Uma Thurman is kicking ass yet again in “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”, a new comedy in which she plays a bookish, glasses-sporting, conservatively dressed woman who, unbeknownst to the outside world, is really the super-sexy superhero G-Girl.
She soon starts to date Matt (Luke Wilson), a good guy to whom she eventually reveals her true identity. It’s fun for a while, but soon Jenny’s insecurities get the better of her, prompting Matt to break off the relationship, which sends Jenny into a super-frenzy in which she makes his life hell.
Uma Thurman (“Paycheck”), Luke Wilson (“Around the World in 80 Days”), Rainn Wilson (“Galaxy Quest”), screenwriter Don Payne (“The Simpsons”) and director Ivan Reitman (“Ghostbusters,” “Evolution”) attended a joint press conference in New York City to talk about the film:
Question: Some people are upset that it’s G-Girl and not G-Woman. Your thoughts?
Uma Thurman: Get a life [laughs]. Move on. Let’s just move forward. As a real, full-fledged and aging woman, I just love the G-Girl thing.
Don Payne: I think that there’s a long history of “woman” and “girl” in the names of super-heroines. So that’s my defense.
Question: What does the G stand for in G-Girl?
Don Payne: What does it mean to you?
Question: Do you have a specific idea of it?
Uma Thurman: Well, has anyone ever heard the letter G used in a specific manner? Just go with that.
Ivan Reitman: We like the mystery of it [laughs].
Question: Is it more of an upside or downside that there are so many superhero movies out right now?
Uma Thurman: Well, I think that one of the great things about the script is that unlike the typical valiant-type superhero that’s like, “Oh, yes, I must go save the world”–unlike that, there’s a whole comedy base here with the reality of it all. Here’s this girl, like any of us, who stumbles on a rock. And, by the way, she says girl because she is girl, and so if she called herself woman at 17 she would have a problem. But she really is more tense than kryptonite. She’s just a real person. She wants to have a real life. She just deals with her responsibility of having super powers, but she really resents it. I guess that’s the humor in the piece.
Don Payne: Absolutely. I think that it’s more difficult to be a superhero than to not be. I think that it raises all kinds of problems–legal and ethical.
Uma Thurman: Financial. Fashion-wise.
Question: Do you think that this film is more of a sex comedy than a romantic comedy?
Ivan Reitman: No.
Luke Wilson: A sex comedy? No. I think that it’s definitely a straightforward comedy. I think that you would agree that there [are] a couple of pretty humorous sex scenes, in a way.
Question: And you walking down the street with your sore crotch after the sky-bonk sequence?
Luke Wilson: That was a really fun thing, because Ivan had that idea, and we were actually shooting something else that day and something at night, and you get there and we had about an hour and a half of daylight, and Ivan had me get out there and do that. But it was fun to do that.
Question: Did either of you watch Fatal Attraction at all?
Uma Thurman: You caught my reference. Alex was back.
Luke Wilson: It’s like Fatal Attraction in that a lot of people–you’re supposed to leave that movie thinking, “Don’t cheat on your wife.” But I knew a lot of people that were like, “It’s OK to cheat, but just stay clear of the crazies.” They weren’t like, “God, I really have to change the way I’m doing things.”
Question: How do you prepare for these kinds of bedroom romps?
Ivan Reitman: [Laughs.] You just kind of do them.
Uma Thurman: Oh, come on. He was very easy with me. We were OK. We were very careful, and I have great precision, too. [Laughs.] They trained me, those Chinese guys. Luke was safe.
Luke Wilson: You just kind of get into them, but the fun thing about them is that usually when you have a scene like that it’ll get very quiet on the set, and people are walking around in robes and it’ll be a closed set, but this couldn’t have been more relaxed and kind of fun. You had two huge guys down there shaking the bed. I’m like the new Ford Taurus. I’m an extremely easy ride. We don’t want to shy away from the whole sex theme, sex thing–it’s a part of all of our lives, I think.
Question: What were the hardest scenes for you guys to shoot with all the special effects?
Luke Wilson: The wire scenes were the most difficult to shoot because I hadn’t done green screen before, where you kind of shoot everything a couple of times and they put plates up.
Uma Thurman: The sky-bonk scared you, right? That one was a challenging one.
Ivan Reitman: Yeah. I didn’t want to do that scene at all. One thing that was hard was that it was really cold this [past] fall. This was one of the coldest falls that we’ve ever had, and we had carefully sort of tried to schedule the finale out on the street in the early part of the schedule so that we could get everyone in there, because everyone is in that one. We had a lot of scheduling issues on this film as well. We were finally able to do it in the beginning of November, hoping that “Well, New York, beginning of November, it’s usually quite nice. It should be all right.” It turned out to be like minus 10, minus 5. It was horrible out, and we were dying out in the street. That was the worst part of it, but it’s not about that. The special effects are difficult because they’re not as fun to do. Most of the time it’s fun to do these things, because you have really talented actors doing humorous things together, and that’s the joy of it.
Question: Is this film a metaphor for the lives that you lead as celebrities and stars?
Ivan Reitman: That’s a good question.
Luke Wilson: That is a good question. I would say that there’s really one superstar here. I hear what you’re saying, but I wasn’t really ever drawing any metaphors like that from my life.
Rainn Wilson: Do you know what the word metaphor means? [Laughs.]
Luke Wilson: The guy has been using that line for two days, and they love it every time. Yesterday was about the word hubris. No, but I’m in the process of trying to answer your question. I really don’t know what to say to that. I probably shouldn’t have been the one to answer that question.
Uma Thurman: Sometimes I would catch Rainn crying in his trailer. The girls just kept him up all night long. No one understands him, and no one talks to him for who he is. Luke, the same thing. On some simple level there is that, sure. Of course it’s that thing that fame or something like that, just the extra special-ness of it all–there is a nice side to it, but sometimes you want it just extra-normal and it’s not just quite the same, but it’s not a big deal.