Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Back-Up Plan director talks about doing romance comedy films

Before entering the lives of Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) and Stan (Alex O'Loughlin) on April 23 in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures International summer romance comedy film – The Back Up Plan, Emmy-winning TV director Alan Poul shares the excitement and fun of doing a romance comedy film that was his debut project as director in Columbia Pictures. Here is the complete transcript of Poul’s interview and how he can relate in the characters of Zoe and Stan and his working relationship with the stars of The Back-Up Plan.

Q: What made you choose “The Back-Up Plan”?

Allan Poul: It was the quality of the material that attracted me to it. I loved this script! Screenwriter Kate Angelo had written something that could be crude and even rude, but that still had the rhythm of the classic comedies.

Q: How would you describe the two main characters in the story?

They are classic screwball comedy characters, because they are people that shouldn’t get along and whose worlds never should have intersected, but who are thrown together and learn how to love each other.

Q: When did Jennifer Lopez come on board this project? What is she like to work with?

Actually, she was the first to come on board, even before me. I have worked with many great actors, but never with anybody quite like Jennifer. She has amazing comedic instincts and the most incredible control over her own physicality and expressions. Jennifer is like a precise instrument capable of giving you exactly what you want over and over again, and at the same time she surprises you!

Q: How do you see Zoe, her character?

I see her as a strong and independent woman whose life experience has taught her not to rely on men. Zoe is a high aspiring and achieving person that has made the conscious decision to try to meet the right guy and form a family; but, after dating in vain for several years she decides to move on and have a child on her own.

Q: Who is Stan?

Stan is a non-aspiring guy, with dreams but not much drive or ambition. He has had it easy because he works in a family business, is very good looking and has never really had to make the kind of commitment that would lead to a long lasting relationship.

Q: You picked Alex O’Loughlin, relatively a newcomer to play Stan…

Alex had never done comedy before, but he is a classically trained actor who is used to working quickly. Watching him learn to find the right comedy rhythm without sacrificing any emotional integrity was great, and it made me feel I was on a journey with somebody.

Q: How different is “The Back-Up Plan” to other romantic comedies we have seen recently?

I felt this film offered the possibility to reinvigorate or reinvent a genre. Many of the recent romantic comedies have become synonymous with “chick flicks;” but this script has a classic feeling about it that we haven’t seen on the screen for some time, while still addressing many of today’s issues.

Q: How do you think having a background in television has helped you?

I think that in a way it puts you ahead of the game and is an asset, because television is so fast-paced that you constantly have to make decisions and be committed to them. There is a long tradition of film directors that have come from television.

The Back-Up Plan is the story of Zoe who is unmarried but wanting to bare a child. She undergoes artificial insemination with the sperm of his best friend. Unaware that she is finally conceived she met Stan, a man of his dream and begins dating. Complications and all the twist and turns of the love story of Zoe and Stan begins when Zoe’s starting to show all the signs that a pregnant woman has. The Back-Up Plan includes artist; Noureen DeWulf, Melissa McCarthy, Eric Christian Olsen, Danneel Harris and Anthony Anderson. Distributed by Columbia Pictures locally and Sony Pictures International worldwide, fall in love, laugh and giggles with Zoe and Stan beginning April 23 in all cinemas nationwide.

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