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