In New in Town, Renee Zellweger plays a high-powered Miami executive sent to restructure a manufacturing plant in a small, Minnesota town. ReelzChannel sat down with her recently to talk about playing this fish out of water and working with Harry Connick, Jr.
ReelzChannel: What was it like shooting in the harsh weather?
Zellweger: Pantyhose -- who knew pantyhose mattered so much? It was actually comical. It was really, really fun and impressive watching this crew, who were so tenacious in making it happen despite the obvious challenges of working in such extreme climates. You know, you've got to have a sense of humor. We just laughed at the ridiculousness of trying to get it done, and we got it done.
RC: Do you have funny stories from on set?
Zellweger: Oh, it was so much fun. The whole thing was fun, just playing around with the physical comedy, improvising sometimes with Harry, to see how far we can take it. Going crow hunting in that canvas suit, there was a lot of laughter. We had a very, very good time on that.
RC: How would you describe your character?
Zellweger: Lucy Hill is tenacious and determined. And she's observant. And she's not willing to budge from her vision of perfection and her life -- until she suddenly becomes a fish out of water and has absolutely no way of negotiating this new community [with values] a little bit different than her own.
RC: What drew you to this story?
Zellweger: OK. Let's see.... You know, I was just really ready for this experience. I wanted to go to work and laugh. I just wanted to go and play. And I read this script and I laughed out loud imagining the ridiculous situations that this character finds herself in. I loved how rigid she was, and I find it so funny when the perfectionist fails. I couldn't wait to play this character. I couldn't wait to put on her very inappropriate wardrobe and traipse through the snow, determined to be perfect and fail. I loved it.
RC: Did you adjust with the character?
Zellweger: I know it well, I know the small-town pace well. I grew up in it, and it's in me. So it felt very familiar from the get-go.
RC: How did you and Harry get New in Town together?
Zellweger: I think we both kind of liked the project a lot, and it just felt like it was time to go and do something that makes you laugh. And from the beginning, there was laughter on set. I mean, if it looks like we had a good time making this movie, you'd be right. We did. We laughed everyday.
RC: Do you believe in matchmaking?
Zellweger: Oh, boy. I think I'll skip that question because I don't really think about that. And I'd hate to make up an opinion where I don't have one.
RC: How will international audiences respond to this movie?
Zellweger: I think this sort of comedy is universal -- physical comedy, you know. You don't need a translation.
RC: Tell us about the pudding-fight scene.
Zellweger: At the end of a very long week, at the end of a very long, cold day, it was fun to just kind of let loose. You know, no-holds-barred? It was fun.
RC: Did you enjoy the physical comedy?
Zellweger: [It was] a big part of the draw for this project. I missed it. It's been a really long time since I'd done comedy that is as broad as that, and I couldn't wait to give it a shot. It's like play to me.