'New Year’s Eve' Director Garry Marshall Reveals the Secret to On-Screen Chemistry (Video)
"It's all about the kiss," the romantic comedy pro told THR at the premiere for the Warner Bros. film.
New Year’s Eve, Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy with a star-studded cast, centers around several different characters who are all determined to make the most of the last day of the year, and, hopefully, to have someone to kiss at midnight. New Year’s Eve stars Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Hilary Swank, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Halle Berry and Katherine Heigl, to name a few.
Director Gary Marshall, as the man behind Valentine’s Day, The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride and Pretty Woman (to name a few), is a seasoned pro at working on romantic comedies and creating that on-screen chemistry.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Marshall on the black carpet at the premiere of his latest film, New Year’s Eve, which opens in theaters on Dec. 9. THR asked the director how he creates true romance in his films, often with actors who may not know each other very well in real life.
“True romance? It’s all about the kiss. Some people do romantic comedies, and they can’t kiss,” said Marshall, who added that he always makes his actors kiss so he knows there’s some chemistry between them.
“I remember Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries 2, we screened seven boys and she had to kiss seven different boys,” said Marshall. “And then we watched the film and we knew that this Chris Pine and her kissed the best.” The 2004 film was the first major role for Pine, who went on to become a well-known name.
As for New Year’s Eve, which has plenty of kissing, Marshall said he was most nervous about Abigail Breslin, since it was her first on-screen kiss. “They were kissing and their mothers were standing right there watching them,” said Marshall. “And we went over budget on all the breath mints.”
Marshall, who said he will be spending his own New Year’s Eve in Hawaii, told THR that his favorite scene was a crowd scene when a lost boy is lifted up through the crowd. “That’s because he’s my grandson, he’s eight years old, and he’s a pretty good actor,” said Marshall.
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