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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle - Each day is an adventure



Feature by: Jack Foley

THE decision to make Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle was not a foregone conclusion, even after the enormous success of the first film, according to those closest to the production.

For even though Charlie’s Angels took $40 million during its opening weekend in November 2000, and still holds the record for the best debut by a first-time director, very few of the production team had made definite plans to return.

"I never saw myself coming back to do a sequel," admits Cameron Diaz. "I like to work with different people, different directors, different stories.

"Then Drew called with a new twist on the storyline and said ‘let’s do it again!’ and Drew doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. She is so enthusiastic and gives you so many good reasons to participate in her adventure, that there’s no way to go against it."

In fact, the decision to make a sequel was decided informally by director, McG, and his three co-stars some time after the first film was completed.

One of the deciding factors, however, was ensuring that it wasn’t merely a repeat. Says ‘Barrymore, one of the films’ producers: "We made a pact that we wouldn’t do it if it meant repeating ourselves. Now the question was how to balance that responsibility and still have a lot of fun."

"It all starts with the writing, of course," Barrymore continues. "In this film we learn more about the Angels, delving deeper into their backstory. We’ve also sharpened the comedy and notched up the action."

Nancy Juvonen, Barrymore’s partner in Flower Films, and producer of Full Throttle, explains that much of the first film’s time was devoted to setting up the concept and the characters.

"Even though it had been a popular TV show, there was an entire generation that wasn’t familiar with it," she explains, "which left us less time to develop the characters. So this was a great opportunity to have all three Angels come back and pick up where we left off."

And with that direction firmly established, Diaz was able to reform the camaraderie she experienced with Barrymore, Liu and McG, from the first film.

"It’s a great partnership," she reveals. "Each day is an adventure. You’re never sure exactly what you’re going to be called on to do.

"In this film, among other things, I learned to weld, I surfed, I was in a roller derby, and performed a number with this amazing group of beautiful, sexy dancers called the Pussycat Dolls."

Adds Barrymore: "We are constantly looking out for one another. It’s rare to find that kind of consistent support and encouragement."

With the three principals on board, the next task was to find a replacement for Bill Murray, as Bosley. But the production quickly turned to Bernie Mac, who proved a welcome addition to the sequel.

Explains McG: "Bernie has an amazing energy, a unique voice and brand of comedy. He brings a fresh dimension to the movie."

For his part, Mac confesses to being a bit concerned about following in the footsteps of one of his comedic idols, and knew he was not going to succeed by simply trying to fill Murray’s shoes.

So he constructed a back story for himself, in which Murray’s character had related his adventures with the Angels and about his secret-agent experiences.

"When I first get the opportunity to join the Angels, I’m a bit overwhelmed. It’s like when you get something you really want but aren’t prepared for what it’s really going to be like."

Mac also decided to take the character of Bosley in a more paternalistic direction than his predecessor.

"I wanted to show a warm side of Bosley, almost a father figure to the Angels," he continued. "They take him under their wing and make him family. What I liked about the character was that he didn’t come off as a superhero.

"He started as someone who was in over his head, but worked hard and made real progress. You see him becoming part of the program and how he builds his relationship with the Angels and how it gets better day by day."

One of the biggest casting coups, however, was reserved for one of the villains - namely Demi Moore’s retired Angel, Madison Lee. The role was written specifically with the actress in mind.

Since Moore was the template for Madison, Barrymore was definitely not going to take ‘no’ for an answer, as she reveals: "If she had turned us down - which I wasn’t going to let happen - I was going to camp out on her doorstep until she said ‘yes’," she laughs.

But Moore attributes her decision to sign on to the enthusiasm of both Barrymore and McG, saying: "McG might call Drew his ‘secret weapon,’ but the truth is, they were a one-two punch. Their mutual enthusiasm and passion was very persuasive."

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