being completed.] Will anyone ever see it?
I did, not too long ago actually. It’s finally completed. I don’t know if it’ll ever be released. It’s tough because unfortunately financial problems and headlines were not great for the movie. As an actor you have to do your work and let it go. I don’t know the fate of the movie because we don’t have a say. But I got to forge a great relationship with David [O. Russell].
I read that it was missing a vital scene …
It was missing a key scene that we weren’t able to shoot because it was pretty technical and there were money issues. New producers managed to cut it together without it in a way that still works. We thought it was vital to the existence of the film, it’s part of the title after all, but they figured a way around it. I’m proud of work we did and it was great to work with David. But that’s six years, ago, now.
Back when you did the original X-Men films the idea of a comic book film was still seen as very risky, what’s it like, from your perspective, now that we’re seeing a Marvel film every two-three months and they’re all doing gangbusters?
I loved being a part of those movies. It was a great group of people. It was rare to get fans excited for a comic book movie, and do well at the box office with films that critics loved, too. I mean nobody doesn’t like them.
Would you play Cyclops again? We never saw him die…
I’ve always been very proud of my role and it’s out of my hands. It’s nice to see Bryan [Singer] go back in and turn the boat a little bit. I’m happy for those that made it back. I’d like to. I get excited watching the trailers because I’m excited for the continuance of the X-Men world. I’m a fan of X-Men and I know it’ll be a kick ass movie.