Ready to duck into an air-conditioned movie theater and check out Mr. Popper’s Penguins, starring Jim Carrey (his exclusive interview here), Carla Gugino and Angela Lansbury and six adorable REAL penguins? In anticipation of the film’s opening, on June 17, Carla Gugino sat down with reporters to discuss the movie season’s first live-action family comedy.
Were there any shenanigans on the set with Jim Carrey? Well, Jim is amazing because every take he tries something new, and that’s always really fun to work with, or at least for me. He’s just experimenting all the time. Penguins don’t function very well over 40 degrees so our set was [kept at] 40 degrees and we shot in the winter in New York. And they are so sweet. I mean, they’re not hugely trainable, so it’s not like they can do extraordinary tricks or something. But, you cannot not smile when you are in a room with penguins. They’re just the cutest things ever. We had a habitat on our stages, so they lived there the entire time. So, you could just go and visit them. It was amazing.
Thomas Popper (Jim Carrey) receives the penguins as a gift. Have you ever had an awesome gift-giving experience like that?
There is that period in your life where you’re a kid, you’re kind of about acquiring cool things. And it’s the very proper phase to be in. And then, there’s the phase that probably most of us are in, at least I’m in at this point in my life, where you’re quality of time with people is the most valuable thing, with your kids, with your friends.
Your characters on HBO’s Entourage and in Mr. Popper’s Penguins are both named Amanda but they couldn’t be more different. Which character is closer to Carla Gugino? That’s funny. You know what? I probably have to say this Amanda [in Mr. Popper’s Penguins] is probably closer to me. Amanda on Entourage is just like one of the my favorite characters I’ve ever gotten to play. I have a little bit of her in me, but definitely playing her is really fun because I’m not that much like that. I tend to have a more, probably to a fault, empathic nature. And Amanda is really good at taking care of herself.