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Malin Akerman on Couples Retreat

Published October 12, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
The couples in Couples Retreat are torn between their exotic Tahitian location and their real need to fix their marriages. So too were the actors in Couples Retreat. Malin Akerman plays Vince Vaughn’s wife, and she had to focus on multiple takes and coverage when she really wanted to hang out by the beach.

Malin Akerman on a Couples Retreat


“Obviously, you can’t really call it work when you’re there,” she said. “It’s just an amazing vacation. Between every take, you just look out and you go, ‘Wow, we are in paradise.’ Of course, we did get a lot of work done, and it was supremely enjoyable. We had such a great cast. It was such a great way to start a film. It was 3 ½ weeks in Bora Bora. Anytime you travel, the cast and crew gets to hang out, so you really get to know each other well, which was a nice base for this film, especially, because we’re all couples who know each other. We’re supposed to be good friends. So, we all ended up hanging out and having dinners together. It was fantastic.”

The group headed by Vaughn, but also including Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman and Faizon Love, welcomes improvisation. That includes any costar, so Akerman was encouraged to contribute. “It was actually a really nice experience because it was so collaborative and everyone was so open to taking ideas. It just felt like a team effort, which is nice for us, who didn’t write the script, because we were allowed to have a voice. It’s nice to come in and go, ‘Well, I don’t know if she would really say this,’ and Vince would go, ‘What do you think she would say? What would she do in this situation?’ It was just about flushing it out and trying to make it as three-dimensional and real as possible, which is always nice. You don’t always get that opportunity. It was a really great experience, in that sense.”


Couples RetreatCouples Retreat


Couples RetreatCouples Retreat

After playing the sexpot of Watchmen, The Heartbreak Kid and Entourage, Akerman plays a mom for the first time in Couples Retreat. Don’t worry, she’s still a MILF.

“I grew up. It was a lot of fun to do. I am 31. I could be a mother of two, no problem. It’s always fun to do [different things]. I’m always intrigued by any roles that are different from the last. It’s nice to exercise all your muscles. I was more attracted just to the script and the dynamics of everyone, and then I went, ‘Wow, she’s got two kids. That’s kind of cool.’ I am the oldest of four siblings, so I’ve had a lot of experience in raising kids. It wasn’t completely foreign to me, but it was definitely a huge difference, in going from action hero to mom, which is also a type of hero.”

Plus, after the year-long shoot that was Watchmen, Couples Retreat would have been a vacation even if it shot in sound stages. “Any movie is always a challenge, just because it’s a new character and you never know. You always want to make it as truthful as possible, which is sometimes hard because you’re always faced with new situations. But, at the bottom of this film, it’s all about relationships, and everyone in life has some sort of relationship, whether it’s with your family, your friends or someone you love. It wasn’t as difficult, as far as trying to relate to what you’re saying or what it would be like if you’re husband wasn’t listening to you, ‘cause that does happen in real life. You want to snap him into the reality. I’m always nervous going to set, no matter what. No matter how many months into it, I’m always nervous and excited, even though it’s a good nervous. There was a lot of improv as well, which I find exciting, but you just want to make it as good as possible. The challenge is always where you go, ‘Okay, how can we heighten this and make it the best scene ever?’ Every day is that challenge. It’s not something specific.”

Couples Retreat is out in theaters now.

For the trailer, stills, poster, review and more movie info, go to the Couples Retreat Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Universal Pictures
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