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Renee Zellweger is New in Town

Published January 27, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Lionsgate
New in Town New in Town

New In Town pits a big city girl in a factory town for a culture clash comedy. The cold of a harsh middle American winter was quite a clash for the stars too. Zellweger called the hilarity of dealing with frozen body fluid.

Zellweger on being New in Town


"It was highly entertaining and very educational," Zellweger said. "I didn’t know cold like that. It was a whole different kind of experience. It was a marvelous exercise in developing new survival skills. It was a whole new language for the biological things that happen. Who knew that panty hose could be so very important, three or four pairs at a time? I never imagined that I would rejoice at the pantyhose laid out on the bed by wardrobe every morning. They were essential. I would not be here today were it not for the Hanes, I promise this."

Like the characters in the movie, the small town charm won over any initial cynicism. "There were so many things about that place that were so charming. I loved the ice sculpture downtown. That was great. Waiting for the snow to compile and harden I suppose, that took probably 30 minutes. That was fantastic. The tenacity of the people was just so impressive. To me you looked out side and think, ‘Where is the road?’ because you can’t see the road. ‘I guess there is no driving today.’ But that’s not the case. Everybody just gets up and they get on with it like it’s normal. It’s just commonplace that your face freezes within two seconds of stepping outside of the door."

New in Town Poster New in Town


New in Town New in Town

New in Town New in Town

The experience of being new in town was easily relatable to the actress. "Every four months [I'm] new in town. Wherever the next location is and wherever you get sent the first order of business is to plop the bags down in what is going to be home for the next four to six months. Then you hoof it around and try to discover what’s going on in the community. You find what your patterns and surroundings are going to be for the next six months. So yes, perpetually new in town. On set there is an immediate intimacy to some degree because you come into a project with a whole lot of people with common goals. It’s this big huge cooperative effort that everyone is really passionate about and it’s very exciting. It’s very strange because you become like a high school class or something by the time you wrap a picture. It’s very strange to leave it behind. It’s a very strange nomadic circus life I guess. You are perpetually new in every respect."

Of course there's a small town gentleman (Harry Connick, Jr.) and the duo are at odds at first, until they realize they're perfect for each other. "I guess it’s about the play really. It’s about the exchange really and what’s honest in it. Hopefully, if the writing is good, and the dialogue is believable, it just comes together naturally. I felt so lucky on this. I knew we were going to have a great time having met the cast before we started. You don’t know how its’ going to ultimately come together until you start. You get out there and give it a shot. We share the same sense of humor, which is sort of miraculous and it was really, really unfortunate for the director and crew who want to keep it going. I think that came into play quite a bit. We have the same appreciation for the moment that could be. It was just play really."

New in Town opens Friday.

For the trialers and more movie info, go to the New in Town Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Lionsgate
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