There is very little these days that can shock me, but when my mom went up to Jon Hamm and said, “You’re on my bucket list!” I was completely speechless. My mom is in her mid 70s and while she’s very intelligent and hilarious, she’s not super extroverted. I guess that was because she hadn’t yet met Jon Hamm.
We were at a red carpet event and screening of Keeping Up With The Joneses on the Fox lot in Century City. I brought my husband and my mom who was visiting from Tucson. Jon Hamm was coming off the carpet and we went up to go try to get a picture. Before I could get the words out to ask, my mom jumped right next to him. Jon Hamm could not have been kinder. He shook our hand and I think he asked us our names (I’m not 100 percent sure. I was going huh, huh, huh, huh in my head).
It made my mom’s night – and it was a pretty fun night. The entire cast of the movie was at the party including Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers who brought her husband Sasha Baron Cohen), Matt Walsh (Veep) and Zach Galifianakis (so many movies and Between Two Ferns). Larry David was also there and I’m kicking myself for not chatting with him, but I was afraid he’d yell at me like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The cast seemed to really enjoy each other’s company and you could tell they liked each other in Keeping Up With The Joneses. It’s about a suburban couple, Karen (Fisher) and Jeff (Galifianakis), who become suspicious of their new and perfect neighbors. Not a spoiler, the neighbors turn out to be spies who take Fisher and Galifianakis on a dangerous adventure. There are some very funny scenes and the cast is amazing. It was cute, but I felt that with such an incredibly funny cast that the movie itself could have been funnier. I think it will be a big hit, though, and I hope Jon Hamm does more adventure films.
One thing I did really like was how kick ass Gadot and Fisher’s characters were. I was able to get a picture with Gadot with some friends and when I approached her I said that we’d been waiting for a Wonder Woman movie our entire lives. She said, “So have I.”
The next day at the movie’s roundtable interview with the actors, I asked Gadot about her and Fisher’s characters in The Jonses and if they were originally written to be as tough as they were or if Fisher and Gadot had some influence on it. She said it was in there and it was something that she really appreciated.
“…I think that the fact that Natalie and Karen bonded in such a way, and Natalie was always saying, “No, you can be a good spy. You’re good. You have that. You’re amazing,” she said. “I think that the fact that she was encouraging her to believe in herself is women supporting women. It’s such a beautiful thing.”
Fisher went on to say that Gadot’s influence had a big impact on her. There was a scene in the movie that Gadot thought should go another way and she fought hard for it to be changed. She stood her ground even though people around her were annoyed.
“You know when you take a mental picture of something? When I’m about to back down because I don’t want to be a bother, I don’t want to take up too much space, or I don’t want to make trouble, even though I believe in something; I’m going to remember Gal Gadot,” Fisher said.
She wasn’t just an empowering influence. They became good friends. “We have a lot of commonality. A lot of common ground,” Fisher said. “My husband’s half-Israeli. Gal is Israeli. We’re both mothers, and we’re both very family-oriented people. And I think we’re both the kind of people in Hollywood that say what we mean and mean what we say.”
Gadot also had nice things to say about Hamm even though their first encounter wasn’t the best.
“Jon thought I was the PA (production assistant) when we first met. This is how it all began, really good, right?” she said. “We had a table read, and I saw him the first time downstairs. Usually the director or one of the producers would have introduced us. But, I saw him, so I just went to introduce myself. He was like very polite and he just got off a flight. And he’s like, ‘Can I please have some black coffee?”
She explained who she was and he apologized and they went on to work well together as did all of the cast. They would all go out to dinner together in Atlanta where the Joneses was filmed. I asked Hamm and Galifianakis what that was like going out in Atlanta when they are so famous.
“Atlanta’s had a huge surge in popularity in the movie industry. So, people like us, that’s no big deal,” Hamm said. ”
“I mean every now and again you’d get a group of drunk girls or whatever that would kind of lose their mind a little bit and be a little inappropriate. But, you know, mostly also we would eat at like six o’clock.”
“…One of those drunk girls turned out to be my wife.” Galifianakis joked, but then added, “But, these women came up to John when we were eating one night, and they were like can we have a picture? And Jon’s like–if he took a picture with these women, the tabloids would have put some–it’s like is that worth it, you know what I mean?”
Hamm later talked about how strange it can be sometimes when he’s out in public. He talked about how he wished he was more adventurous like his character, Tim, in the movie, but it can be difficult when people recognize him all over the world.
“But, sometimes you feel like you’re being stared at or watched, rather than just being a part of the experience of experiencing another culture. To illustrate that point, I remember being in Florence once staring at the Statue of David and thinking, like, whoa, it’s way bigger than you think it is. It’s enormous, and it’s beautiful. And you’re in this beautiful museum and everything.
And I turned around, and this man and his daughter were staring at me. And I was like, ‘Oh,’ and they were uncomfortably close to me. And they had a camera out. And you’re not allowed to have cameras in there. I said, “Can we please–” I was like, guys, I don’t think we’re allowed to take pictures in here, and also, that’s a 1,000-year-old work of art that you might want to pay attention (to).”
Hearing that made it especially nice that he stopped to take a picture with my mom. And this picture with the group of bloggers.
Keeping Up With The Joneses is out in theaters today.