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The cast of Garry Marshall’s latest romantic comedy, Mother’s Day — including Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Shay Mitchell, Jack Whitehall and Aasif Mandvi — graced the red carpet Wednesday evening at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
The film follows a group of characters with intersecting storylines, grappling with issues revolving around being, becoming, reconciling with and losing a mother.
Director Garry Marshall, who spearheaded similar titles in the past including Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve, told THR that this time the film was more personal.
“Mother’s Day was more a salute to my mother, who is very funny and gave my sister Penny and I a sense of humor and made us want to go into comedy. She’s passed away, but I know she would’ve liked this picture,” he said.
“It’s very hard to be a mother today. When I was a father, my kids didn’t have cell phones. I have six grandchildren and it’s hard to get them to look up,” Marshall quipped. “But, you know, this is a part of life and we adjust. I adjusted every ten years.”
Julia Roberts shares a close bond with Marshall through her breakthrough role in Pretty Woman as well as her work on Runaway Bride and Valentine’s Day. Producer Daniel Diamond commented on the close relationship between Marshall and Roberts and shared a humorous story with THR about how Roberts locked down her role in the film.
“The story was, when he asked her, she said, ‘Well, you know, Garry, we only work together once every ten years,’ and he said, ‘Honey, I’m 82 years old. I don’t know if I can wait that long,'” Diamond joked.
Jennifer Aniston also shared her interest in wanting to work with director Garry Marshall on his latest venture.
“Garry Marshall was my appeal, and the cast,” Aniston said. “They’re just incredible. All they want is for you to be happy. It’s a family set and family affair, everyone’s just having a good time.”
On her relationship with Marshall, she added, “He’s the grandpa everybody wishes they had.”
Ella Anderson, who was most recently seen playing Kristen Bell’s daughter in The Boss, stars as the daughter of a widowed Jason Sudeikis in Mother’s Day. On the red carpet, Anderson echoed Aniston’s sentiments about working with Marshall.
“He’s like my grandpa. He’s just so funny. He’s sweet, and every time you see him, you want to give him a really big hug. And he’s such a good director, really talented — I can just not say enough nice things about him,” Anderson said.
Hollywood newcomer and London native Jack Whitehall, star of the U.K. comedy Fresh Meat, also shared his experience working with the director, as well as his relationship with his own mother.
“He’s amazing, it was so much fun. The set was incredible,” he said. “It was my first ever kind of American film so it was a really nice one to start because it was just such a nice environment.”
Harping on the film’s theme, Whitehall added, “I am very close to my mother. When I first started doing stand-ups, she was obviously terrified that that’s what I wanted to do and she was incredibly supportive. I can’t drive – still can’t drive — so my mother used to drive me around to all of my shows early on, actually on the back of her scooter, and she would drive me out to my shows, so we are very close.”
Mother’s Day hits theaters nationwide April 29.
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