The Heartbreak Kids
Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, and breakout star Malin Akerman talk about wild stunts, wilder sex scenes, and surviving the Farrelly brothers’ funniest—and raunchiest—movie yet.
Everyone’s talking about the hilarious sex scene in this film. Malin, do you have fewer hang-ups about nudity because you grew up in Sweden?
Malin Akerman: It’s definitely a Swedish thing. My dad came to visit me on set, and the first thing Peter and Bobby Farrelly showed him was the clip of the donkey with the strap-on dildo. My dad was rolling around and laughing his ass off. I was like, “All right, he’s gonna be cool with the rest of the film.”
You had a threesome on Entourage. Is it easier to do a funny sex scene than a serious one?
MA: Yes. Since it’s comedic, it doesn’t seem like an actual sex scene, per se.
Ben Stiller: It helped that in this movie it could look awkward. I didn’t have to worry about making it look right, which is something I don’t even know how to do in real life.
Michelle Monaghan: Aw, Ben, your poor wife.
Lila turns out to be a bride from hell, but she’s great in the sack. Is it ever worth staying with an A-hole because the sex is so good?
MM: Until you get your fill.
MA: Yeah, sure. Even if you know he’s not going to be the one, but you’ve got a month to kill, then why not?
BS: Sex won’t keep a relationship together. The perfect relationship is—
MA: —50 percent sex.
Have you ever dated someone who turned out to be completely nuts?
MM: Yes, but I was in denial.
BS: Yeah, I definitely went on dates and thought, She’s incredible, but then there would be some weird, telltale signs.
MM: Leaving the toilet seat up.
MA: Wow, you’re a picky one.
BS: No, like early-onset clinginess, like when you meet a girl and a few days later she’s going, “What are you doing? Weren’t we going to do that together?” That possessive thing is always a big uh-oh.
MM: Sounds like maybe you’re the psycho, dude.
BS: Clearly, I’m no good at dating more than one woman at once. I’m better off married.
What’s the best way to prepare to play a crazy mofo?
MA: You have to come in and put your balls out there. You can’t be shy—it’s all or nothing. The Farrellys are two big five-year-olds who really enjoy balls-out humor.
Was there anything they asked you to do in this movie where you were like, “I refuse to cross that line”?
BS: They wanted me to go full-frontal one scene, but I wouldn’t do it.
BS: Yeah. The most out-there things I’ve ever done in movies have always been with those guys, but I think I saved everyone a lot of trouble by not taking my pants off.
Wait, you showed your balls in There’s Something About Mary. How do they get people to do such insane stuff?
BS: I remember when I read There’s Something About Mary, thinking, This could be very, very funny or really, really bad. The key is that they don’t pull punches. They do whatever they think is funny, even if it’s outside of mainstream Hollywood.
This flick contains a sure-to-be-classic line, “—- me!” Have any of you ever said it during sex?MM and MA: No!
MM: It’s not very sexy to be like, “—- me, baby!” It’s so masculine.
MA: Not very attractive.
Should we be expecting T-shirts and other merch with —- me! on them?
MM: Ha! Or a Malin action figure that says it?
MA: If they make those, I definitely want a cut!
MM: Now, that would be a great stocking stuffer.
Were there any on-set injuries? There’s a scene where Michelle falls backward off a wall and into the ocean.
MM: I was worried about that. The Farrellys were like, “How about you fly off the edge of that balcony and down into the water?” If I’d really thought about it, I would have said no because I could have really hurt myself.
BS: With the Farrellys there’s no preparation. There are no stunt people. It’s Pete Farrelly’s cousin and, like, someone’s son.
MM: And maybe, like, the pool boy.
MA: Real professionals.
Did you guys ever get crazy with the tequila?
MM: Yes—Mexico was out of control. We would shoot from sunup to sundown, and then everyone would go to the hotel bar for tequila shots. We were like, “This really isn’t right.”
Was there a lot of discussion about what type of pubic wig, a.k.a. merkin, to use when Malin flashes her pubic hair?
MA: Oh, yeah. There were major discussions about the right texture and color.
MM: They were like, “It’s not poofy enough!”
MA: Nothing makes you go home and dissect your private parts like doing a scene with the Farrelly brothers. It was like, “Honey, what color do you think my thing is? Light blonde? Dirty blonde?” They glued on the merkin, and someone was sitting in the corner pouring water through this tube so it looked like I was peeing, and the camera was right there between my legs, and they were like, “Angle it up a little, but not too much, because we don’t want to see too much.” I was like, “Oh, my God.”
BS: It was, like, the third day of shooting.
Do you have the first CGI’d short ’n’ curlies ever to appear on film?
MA: I think I do! They CGI’d it so the big bush pops out. So for the record, everyone, none of it is me.