After discovering her boyfriend is married, a successful New York lawyer (Cameron Diaz) tries to get her ruined life back on track. But when she accidentally meets the wife he’s been cheating on (Leslie Mann), she realizes they have a lot in common. When yet another affair is discovered (Kate Upton), all three women slowly begin to bond over their joint enemy and conspire to give the cheating, lying, three-timing SOB (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) what he deserves. Opening April 25th, the female buddy comedy directed by Nick Cassavetes from a screenplay by Melissa Stack also stars Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj, and Don Johnson.
At the film’s recent press day in Los Angeles, Diaz, Mann, Upton, Coster-Waldau and Kinney talked about what made Stack’s script a perfect comedic vehicle for a strong female ensemble, how the physical comedy was choreographed and improvised on set, why Mann was thrilled to make out with the handsome guy from “Game of Thrones” after 17 years of marriage to funnyman Judd Apatow, how Coster-Waldau felt when he discovered his painful punishment scene with Upton wielding a whip had been cut, and why Upton found it so amazing to come in and work with Diaz and Mann in her feature debut.
Here’s what they had to say:
QUESTION: “The Other Woman” is ultimately about a friendship that develops among three women that you would never expect in a million years to see happen. Is that one of the things that appealed to you about the script and this project?
CAMERON DIAZ: Yes, absolutely. I felt this was such a unique film. When Julie Yorn, the producer, came to me with the idea for Melissa Stack, the screenwriter, to write the script, I said, “It sounds like a great idea.” There’s nothing out there like that. Usually, when it’s a story about three women all being involved with the same man, it ends in some eyeballs being scratched out and some weaves being snatched off. We decided that wasn’t the story we wanted to tell, and we didn’t really want it to be a story about revenge. We wanted it to be a story about utilizing the commonality of the three of them having a relationship with the same man to be a catalyst to bring them together, because otherwise these three women would not know one another. It’s not only a story about friendship and women and how we support one another and how we’re there for one another, but it also shows how different these women are. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and those strengths and weaknesses help each one of them in their own way. They actually empower one another because of those strengths and weaknesses.
LESLIE MANN: We help each other learn and we grow.
KATE UPTON: I know that in my life my girlfriends are one of the most important relationships I have going through the good times and the bad times. It was an amazing script because it shows that it’s true in real life.
MANN: It’s written by a woman so automatically it’s better. (Laughter) It seems like a lot of the other movies with the same kind of idea that have been written by men and maybe directed by men – not that that’s a bad thing – like to perpetuate this idea of women fighting over them, and they want us to believe that that’s what we’re supposed to do. So, it’s refreshing to have this new twist on it.
NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU: What does it tell us about these women when they all fall for this kind of man?
DIAZ: That he’s really good at what he does. (Laughter)
Q: Nikolaj, in “Game of Thrones,” you definitely come up against some fierce enemies. How does that compare to what you go through in this movie?
COSTER-WALDAU: They take their revenge, and all he wanted to do was give them pleasure.
DIAZ: Oh, that’s how this is going?
COSTER-WALDAU: No, I mean, it doesn’t really compare. He’s a real prick and he gets what he deserves. No question about it.
Q: How was it working opposite these women?
COSTER-WALDAU: It was amazing. All three girls were amazing. Leslie and Cameron are very brilliant actors. They’ve done this for a long time and they have impeccable timing. I enjoyed it. They both like to – how do you say – keep the scene open as long as possible to come up with ideas. I had to stay on my toes to keep up with them and try not to get in their way. I learned a lot from them. I have to say, this is Kate’s first movie, and I’m absolutely amazed at how she pulled it off, because it’s not easy playing that kind of naïve, young character.
DIAZ: You have to be really smart to play that dumb, but Amber wasn’t dumb.
COSTER-WALDAU: So yeah, it was a real thrill for me.
MANN: It was a thrill for me, too, because I was super excited to make out with the hot guy from “Game of Thrones.” I’ve been married for 17 years and you know how the actors say, “It’s really technical. Those scenes are not sexy. They’re just so technical. It’s like work.” And I’m like, “That’s bullshit.” Believe me, it was really exciting. I was so excited to make out with him. And then, we did the kissing scene, and I broke out into full hives, and they thought maybe it was his aftershave.
COSTER-WALDAU: It was just me.
MANN: We did it again and I broke out into hives again.
COSTER-WALDAU: It didn’t happen with Cameron though.
DIAZ: No, I have a sturdy constitution.
MANN: I finished the job. I got the job done.
DIAZ: Yes. You did.
Q: What about you, Taylor?
TAYLOR KINNEY: I think the most exciting or challenging part I remember was working with Leslie and trying to keep a straight face. You’re in the middle of a scene and then she’ll just throw a curve ball, and a grip or somebody laughs and has to turn around, and then you start going, and I’d just have to keep going. Your head just goes, so it was a testament to her talent. It was great.
Q: What did you think, Taylor, when you read the script for the first time and saw the different point of view that this movie took?
KINNEY: I hope I get this. (Laughter) I loved it. It changed a lot. It evolved a lot. With Melissa (screenwriter Melissa Stack) and Nick (director Nick Cassavetes) and the girls, there was a template and then it just evolved into what it is. It turned out great.
Q: Cameron, you were involved in petitioning the MPAA for this movie. How common is that for actors to get involved and what did you say to convince them that this could be a PG-13?
DIAZ: I’m not certain how common it is for other actors to do it, but myself, the studio, of course, and the producers all felt very strongly about it. I have to say, I completely admire and understand and respect that there are guidelines which we have to be under to get a certain rating, and I appreciate the MPAA for what they do and how they structure that. We just felt that it wasn’t a rated R, that it was a PG-13, and in the end, we were able to plead a case that showed that they agreed as well.
Q: Was there a specific thing that made them change their mind?
DIAZ: I’m not certain because I don’t know why they voted the way that they did. All I know is that we went and pleaded our case and they gave it to us. We’re very grateful and happy for that because we really think that it is a PG-13. There’s nothing in this movie that feels like an R to us.
MANN: We just have the one “fuck,” right?
COSTER-WALDAU: Is that all you get?
MANN: You just get one.
DIAZ: Yes, we just get one for PG-13.
UPTON: It’s crazy that there’s only one after the whole entire shoot. After our shoot, knowing what happened behind the scenes, it’s surprising that only one made it into the movie.
DIAZ: There was plenty of opportunity.
Q: I’m from the generation where we saw “Nine to Five” and this reminded me of it. For all of you, I was wondering if you looked at that film and if you remembered it?
COSTER-WALDAU: I loved it.
DIAZ: “Nine to Five” is actually one of my favorite movies. I watched it a thousand times when I was a child, literally a thousand times. My girlfriend had a VCR and she had four movies and that was one of them, and we watched it constantly. What I loved about this movie was the same thing. It was three women who would never have come together for any other reason except that they had something in common which was this common cause, and that’s really the feeling that I wanted this movie to have. It was a huge influence for it.
Q: Leslie, you have played some spectacular drunks on-screen. What is your secret? Is it being married to a funny guy? How does that work?
MANN: Well, I observe a lot of you drunk people. (Laughter) What I do is I just let myself go there and fully commit to that drunk thing, not that I’ve ever done that myself. I’ve had a lot of practice. Let’s be honest. Thank you though.
Q: Nikolaj, I understand in your scene with Ms. Upton, she got a little Method on your ass literally?
COSTER-WALDAU: Yes, she did. The scene was cut and I thought it was the only way I could…
UPTON: Okay, well let’s start off first with I said that I didn’t feel comfortable with the scene and somebody said that he was totally down for the scene.
COSTER-WALDAU: Absolutely. What’s wrong with it? I thought she did a terrific job. I’ve never seen colors that beautiful. But yeah, it never made the cut, so I felt we have to talk about this. I have to get something out of this.
MANN: How long did the bruise last?
COSTER-WALDAU: I still have it. I’m still walking around… I mean, it didn’t hurt that much. Well, it did when she hit me.
UPTON: You had your hand taken off in “Games of Thrones.” A bruise on your butt? What does that even mean?
COSTER-WALDAU: That’s right, but just something about the whole set-up was so funny, and then those pictures, they looked so… It was just funny. Kate did exactly what she was told to do and she did it full on. She gave it her best and she’s a strong girl.
UPTON: I’m a horseback rider. I know how to use a whip. (Laughter)
Q: For the ladies, in the movie you talk a little bit about soul mates. Do you believe there’s only one soul mate for life, or are there different soul mates for you at different times in your life?
MANN: I’m like, “It’s really hard. It’s really tough.” My therapist says, “But that means that you guys are meant to be together to work out all of your problems together.” I’m like, “Really? I thought with a soul mate you’re just supposed to be happy all the time.” I guess Judd (Apatow) is my soul mate because we have a lot of hard times, and it’s great at times, too. So maybe that means he’s my soul mate. Maybe?
DIAZ: Yes. I believe there are many soul mates, because my soul has a lot of different facets and it needs a lot of different…
MANN: …different men. (Laughter)
DIAZ: But in friendships, too. (to Mann) You’re one of my soul mates and (to Upton) you’re one of my soul mates. Our souls are mates in some part of our souls.
UPTON: Our souls are mates.
DIAZ: And they found each other.
MANN: Yeah. They found each other. That’s true.
DIAZ: Friendships I think can also be soul mates.
UPTON: I agree.
Q: Leslie, in the film you tackle Cameron. How many times did you have to do it? And Cameron, what’s it like being tackled by someone who weighs probably 90 pounds?
MANN: But I’m strong.
DIAZ: She’s strong.
MANN: We discovered that we have a fun chemistry physically. Cameron has really long legs and a short torso, and I have a really long torso and shorter legs.
DIAZ: (Laughs) Her center of gravity is low, and I’m always up here, tall, teetering and tottering. Her torso is all torque. It’s like a combustion engine that has torque and it revs up. She just completely powers up, and she torques and torques and torques, and then all of a sudden she just explodes. I’m holding her doing it and I’m like “Uhhhh!” And then, her leg locks around on me and hocks in, and then one hand’s here (on her shoulder) and then I pull it off, and then there’s another one here (on her hip) and then I pull that off. It just became basically like sticky balls where you throw it on and it just sticks. It kind of turned into that.
COSTER-WALDAU: Who would win though?
DIAZ: Who would win? Well, it always got stopped before it went too far. It was funny because in the script there was no physical comedy scripted and we just started finding it in these little places. And then, as we did it, we just realized. She would basically hold onto me and then I would writhe in any way possible to try to get her off.
MANN: You couldn’t get me off. Cameron was like, “Why are you so strong?”
UPTON: Cameron was also always wearing these huge stilettos and a leather pencil skirt.
DIAZ: Or a tiny bikini. I was like, “Excuse me, guys. My ass is going to be facing this way. Do you mind maybe just standing over there during this take because something is going to happen.”
UPTON: It’s weird how many men went over in that direction.
DIAZ: “What are you guys doing here?” “We’re holding a flag.” No, we had a great crew.
Q: Whether reading the script or during the time you were shooting the film, was there any point that any of you felt any empathy towards Nicolaj’s character?
KINNEY: I did. I felt bad for him. (Laughter)
DIAZ: You felt bad for Nicolaj or for his character?
KINNEY: I remember reading that scene and just being glad that I wasn’t doing it.
MANN: You didn’t like that part?
KINNEY: Yes, getting whipped in the ass. No thanks!
DIAZ: Dangling from a contraption.
KINNEY: That’s no fun.
UPTON: He could’ve said no.
DIAZ: No, that was not the safe word.
Q: This is a story about friendship, but there is cheating involved. Have any of you ever been cheated on, and was there a moment in the filming of this that you had to draw on that experience?
UPTON: That we had a cathartic moment when we went, “Oh my God, I totally know how this feels”?
DIAZ: Well, I think we all know. We’ve all gone through some kind of betrayal, whether it’s with a boyfriend or a friend or a family member. That’s why this is so relatable to everybody because we all know what it feels like to feel that betrayal.
MANN: And heartbreak.
Q: In the movie, your characters had to relate under crazy circumstances. How did you guys relate in real life during filming to each other as friends?
MANN: We hit it off right away luckily. We all did. We had a couple of dinners together. Cameron and I had a four-hour dinner and talked about everything. And then, we had a cast dinner which was really nice. I think we’re different, but we are very similar in a lot of ways, and we really complement each other in real life and on screen. Cameron, for me, is like the teacher. And Kate’s like my daughter. She’s only five years older than my daughter, and so, I always wanted to protect her. I just love these girls and these boys, too.
Q: We have a Twitter question for the guys from Giulia Rose, whose name might be spelled Giuliana Rancic. (Laughter) She’d like to know what is your ultimate feel good activity?
KINNEY: Honestly, anything that gets the blood flowing. So, use your imagination, but yeah. I’ll stick with that. It could be anything – a physical activity outdoors or indoors. (Laughter)
DIAZ: Vertical or horizontal.
COSTER-WALDAU: I’ll second that.
Q: Kate, what was it like for you to come in and work with Cameron and Leslie?
UPTON: It was so amazing. I’m so lucky. I didn’t know what to expect when I first came on set, and they opened their arms to me and made me feel really comfortable instantly. They supported me every step of the way, like when I was shooting the bikini scene. Normally, when you go to a beach, everybody is wearing bikinis, but on a film, you’re the only one. There’s like 60 people staring at you. They’re doing their jobs, but they’re still staring at you. I was so uncomfortable, and these girls saw that I was uncomfortable and came out and ran off camera with me just encouraging me and not letting me be alone. They were like that the whole way filming it. I’m so blessed to have them on my first film.
COSTER-WALDAU: There was another girl in the movie that I thought was amazing who hadn’t done movies before. Nicki Minaj did an amazing job.
DIAZ: She was fantastic.
COSTER-WALDAU: And of course, the writer, Melissa Stack, wrote a beautiful script. Also, we should mention Nick Cassavetes who did an amazing job directing this. At least for me, it was pretty good to have one more guy on set instead of just us two to have fun with, because these girls are a force to be reckoned with. So, here’s a shout out from me.
DIAZ: Honestly, Nicolaj plays one of the ugliest villains. We had to create such a horrible guy, because he is the bad guy in the movie. We took him as far pathologically as possible. I feel Nicolaj did such an amazing job of bringing that character so that we could have the fun of the revenge to make it so that we looked good and he looked bad, and we appreciate that. Taylor portrayed just the essence of a man that we all love and appreciate. He’s a brother, and he’s a best friend, and he gives heart to the movie that is otherwise stolen by the revenge of it all. These two guys really showed up for us, and they were great partners to the three women. Although we did a movie about heartbreak, I feel that we really also celebrate love in this movie, and we appreciate that these guys were there for us as partners to allow us to tell that story.