Almost no topic is off limits when it comes to chatting with an old friend. It’s getting like that with celebrities.
Over the years, I’ve had conversations with celebrities about their pregnancy, buying shoes, how bad an animal can stink when they are ill, toenails and so on.
A recent talk with Christina Applegate for her new feature film “Vacation” broke new ground. We seemed to talk an extraordinarily long time about vomit.
In the film, based on the classic series starring Chevy Chase as the ever bungling Clark Griswald, Applegate plays Debbie, the wife of Clark’s son, Rusty (Ed Helms). She seems to be the perfect mother of two until dark secrets are revealed during a trip to Wally World where the family makes a quick stop at her college.
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That’s where it’s discovered Debbie would do anything in college. To prove she hasn’t changed, despite being older, she downs a pitcher of beer.
The result is a geyser of puke. There are fountains in public squares that don’t erupt with this kind of velocity. And, it all appears to be coming from inside Applegate.
“It’s mostly computer generated,” Applegate says, proudly adding, “The first part is really me. But, after that it’s all CGI.”
What makes the ocean spray of puke so memorable is that most of it occurs while Debbie is trying to complete an obstacle course. Image the course from the TV show “Wipeout,” but on a smaller scale.
Just like most of the vomit, Applegate’s run through the course was mostly faked.
“I climbed up one thing and through another. That’s all they would let me do because of insurance concerns,” Applegate says.
Like Debbie, Applegate’s willing to do about anything when it comes to being funny. Even if she needs some computer-generated help to create the vomit flash flood alert, it’s OK to get a few laughs.
Three of a kind
In “Ant-Man,” before Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) gets the suit that can shrink him to the size of an ant, he hangs out with a trio of small-time crooks. They’re played by Michael Peña, T.I. and David Dastmalchian.
Playing what turns out to be the comic relief of the film was a scary proposition for Dastmalchian, who was outside the comfort zone of roles he normally plays. His previous credits include “Almost Human,” “The Dark Knight” and “Ray Donovan.
Even being a lifelong comic book fan didn’t help him feel more comfortable.
“I thought like all my knowledge of what I know about comic books is going to go into informing my character. This is a totally new character that isn’t part of that world,” Dastmalchian says.
Once filming started, the actor began to feel more comfortable.
“I learned quickly that I just needed to hold on and the guys are so generous. They just kept throwing me the ball and giving me an opportunity to play, and as long as I didn’t break, that became my biggest challenge, ‘cause these guys are so funny and I would hold my knees under the table,” Dastmalchian says.
What he didn’t know was that Peña was just as scared. He too has been a fan of comics all his life and passed that passion down to his son.
“My son is like, ‘Don’t mess this up there.’ And so I was like thoroughly really nervous ‘cause like I want to be the cool dad, but like it was really loose on set,” Peña says. “After the first week, it got to be a lot of fun so like when it’s too much fun you don’t know what kind of movie it was.”
Before “Ant-Man,” Peña was in “Gracepoint” and “The Shield.”
T.I. was just happy and enthused to be a part of the Marvel universe. He has appeared in “Get Hard” and “Entourage,” but he is better known for his musical talents.
Music to our ears: Varèse Sarabande will release the “12 Monkeys – Original Television Soundtrack” both digitally and on CD July 31. The album features the original music co-composed by Trevor Rabin and Paul Linford.
Something new: TV Land has greenlit “I Shudder,” a dark comedy pilot starring Hamish Linklater (“The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “The Newsroom”) and written by Paul Rudnick (“In & Out,” “Addams Family Values”), about a meticulous but generous man who sees the world in very black and white terms: what is acceptable, and what is unacceptable.
No date has been set for the show to launch.