Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford talk TV
The Fan Carpet were lucky enough to attend the press conference for the new comedy, Morning Glory with gorgeous leading lady Rachel McAdams and the legend that is Harrison Ford. Joining them were Watchmen hunk Patrick Wilson and director Roger Michell.
Morning Glory is a comedy produced by J.J. Abrams and written by Aline Brosh McKenna, directed by Roger Michell, it is a comedic glimpse into the cutthroat world of live television and finds a desperate female news producer (Rachel McAdams) attempting to put out the flames between an anchorman (Harrison Ford) and his blustery but iconic cohost (Diane Keaton) in a last-ditch effort to save their failing morning show. Jeff Goldblum co-stars in the Paramount Pictures production.
I’m told that in this country the title of this film has a different meaning?
Patrick Wilson: Yes, I have heard that there is a second meaning. I think it’s especially appropriate to Britain.
Aswell as being a comedy it makes some pertinent points about journalism and entertainment remedies, was this something you were keen to get across without shoving it down their throats?
Patrick Wilson: That is the debate in morning television, how far you stress the news bit and how far you stress the fun cooking bits. That’s intricate to the films charades and is plot, it raises that debate and kicks it around with some passion without coming up with a particular formula or answer.
Miss McAdams, When I watched the film I was stuck how much your performance remind me of a young Katherina Hepburn, I was wondering if that was the way you approached it for that tone and zestful feeling?
Rachel McAdams: I really loved the way my character was written, she was hopeful and energetic and there was lots of room for physicality and Roger really encouraged that. I don’t know that I had anyone in particular in mind, I met a lot of producers but there aren’t a lot of women in the role because its a really taxing job and its difficult to have balance with your personal life. I like her energy and her gusto.
There wasn’t any need for you to go to anger camp for this film because you just needed to phone your dad, is that right?
Patrick Wilson: That’s right, my dad and my brother are both TV anchors on the same station.
What was their critical assessment of the film?
Patrick Wilson: They both loved it. My dad was switching channels and he had to go and do the noon news and it was incredible to see him up, much less speaking at like 11am. That was one of the things I said to Roger, how the this is a pretty accurate description of that attitude of the evening.
Mr Ford, you give a brilliant comedy performance but we rarely see you in a comedy role, is this out of choice or because people don’t send you enough good quality comedy scripts?
Harrison Ford: I think there’s not enough wit in comedy these days, its more adolescent humor and I’m too old for that. I was grateful to have this script, I thought it was very well written and the character was an interesting one for me to play.
Were any of you regular watchers of morning television?
Roger Michell: I didn’t watch much, but then when we started making this film I became more and more in admiration for the people who stay up all night doing these things. Rachel and I spent a lot of time hanging out with these people, going to their meetings and seeing what a difficult balancing act it was for these morning shows to decide how to assemble the news and entertainment.
Rachel McAdams: Its very interesting to be on the other side of the fence. I watched a lot of morning television because I skipped a lot of school. I didn’t go out and smoke pot or do normal things, I just wanted to watch daytime television. So I had a fair amount of experience with what you see on in front of you but not so much behind the scenes, it was really fun to see the anchor with their slippers on underneath the chair. The control room is a gongshow back there, it’s completely crazy, really dramatic, fast paced and I had a hard time following it at first. I have a lot of respect for what happens back there and how much energy and vitality you have to have to make it through a 3am-1am shift and then do it again the next day.
Patrick Wilson: I did watch it, well I watched a lot of news. What was interesting was watching the shift from news to entertainment. Back pre cable when everybody watched news, the ratings were astonishing. Watching news was part of the daily routine, but then cable came and it was about jocking for position and ratings became much more important so then news became more entertainment based. The good presenters that can listen when so much was going on behind their ear and having to keep calm and continue reading.
Harrison Ford: My experience comes from having appeared on morning television promoting films over the years. I do admire those people that do it well. My character is a pretentious, stuffy, self satisfying person that really only had respect for what he’s done and his particular form of journalism. I could certainly understand Mikes point of view, he thinks its a sacred profession, it used to be that Walter Cronkite was the most trusted person on television. I still think the network news anchors do a very good job, they have the resources and budget in order to do it but there’s another brand of news now that confirms whatever political view you have and I think that’s contributed to the divisiveness and lack of civility in American culture.
What is your favourite news programme or news caster?
Rachel McAdams: I’m not as up on television anymore. I think I wore it out when I was younger, nowadays I really like to listen to the radio, I find it a nice way to start the morning. I still live in Canada, I like CBC, so big shout out to John Givenchy and Matt Galloway.
Have you seen our UK morning show Day Break?
Roger Michell: Just to add to that, we got their first, we were called Day Break before they were called Day Break! Rachel and went on Day Break earlier today, I believe Rachel made an anchovy and chocolate omelet this morning.
Rachel McAdams: They said not to take it seriously!
Rachel McAdams: It wasn’t the most tasty interview I have ever had. Patrick won the omelet completion that I wasn’t aware we were having. Yes, I made a very fluffy anchovy and mars bar omelet. It will catch on one of these days and you will all be very sorry.
What do you think of Piers Morgan becoming a top anchor man in American, here he is more famous for being sacked from a famous newspaper and a judge of a talent show?
Harrison Ford: Well I hear he’s promoting his show as looking for the truth from his subjects, so I shall have nothing to do with him. I’m not interested in the truth, I’m interested in selling a product, if you want the truth go some place else.
Your character is the third most hated person in the world, how did you step into this character?
Harrison Ford: I found no difficulty in slipping into the skin of the third most hated person in the world. It was a very well written script, the characters are clear, the path from third to fourth worst person through the relationship with Rachel’s character, it was great fun to play that character.
Harrison, You have a fantastic rappor with Diane Keaton on screen, how easy was it to act like you don’t like her?
Harrison Ford: I’m in it for the money, that’s what I do. That was the relationship, it was fun to work with her shes very inventive and smart about what she does, I ave always admired her work.
Rachel, how did you feel about working with such a comedy legend again?
Rachel McAdams: It was a strange shift because I played her daughter in The Family Stone a few years ago and then to go playing her boss, where she doesn’t like me – suddenly she was slamming doors in my face and making fun of me. But it was great to get those two very difference experiences with her, because she can do so much. I love being around her as an actress and also as a person. She’s one of those people that comes to work in 9 inch heels and gets it done. Shes a fabulous person.
Who makes you laugh?
Rachel McAdams: Jackass?
Harrison Ford: I laugh a lot. Largely at inappropriate junctures. Robin Williams makes me laugh, Steve Martin makes me laugh. Steve is classic comedy and Robin is in a world of his own.
Rachel, in the film you have trouble getting work out of your mind, in real life have you ever had similar problems and banged on about work and pissed off a guy?
Rachel McAdams: Probably, but not that I’m aware of. In film you work really intensely for a few months, you leave your home, your family and leave everything behind so its easy to become myopic and focus on one thing so I’m sure I’ve pissed a few people off doing that, but then you get to come home and reconnect.
Rachel you have great body language in the film, did you prepare for this?
Rachel McAdams: Well, that’s my secret. laughs: Shes a very physical character and I did love that about her. She thrusts into everything, full force and I have learnt that executive producers can be that way. Running around in high heels, racing through the halls so it seemed appropriate.
MORNING GLORY IS RELEASED IN UK CINEMAS ON JANUARY 21 FROM PARAMOUNT PICTURES