Jamie and Genesis: Comic Duo of "Man on a Ledge"
We’re in Beverly Hills getting personal with cute Jamie Bell (Tintin, The Eagle) and gorgeous Genesis Rodriguez ( TV’s “Entourage”) who play a bickering couple trying to steal a diamond in the new thriller Man on a Ledge.
While the hunky Sam Worthington is out on that ledge, Jamie and Genesis (cool name) are secretly helping him by going all “Mission Impossible” with electronics and hanging from wires in an attempt to steal a diamond that will prove Sam’s character’s innocence in a crime. Problem is, they aren’t too good at it.
Today, the duo is cracking us up while telling us how much they enjoyed the on-screen bickering, action and comedy.
TeenHollywood: Great that “Tintin” won a Golden Globe so Jamie, you’ll probably be playing the 14-year-old (motion capture and voice) in some more movies, right?
Jamie: Yeah. We’ve got to wait for Peter (Jackson) to get back from Middle Earth (The Hobbit) first.
TeenHollywood: Cool. Let’s talk Man on a Ledge. (At this point, Genesis joins us and Jamie sings the old “Mighty Mouse” theme). Here she comes to wreck the day!
Genesis: (sitting down and punching him in the arm) Hey!
TeenHollywood: You guys have some funny scenes and dialogue. How much was in the script and how much did you guys just kick it around on set because (your dialogue) just seems so natural?
Jamie: We made a lot of stuff up, really. There’s a scene where this huge guy is coming and we've made a complete mess and we’ve got to pack up really quickly. That was a five minute take because [the director] made it impossible that we’d actually be able to do it. He just wanted to see us, as a couple, trying to deal with something that was high stakes. Because we were so comfortable and share the same comedic instincts, I think, that kind of stuff was fun.
Genesis makes a funny little noise.
TeenHollywood: Was that a little burp?
Jamie: No! It was a hiccup. I’ve been trying to get “cutest hiccup” trending on Twitter. (laughter).
TeenHollywood: Genesis where did you get your start?
Genesis: I was working for about six years in Spanish soap operas. I started working at 15 turning 16 and I moved here about two years and I came out thinking I was gonna serve people breakfast and say one line and be “Girl Number 2”. But, that didn’t happen, thank God. I’m blessed that I got a start with my Spanish audience and I hope they like the transition.
TeenHollywood: Was it a hard transition going from Spanish to English?
Genesis: Well it’s a different genre too. Soap operas come from radio and you act with your voice and act physically so you would have it on “mute” and know exactly what’s going on. So, it’s obviously a different form of acting but I feel like I’m ready to do anything. I worked 18 hour days so this is a piece of cake.
TeenHollywood: You guys are a really cute couple in the movie. What were the most surprising things you learned about each other?
Genesis: I learned one thing about him. He’s sitting down right now. It doesn’t happen. He’s never sitting down. He can’t stop moving.
TeenHollywood: Jamie, do you have attention deficit disorder?
Jamie: Probably. I need some Ritalin or something.
TeenHollywood: What surprised you about Genesis, Jamie?
Jamie: There really wasn’t anything. She can really hold her own. Her wit and [to her] you like a strange kind of music that I was impressed by. I remember your dad is a singer.
Genesis: Yeah. He’s a romantic ballad singer.
Jamie: Yeah… well that’s not really very surprising… (laughter).
TeenHollywood: When you both knew you had the parts, did you get to meet before shooting to get to know each other since you would play a couple?
Jamie: We did a chemistry read that was really great and I think that’s what they based the decision off of. It was basically a real test of our comedic abilities if we could pull off a heist in a small office in Hollywood. We were doing scenes repelling down elevator shafts in one of the tiniest casting offices in Hollywood and it was hilarious.
Genesis: That was very funny. I hope it’s on the DVD.
Jamie: But we had like a drink and stuff together and just hung out and shared a couple of car rides and we got to know each other. We were always really comfortable.
Genesis: From the get go. It’s really weird.
TeenHollywood: Your story in the movie is connected to but separate from Sam’s action up on the ledge. Was it like being in another movie for you?
Genesis: Yeah. We filmed at the very beginning then at the very end so we had no idea what they did in the movie. But, that’s very refreshing because, when we saw it, we were excited to see what everyone else did.
TeenHollywood: But Jamie, you and Sam interact because you had the whole brother thing going on and then you are on the phone some of the movie with him.
Jamie: That’s true. I actually hate acting over the phone. It’s really awful. There’s no connection there. You got like an Assistant Director going like [dead voice] “Joey, have you found it yet?” and you’re like “Right I’m sure that’s not what Sam was doing at all. That tells me nothing emotionally”. When I see really good phone acting in movies, I’m like “God they’re good” because it’s actually really difficult.
TeenHollywood: So you and Sam knew each other before this movie?
Jamie: Yeah. I’d met Sam a couple of times before and hung out. I like him. He’s good.
TeenHollywood: There is a scene where Angie [Genesis’ character] is crawling through…
Jamie: (interrupting, singing) “Angie.. Aaaaangie.” (we laugh).
TeenHollywood: Ooookay,. She’s a little claustrophobic climbing through a ceiling vent. Do you have that problem?
Genesis: I did. I didn’t think I would but at the moment I remember sitting in there while they were deciding something and I was quiet and waiting. I was like “Guys. Guys!” It was so wrong and I had to do it like nine times crawling through that thing. I got bruises on my hands. I have a picture of that.
TeenHollywood: Jamie, what do you look for when you say “yes” to a part?
Jamie: Usually the filmmaker because he’s the one who is going to have the signature, decide what the movie is going to totally look like, feel like. Directors are crucial and then if it presents you with something that you haven’t done before. That’s always a good thing too.
TeenHollywood: When you finish a movie do you worry that you’ll never work again or just think “My career is going well. Why wouldn’t I work again?”
Genesis: I’m super antsy. I want to work as much as possible. If I could work every day of the year I would, honestly because I was trained that way. I worked 18 hours a day Monday through Saturday for years straight so I get extremely nervous.
Jamie: We all have our professional anxieties. It just is.
Genesis: He can live off “Tintin” for the rest of his life.
Jamie: Don’t you start. I have anxiety, yes but you’re always trying to find the right things. Then there’s things that you’re gonna do that fall through for whatever reason and there’s a thing that you’re waiting for forever and finally do something else and when you do, the thing that you were waiting for might have gone. It’s a bit of a nightmare. It’s awful.
TeenHollywood: Do you want to do stage?
Jamie: Yeah. I’ve been offered a lot of stuff in London and I really admire actors who can manage to juggle both. I guess the right thing hasn’t really come up. There’s a few things I’ve almost done in London.
TeenHollywood: Do you have any favorite heist movies?
Jamie: I liked Inside Man a lot. I thought it was really smart. And I liked Dog Day Afternoon but that’s not really a heist movie. Just a bank robbery.
TeenHollywood: Any beauty secrets for this new year, Genesis?
Genesis: I would say drink lots of water. It’s very important to hydrate a lot. I forget and I need someone to constantly remind me. Your body can’t have enough water.
TeenHollywood: What do you guys have coming up?
Genesis: I have a very funny movie coming up Casa De Mi Padre with Will Ferrell and it’s entirely in Spanish.
TeenHollywood: Does he speak Spanish or is his part dubbed?
Genesis: Entirely in Spanish learned by “Rosetta Stone” by the way. You think that everything they sell in a kiosk in a mall doesn’t work and is all fake but it works. That was pretty impressive of Will and he does the complete Will Ferrell comedy in the spaghetti western, wacky film. Will would improvise in Spanish. That was freaky.
TeenHollywood: Jamie, what do you have coming up?
Jamie: I’m going to make a movie with James McAvoy called Filth which is based on a novel by Irvine Welsh. We start shooting that next week in Scotland. I play a policeman for the first time, a corrupt policeman though. We’re not very good policemen.
TeenHollywood: Did you do any research for that?
Jamie: No because the policeman part doesn’t actually matter. We could be builders or plumbers. That’s not the point. It’s actually McAvoy’s movie. He’s the one that has the really dark transformation. I’ve never seen him play that kind of f**ked up character before. He’s all on drugs and all that and a bit crazy so I’m really excited to work with McAvoy. It’s going to be a real transformation for him. My character is on the shady side of life for sure.
TeenHollywood: Jamie, do you live in L.A. now?
Jamie: Yeah, in Venice California man! I like it because I can ride around on my bike.