I recently got the chance to talk to Emily Westergreen about her role in ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’. Here, Emily talks about what it was like working with Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro on-set and which three guests she would invite to dinner…
Hey Emily. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘What To Expect When You‘re Expecting‘.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The movie is inspired by the pregnancy bible ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ by Heidi Murkoff. It follows the lives of five couples who are all expecting and are experiencing different pregnancy challenges. The couples lives all become intertwined by their impending parenthood.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a pregnant wife who is interested in buying the same house that Holly, played by Jennifer Lopez, is trying to buy. She is trying to become pregnant and is having a hard time, so she is very jealous of pregnant people. When she sees that I am visibly pregnant and that I want the house for my baby, it makes her desperately want to buy the house for her potential baby.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
They were casting for pregnant women and babies. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and went to a casting call. I was only applying to be an extra in the movie, but they asked me to come in and audition for a speaking role. And after three auditions, I got it!
In your opinion, what makes this film different and unique?
It is a story that definitely appeals to women, particularly those who have children, but it also has an entirely separate story line involving just the husbands. This makes the film universally appealing to all audiences. There is a unique brand of humour that anyone would find funny. Chris Rock does a great job of keeping everyone laughing throughout the film.
The film stars Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Ben Falcone, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid and Matthew Morrison – with Kirk Jones onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I worked with Jennifer Lopez and Rodrigo Santoro in my scene. They were both a pleasure to work with. Rodrigo Santoro was extremely friendly and funny in between filming. They had great chemistry on and off set that really comes through in the film. They seemed very natural with each other. Kirk Jones was an amazing director. He was so patient with everyone and was really good at giving specific direction of how he wanted the scene to go. He was so upbeat and really kept the crew positive through the long hot day. I was 8 months pregnant and my scene was set in winter, so I was wearing layers of sweaters and it was 100 degrees outside. So a little humour was greatly appreciated!
Anecdotes wise, the director, Kirk Jones, called me two months after I had filmed my scene to find out if I had the baby yet and he wanted her to be in the movie, as well! She appears twice in the film in a scene with Dennis Quaid. She was only 18 days old at the time. They had originally wanted her to be Dennis Quaid and Brooklyn Decker’s baby, but the day they filmed that scene she was only 13 days old and not legally old enough to be on-set. 15 days old is the minimum age.
Let’s talk a bit about you Emily. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I grew up in a small, quaint town in Georgia that was used a lot for filming in the 1990s. In middle and high school, I worked as an extra on a few films and found it very fun and exciting. Living in Atlanta now, is the perfect location. Atlanta is becoming the new Hollywood, due to the Georgia tax breaks. If you want to work in film, it’s an easy place to find work.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Be prepared for a lot of long days! Apply for some background work, it’s easy to get those parts and it really gives you a good taste of the industry. If you like it, then you can always take acting classes and move up from there.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three ‘personal’ things could you not live without?
- A Kindle – I love to read and I suppose if I’m stranded on the island, I better have more than one good book.
- My photo albums – I have travelled so much and have so many amazing memories. I love looking back at old pictures of the things I have done.
- Coffee – do I really have to explain this one? Gotta have a cup or two!
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- I would love to sit down with Steve Jobs. I think he is one of the most influential people in the modern world. He is the epitome of success and has changed the way the modern-day world operates. He was instrumental in conceiving and designing the products that I (and everyone else) just cannot live without.
- Oprah Winfrey because although she is a billionaire, she is very sincere and really cares about people. She was born into poverty to a teenage single mother and from that became a media mogul and philanthropist. She has built a media empire herself and yet didn’t lose sight of the things that were important to her.
- Adam Sandler because you must have some laughs! He is funny, but also seems very interesting and engaging. I actually met him briefly at a party last year.
What is your favourite word?
My new favourite word is “Ribbit” because it makes my 9 month old daughter laugh hysterically every time I say it.
During off-shoot days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
I like spending time with my family and enjoying all the cultural things to do in Atlanta. On any given day, you can find us at the Atlanta Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, High Museum, or strolling in Piedmont Park. And if you aren’t familiar with these places – watch the movie, it really highlights all Atlanta has to offer!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I am doing a national campaign for Dunkin Donuts that should be coming out sometime this summer.
Thanks for the interview!