Opening this weekend is the comedy Wanderlust, starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, about a couple who decides to join a free love commune.
The film reunites Rudd with a number of his past collaborators — not just Aniston (who Rudd worked with on Friends), but also producer Judd Apatow and director David Wain. Rudd talks about reuniting with them and both the easiest and most difficult parts of making the film.
Though Rudd is a solid member of Wanderlust producer Apatow’s comedy circle — he has appeared in films directed by Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, the upcoming This is Forty) and produced by Apatow (Anchorman, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), he has also worked with Wanderlust director David Wain‘s Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models.
Though Rudd admits that the two comedy filmmakers have different approaches, it was easy to find a middle ground, explaining, “It’s interesting to work in both the Wain camp and the Apatow camp. Judd stresses improvisation and getting all of these alternate versions of a take, while David often remains true to the script. I was a kind of liaison between the two. We all worked together to figure out each other’s methods.”
Though Wanderlust is about Rudd and Aniston’s characters joining a commune, the cast and crew ended up staying true to that concept even when production was over. Rudd reveals that the communal nature of filmmaking naturally led to the group bonding as they do in the film. “Because we shot the majority of Wanderlust on a farm, we actually were living communally. We became a closer-knit cast. We would eat dinner together and hang out after shooting and on the weekends.”
Still, one shouldn’t get the impression that the shoot was easy. Rudd confesses that there was one aspect of the shoot that he had difficulty with: since the film takes place in a hippie commune, there was lots of nudity on set. While Rudd is a long-time acting professional, he expresses being uncomfortable with where his eyes were supposed to go during the shoot, saying, “It was weird to work with real naked people around. I felt bad for them because most people weren’t naked, and more importantly, it was freezing. But when you throw a bunch of nudists into a scene, there’s a paradigm shift. Everyone was professional and no one wanted to stare, but I think we all kind of caught each other at different points staring at them. Not in a pervy way, more like a it’s-super-weird-that-all-those-people-are-naked kind of way.”
Unfortunately, it appears that Aniston won’t be one of the ones we’ll see nude in the film — but I’m sure Rudd coped with that on-set just fine.