By ANGELA DAWSON
NEW YORK—Biologically, Jennifer Aniston is 44 but you’d never guess it from watching her play a smokin’ hot stripper who joins a drug dealer’s clandestine plot to pose as a normal family on vacation in Mexico to smuggle drugs across the border.
The former “Friends” star recently spoke about getting in shape, showing some skin and playing a stripper incognito in this action comedy.
Q: You look so amazing in this movie. Can you give us a few tips?
Aniston: There are no secrets. We had an amazing choreographer (Denise Faye) and a wonderful trainer. And we worked out a lot.
Q: Did you have to forego the carbs?
Aniston: No, just no food. There was a lot of celery, a lot of salad, a lot of celery sticks and a lot of cucumbers. Ice chips. They did let me eat ice chips. Water was good. No, you can eat normally.
Q: Anything that you missed eating while preparing for this?
Aniston: The thing I missed was my chips and my Mexican food, but I eat it once a week. I think you do need that calorie spike once a week.
Q: How did you get into Rose’s head and how did you channel that stripper inner rage?
Aniston: I think she’s a sad stripper who has built this tough exterior from being disappointed many times throughout her life and making some bad choices with bad men. I thought of her maybe as a classically trained dancer at one point who maybe didn’t quite make it. I think rage is sadness turned outward. To get into it, I pretended. I acted. I just thought of her as hardened, not so much rageful. I worked with this amazing choreographer and started learning some pretty amazing moves. It kind of just became easy. It was really fun actually. I have a stripper pole in my house now—me, Paris Hilton and Kate Hudson.
Q: What was the brand of underwear you wore?
Aniston: I think it was Aerie. I don’t know how she had that underwear.
Q: Can you talk about the relationship between you and Jason Sudeikis, who pretends to be your husband in the movie? Was there a lot of improvisation going on since your characters are basically play-acting?
Aniston: I didn’t even think of it that way—actors pretending to be actors. Whoa! We did better than we thought. There wasn’t a lot of improv; we stuck to the script. There’s a lot of banter, which is a lot of fun. (Jason’s) good. He’s amazing partner in volleying.
Q: Do you see you character transformed by what happens to her?
Aniston: Yeah. She and (David, Sudeikis’ character) basically find their family. Out of this crazy situation, they find the soft spot in each other and find a partnership, which is what everyone is looking for.
Q: Did you relate to this story as an actor, since you sometimes have to come together with people you don’t necessarily like and have to act as if you do?
Aniston: Well, yeah. That was what was fun about it—the attitudes we have about each other at the beginning. I can’t stand (Jason’s character at first) and I don’t know the kids. I think we actually do become a family. You spend three or four months of your life every day, sometimes for too long, you just begin to like each other.
Q: What was the most challenging scene?
Aniston: I would have to say the scene at the auto body shop. That really hot place where the rainstorm happens. That was a challenging one for me. I just had to do it. They rolled the cameras and I just had to bite the bullet. It was a little uncomfortable at first but you just get into it. I was doing all the rehearsals alone and then you’re on set with three cameras and a bunch of crew—it’s a little intimidating at first.
Q: What was the hardest scene to film without cracking up, and who broke character the most on set?
Aniston: We had a hard time in the RV with Kathryn (Hahn). She would start her scenes with these extraordinary stories that led up to what the actual dialogue is on the page and they were just different every time.
Q: How did you prepare to play a stripper? Did you go to strip clubs to observe?
Aniston: They had to drag me out of that strip club every night. All the fun stuff is on the DVD.
Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Aniston: There were so many fun scenes but Nick (Offerman) and Kathryn in that tent for me was really fun. So was (playing) Pictionary. That was fun. Any scene with everybody is really fun.
Q: How did you go back and forth between your two characters during takes?
Aniston: It was those horrible Capri pants and awful island shirt and popped collar and those little sneakers. It was pretty easy to go into (my fake mom character) just with the wardrobe.
Q: How did you get comfortable in the tent scene and did it make a difference that you and Kathryn had worked together before?
Aniston: All of it was completely, 100 percent comfortable, kosher, and easy. I wish it went on longer. I’m pretty easy but (knowing her), of course, made it a lot more comfortable.
Q: Do you think there will be a sequel to this?
Aniston: That’s an interesting idea.