In the comedy film “Wanderlust,” George (played by Paul Rudd) and Linda (played by Jennifer Aniston) are overextended, overstressed Manhattanites who are barely hanging on by a thread. After George is downsized from his financial firm and Linda’s depressing documentary is cancelled, they can no longer afford their overpriced “micro-loft” (read: studio apartment) in the West Village. They find themselves with just one option: to pack up their lives and head south to move in with George’s McMansion-living jerk of a brother, Rick (played by Ken Marino), and his constantly tipsy wife, Marisa (played by Michalea Watkins), in Atlanta for a few months.
On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colorful characters — including Alan Alda as the troupe’s drop-out founder, Carvin; Justin Theroux as Elysium’s alpha male, Seth; Malin Akerman as the sexually adventurous Eva; Joe Lo Truglio as nudist Wayne; and Kathryn Hahn as former porn star and current jam maker Karen. After spending one adventurous night among these characters, George and Linda decide to give a new lifestyle a go and begin to question how they should live the rest of their lives. Here is what these “Wanderlust” stars said that the Los Angeles press junket for the movie.
Interview with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd
Why is Wanderlust” not a typical romantic comedy?
Aniston: It is definitely not a romantic comedy or anything that you would expect to see on a traditional sense.
Rudd: Yeah, it can be fairly extreme and irreverent. I think anybody who’s familiar with David Wain’s sensibility and the stuff that he’s made in the past, like “Wet Hot American Summer” or “Stella,” knows that he has a very specific take on Wanderlust is a movie that I think fell into that category, yet was expanding into something that might have some commercial appeal. It’s just a crazy, crazy story that hopefully is a perfect match.
Aniston: It’s very unique.
Rudd: It’s a distinct comedy and an accessible story.
What can people relate to the most about George and Linda?
Aniston: They’re relatable in the sense that they’ve been married for a while, and they’re sort of stuck, in terms of being caught up in the rat race and just trying to survive. And I think they’re maintaining and they don’t connect necessarily anymore.
Rudd: They’ve been priced out of New York City. They have to give up their apartment. They’re financially strapped, and they have to figure our and redefine how they want to live their lives. Certainly, at this moment in our history, that’s a pretty relatable scenario, unfortunately. So I think that aspect is intriguing to people because our characters find this amazing. We reconnect with what is important in our lives and important in our relationship and decide whether we can figure out a new way of living. And I think that’s an interesting question for a lot of people to ask.
How do you keep from laughing in a very funny scene when you’re not supposed to laugh?
Aniston: Oh, we do. We definitely do break out laughing, but …
Rudd: They don’t use those parts. That part’s edited out. It would be weird if they left it in the movie.
With so many people playing nudists in “Wanderlust,” what did you think of working with all that nudity?
Aniston: We didn’t really get close and intimate to all the nudists, but Joe [Lo Truglio], you’ve know forever, and I just met him when we started working. They just became sort of part of the background.
Jennifer, you reportedly had a topless scene in “Wanderlust” that was edited out of the movie. Can you comment on that?
Aniston: I don’t know what happened. Crazy things happen in Clarksville.
For more info: “Wanderlust” website