Identity Thief Event at Dodger Stadium
On May 26th, Home Theater Forum was invited to an event at Dodger Stadium to promote the upcoming release of the Blu-ray and DVD for the feature film Identity Thief, which is scheduled for release on June 4th. (My review of that title will be posted later today or tomorrow.) The event featured actress Genesis Rodriguez, who appears in the film as “Marisol”, and whose feature films include What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Man on a Ledge, and the upcoming Hours.
During the event, press were invited to the field to watch Genesis throw out a first pitch before the game began between the Dodgers and the Cardinals:
Following the pitch, we returned upstairs and were given some time to interview Genesis about her role in Identity Thief, as well as her upcoming work. Given that my interview questions covered some major plot points of the movie, I’ll divide the coverage here between several paragraphs.
NO SPOILERS HERE: For this part, I’ll just cover the basics without getting too much into the plot. Genesis told me she had a great time on the movie, particularly as she was given a lot of room to improvise by director Seth Gordon. All of her scenes were with T.I., who played her character’s partner “Julian”, and the two of them created an improv motif of The Bickersons. As a departure for her, she spent much of the time berating T.I. in Spanish, much to Gordon’s enjoyment. Rodriguez told me she met Jonathan Banks, who plays her boss, “Paolo”, and found him to be an extremely professional and decent man, in contrast to all the hardened criminals he winds up playing onscreen. She had a similar experience during her scenes with Robert Patrick (playing the “skiptracer”), saying that while he was intense onscreen, he was very pleasant off camera. Given the amount of improvisation they did, Genesis told me there was plenty of material that did not make into the movie or onto the Blu-ray. People wishing to avoid spoilers are recommended to please skip the next paragraph.
BIG SPOILERS HERE: If you’re still reading, I need to assume that you’ve seen the movie or are okay with having some major plot points spoiled. Genesis described several major elements of the movie that were removed or changed through reshoots. A big one concerned the plot point of her character shooting the skiptracer. As seen in the movie, she grazes him in the neck, and he recovers and chases her down a few scenes later, thus allowing him to be the one driving the car that hits Melissa McCarthy’s “Diana”. (I noted to Genesis that since “Marisol” and “Julian” are in the car’s trunk during that moment and the subsequent crash, their chances of survival in there weren’t extremely high…) But this was not the way the scene was written or initially shot. The first version had her KILLING the skiptracer, and the subsequent running down of “Diana” was done by her and T.I., with that scene playing out the same other than for the identity of the driver. After looking at the completed film, Seth Gordon decided it was going too far in a comedy to kill the skiptracer, particularly when everyone was enjoying Robert Patrick’s performance. Several scenes were reshot, allowing the skiptracer to get his revenge on “Marisol” and her partner, and then to be the one running down “Diana”. Given that this was a pretty big stunt sequence for the movie, the reshoot involved a bit more than just getting a couple of pickup shots here and there. Genesis also told me that her character was actually supposed to be the daughter of “Paolo”, which would explain why she was the one bossing T.I. around throughout the movie. That last plot point was cut simply for time and efficiency, given that it’s an unnecessary detail when the director and the audience want to spend more time with the leads.
SPOILERS NOW DONE: Genesis closed the interview by talking a bit about her new movie Hours, with Paul Walker. This is a movie about a new father trying to save his baby’s life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She was very pleased with Hours, saying that this was a script that very much moved her, both in reading it and performing it.
Following the interviews, everyone at the event resumed watching the game, wherein I am saddened to report that the
Dodgers once again managed to snatch defeat from the gaping jaws of victory... That said, it was a pleasure to be invited to this event, and on behalf of Home Theater Forum, I thank Universal Studios for having me there. I also thank Genesis Rodriguez for her hospitality and graciousness.
May 28th, 2013