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Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler Talk 'Murder Mystery'

14 Jun, 2019    added by : Landon H. Johnson
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Ahoy, mates! In Netflix’s latest good-time comedy, Murder Mystery, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler reunite on-screen and hit the high seas in a refreshingly fun summer whodunit not to be missed. It’s been a while since the two have worked together (in the 2011 Just Go With It), but they still have dynamic chemistry that breathes life into their characters by simultaneously providing both clever humor and relatable depth.

The Agatha Christie-style murder mystery springs into action when NYC police officer (Sandler) finally takes his hairstylist wife (Aniston) on a European getaway that he has long promised her. The two, who lead relatively modest lives, are stunned when, on the plane ride over to Spain, they get a lucky offer to join a billionaire on his family’s yacht instead of their originally planned bus tour of Europe. After some hesitation, Audrey, being desperate for passport stamps and a vacation above their means, insists that they travel in luxury opposed to a bus filled with screaming children.

Alas, after being onboard the lavish super-yacht for just hours, the family patriarch is mysteriously murdered before he signs an updated will clarifying who will get the family fortune.  Of course, the two American strangers become the prime suspects in the international murder mystery plot — and with a $70 billion inheritance at stake, everyone on board has a motive. But did they really do it?

At a recent press day, Sandler and Aniston joined some of the rest of the cast and crew on a yacht in Marina Del Rey to talk about reuniting on screen, their “weird language,” being star struck and the overall genesis and brilliance behind Murder Mystery.  What better place to do a junket than at a yacht in Marina Del Rey?

One can blatantly see the influences of past mystery comedies, such as Jonathan Lynn’s 1985 Clue, for exampleScreenwriter James Vanderbilt provided insight about growing up in the ‘80s, his love for funny comedies, and what inspired him to write this incredible screenplay.

Vanderbilt explained that he “was a child of the ‘80s.”  So naturally, he “grew up with movies like Murder By Death and Clue. “Just sort of these great, funny comedies,” as he described them. He shared that when he first read the script, he had recently gotten married, which is what made him come to the realization that there “were movies about couples who were falling in love or movies about couples that were just about to break up.”

He went on to describe where the relatability of the dialogue comes from, explaining, “There was never sort of a movie about a couple who was married and were in love and worked together to do something. So I sort of loved the idea of what if an American married couple like that crashed into an Agatha Christie story,” Vanderbilt explained. That’s exactly what makes this story so compelling and their chemistry so real — working together towards a common goal no matter what mentality.

Of course, the writer did not imagine that powerhouses like Sandler and Aniston would be attached to the project, but director Kyle Newacheck did. In fact, Newacheck said he benefited from being able to “plug them in.” He went on to double down on their chemistry, saying, “The idea of them at the center of this very truthful genre comedy was so appealing.”

Aniston then chimed in to describe reuniting with Sander onscreen felt like, “no time had actually passed,” because they have both seen each other over the years, so it just felt very “natural.” She said, “It’s something that just comes sort of extremely naturally to us. I think just because we’ve known each other for so long. So it just felt very natural,” then quipped, “But he is a lot older now.”

Sandler smiled, “I did age. I saw Just Go With It the other night. I was going to sleep and I said, ‘Let me watch one of my movies tonight.'” Aniston jabbed, “To put yourself to sleep?” Sandler replied, “Yeah. Peaceful. No, I sometimes will watch my movies and just put the entire family on speaker phone and go, do you see how much I have accomplished? Now, do you like me? But I watched Just Go With It and I was laughing.”

He admitted that he thinks he has become “softer” and “more loveable” since filming with Aniston years ago. Aniston agreed, “Well, yeah, more lovable. But I also think you’ve maintained your look as well.” “Thank you. It’s all the mustache,” Sandler said to Aniston. “I know. Holds up your lip,” she smiled.

Sandler also recalled a time when he was starstruck when meeting the legendary Jack Nicholson at Nicholson’s private residence. “The first time I met Nicholson, I went to his house and I told this story maybe 10 years ago. I sat with Jack for about a half hour in his house while we were talking. I was here and Jack was there. We were talking back and forth. And the whole time, I thought it was a fake Jack Nicholson. I swear to god. Because I kept going, ‘It’s dim. They brought another one in to test me,’” Sandler recounted laughing.

Sandler continued, “I think he asked me, ‘You want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?’ Then I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ And he goes, ‘What do you like? Skippy or Jif?’ I was like this isn’t Jack Nicholson. There’s no way.” The actor played along anyway and replied, “I think maybe if you have Jif, I would have Jif. He was like, ‘Get the guy some Jif!’ And I was like, ‘He’s really making me a peanut butter sandwich?”

Aniston just had to ask, unbelievably, “He made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

“He didn’t make it… his buddy Oscar did,” Sandler responded.

Aniston then shifted focus back to the extra work the two renowned filmmakers put into making the Murder Mystery characters and the comedy as authentic and grounded as possible. She explained, “Every night, we would go back and tweak the scenes. Comedy, there’s great like balls-out comedy and then there’s comedy when it’s this broad to find some level of truth in it in order to find the organic laugh as opposed to the gag laugh. So I think that kind of work as we went along really was fun and it made it better as we went.”

Sandler agreed, “Yeah, nonstop.” Aniston laughed, “Yeah, I was a pain in the ass.”

Aniston added about the dynamic duo’s creative process. “It’s like a weird language that we sort of speak. I have no idea what it is. But it’s the most abstract, weird jokes. It never goes over his head,” as she described it. “Everyone else, it’s over their head. But as long as I can make Adam laugh, I know that I’ve done good.”

About the different challenges that come with doing comedy opposed to more dramatic roles, the actress explained, “They both come with the difficulty. I wouldn’t say one is easier than the other. I’ve been doing comedy. I always like to breathe some kind of, again, reality into my comedy. So I feel like it’s just a different form of behavior and existing. One makes you laugh and one just doesn’t. It makes you, you know, turn.”

Sandler threw some accolades towards Aniston for her performance, saying, “Jennifer has the discipline to make sure that it all comes from a true place. And with both comedy and drama. And it has to be real and make sense to her and to the audience, right?”

Outstanding and surprisingly thoughtful performances aside, the locations where the film is shot are nothing short of breathtaking. Not only is this the first film ever to be shot at the Monaco Grand Prix, but it takes place in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world like Portofino and Lake Como Italy. Talk about summering with the rich and famous. Aniston even compared the time she spent filming the movie in the Italian villa at Lake Como to “summer camp,” saying, “it really was like summer camp.” And that’s what Murder Mystery feels like.

Overall, Murder Mystery feels like a mini-vacation, and who doesn’t need one of those, like, yesterday? Murder Mystery is currently streaming on Netflix. Don’t miss the boat!

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