Garry Marshall has made leading ladies out of Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway in his romantic comedies. Now he’s got a whole movie full of stars. Valentine’s Day is an ensemble romantic comedy, and it makes Marshall feel like the king.
Garry Marshall Celebrates Valentine's Day
“It’s like when you’re in high school and suddenly you’re with all those popular kids in school,” he said. “They’re all with you and they all know you. It’s a very exciting thing. It didn’t happen for me in high school. Bradley Cooper is here. Here comes Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba. I know them all personally! Jaime Foxx is coming.”
Actually mounting the sprawling romantic epic proved more challenging. “Well, the key is you hire everybody who’s name starts with J to begin with. Jessica, Jaime, Jennifer, Julia. It all works out of that. You can say any name, just starts with a J. It is good for me that I knew many of these people and to work with them recalls a shorthand because this was a tough schedule, the logistics alone. So to work with them all was a pleasure because there was not much fighting. Nobody’s pushing each other. It’s a nice group. Sometimes they push.”
It’s also a familiar crew behind the scenes. “I’ve also had a lot of relatives who were involved. Part of my thing is when you work with these stars you have to make them comfortable. You surround them with people you like. Bradley Cooper sat on that plane and seated next to them was my grandchild who won’t say a word. She won’t run up to him and say, ‘Give me an autograph.’ My assistant and her husband sat behind them and didn’t say a word. And with Ashton, my daughter was the other clerk with him so he’s comfortable.”
It’s also a who’s who of stars with real relationships in the spotlights. You may look to them or their films for help when you’re getting over a breakup. Marshall isn’t offering any secrets.
“Are you asking how you get over a breakup? Well, these are pretty good people. I don't know how many broke up but if they did, you read about it so they don’t have anything to say.”
Valentine's Day opens to theaters on February 12th.