A/V Room









Along Came Polly - John Hamburg Q&A

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Where did the idea for the movie come from; why this to lure you back into the director's chair? And how did you come to cast Jen and Ben?
The movie started on a vacation I took to the island of St Bart's, in the Caribbean with my girlfriend. We were sort of sun-tanning on the beach and then this handsome, naked Frenchman walked by us.
You know, my mind started spinning and I was imagining what the worst thing that could happen to me on this vacation would be, if my girlfriend had run away with this guy. Everything sort of steam-rolled from there...
I directed my first movie, which was an independent film, and then I wanted to learn a little more about the Hollywood movie-making system. I got a chance to work with some really great directors, and work on some projects I was really proud of, so then I felt it was time to make another movie, and did that with Along Came Polly.
There are very few people who have an amazing acting ability, and comic ability, and these two are at the top of their game, in terms of combining both of those talents, and I just thought that putting the two of them together would make for a really interesting romantic comedy.

Q. What do you think of London?
I've been here a few times, including July last year, but I live in New York and was born and raised there, so I just love being in cities where there is a kind of energy and people walking around, and theatre and that kind of stuff... so I actually love it here.

Q. You said in the production notes that you couldn't think of anyone else to play Philip Seymour Hoffman's character? Did he see that as a compliment? And have you ever had a friend quite like that?
. Yeah, I realised I said that, and told Phil that I was really sorry, but I did mean it as a total compliment. He's a much better basketball player than Sandy is! I was just really referring to his acting ability and I thought it would be really fun, because we've never really seen Philip Seymour Hoffman in this kind of comedy, and I thought he really had the ability to do it.
So I meant it as a compliment, but I realised the character, once I saw the movie, was such that this guy's probably really pissed off that I said that!

Q. How many takes did it need to finally get Hank Azaria's comedy French accent right, without too much inuendo or laughter?
There was a lot of cutting in that! He's just so funny and his accent was so ridiculous. We were in Paris and they really didn't care for it. I think it was a little too close to home.

Q. What did you like most about filming Along Came Polly?
You know, the whole process was very fulfilling for me, just because we had such a great cast on the movie. Every day, I think these guys made it so much better than I even imagined. So, for me, it was really thrilling.

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