The two lead stars of the film Hot Pur­suit hope their con­trast­ing styles will res­onate with view­ers look­ing for a laugh

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY | MOVIES - PETER MITCHELL

Sofia Ver­gara walks into the room, stops and then looks back. “Where is she?” the stat­uesque beauty, in a bur­gundy, fig­ure-hug­ging knee-length dress shouts in her thick Colom­bian ac­cent.

A familiar voice a dis­tance away down the Bev­erly Hills Four Sea­sons Ho­tel hall­way an­swers.

“I’m with my child,” the squeaky voice, un­suc­cess­fully at­tempt­ing to match Ver­gara’s fire, shouts back. Ver­gara sighs. It feels like a scene from a Mod­ern Fam­ily episode, with Ver­gara’s de­mand­ing, impatient, princess char­ac­ter Glo­ria giv­ing hus­band Jay, played by Ed O’Neil, a hard time about some­thing. In this real life sit­u­a­tion the squeaky cu­tie pie isn’t long-suf­fer­ing Jay, but Os­car-win­ner Reese Wither­spoon.

Wither­spoon is down the hall­way with 12-year-old son Dea­con, who tagged along for the day as his fa­mous mum and Ver­gara were do­ing in­ter­views in the ho­tel for their new big screen com­edy, Hot Pur­suit.

“We are wait­ing here,” Ver­gara, smil­ing, but still pre­tend­ing to be mad, bel­lows to the still yet-to-ap­pear Wither­spoon.

In Hot Pur­suit Wither­spoon plays San An­to­nio Po­lice Depart­ment of­fi­cer Rose Cooper who has to es­cort Ver­gara’s char­ac­ter, Daniella Riva, the wife of a Colom­bian drug car­tel in­for­mant, to court to tes­tify against the car­tel’s boss. Not sur­pris­ingly, the trip doesn’t go well.

The 156cm tall Cooper, in her un­fash­ion­able flat po­lice is­sued shoes, has to pro­tect Riva, over 180cm in her high­heels, from as­sas­sins and crooked cops.

When Wither­spoon does fi­nally ap­pear in the ho­tel suite for the in­ter­view it is men­tioned that the bickering that’s part of their char­ac­ters’ re­la­tion­ship on screen con­tin­ues away from the set.

“No re­spect,” Wither­spoon, dressed in a navy shift dress, says while point­ing to Ver­gara.

“Yes, it is real,” Ver­gara re­sponds.

“She doesn’t re­spect me.” “No,” Wither­spoon adds. “It’s even worse in real life.”

Wither­spoon, along with her Aus­tralian pro­duc­ing part­ner Bruna Pa­pan­drea, came up with the idea of the fe­male buddy com­edy as part of their plan to change the way Hol­ly­wood makes movies for women. Wither­spoon and Pa­pan­drea set up film pro­duc­tion com­pany Pa­cific Stan­dard af­ter Wither­spoon, three years ago, watched six tal­ented ac­tresses com­pete for a “ter­ri­ble part in a movie”.

Pa­cific Stan­dard has also been be­hind Os­car-nom­i­nated dra­mas Wild and Gone Girl.

“I thought we’d be funny in a movie to­gether,” Wither­spoon, 39, says of the de­ci­sion to reach out to Ver­gara. “She’s tall, Latin and sexy and I’m short, white and Amer­i­can.”

Ver­gara, 42, said the idea of a Hol­ly­wood com­edy with two fe­male leads cap­tured her in­ter­est.

“There’s scripts with two girls who try to get the guy, trick a guy or get mar­ried,” Ver­gara ex­plains.

“This movie has noth­ing to do with that.”

“It’s two women who are just try­ing to sur­vive and do what they have to do.”


Reese Wither­spoon and Sofia Ver­gara form an un­likely part­ner­ship in the film.

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