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Josh Duhamel: One tall man and a baby

The actor takes a tall stride into leading-man territory with his new role in the rom-com, ‘Life as We Know It’ 

METRO: I think this is the first time I have ever interviewed a movie star who is actually taller than me.


JD: How tall are you?


METRO: I’m 5-feet-10.


JD: Oh you are. You are a tall girl.


METRO: Yeah, but you are taller. I’ve noticed most men in films are like tiny men with big heads.


JD: Is that true?


METRO: They are like little bobblehead men. I think that maybe when you film a giant head like that it kind of works out.


JD: It’s probably good for film. I have heard that too… that a lot of people in movies have big heads. But yeah, Kate is tall too, so it worked.


METRO: How tall is she?


JD: Kate is about 5’9. She’s German so we’re both big.


METRO: So she didn’t have to stand in a ditch next to you.


JD: No, but I have worked with a lot of girls that were very short. Kristen Bell was one them, she was very short.


METRO: How do you do it?


JD: Stage it in a way where we film next to a staircase and she steps on the first step or they just bring a little apple box and stand on that.


METRO: So, let’s talk about the film! Babies! That baby was a good baby.


JD: There were three of them — triplets. Brooke was the little star. It’s almost as if she read the script. When she was supposed to do something, she would do it and we were all like, ‘How did she know to do that?’ And then there was Lexie who no matter what, she would scream like murder every time. Luckily, there was a lot of stuff that we needed a crying baby for. That’s when we would, like, poke her.


METRO: Is this your first time working with baby actors?


JD: Well, sort of, I guess. I think I have done it before. I actually got very close to these kids when they were there. They had me go out a few weeks early just to acclimate myself to them and so they could get comfortable around me. And it worked out perfectly because they would come to me. I don’t know if you remember, there was a scene in the movie where we went to get her from child protective services and Kate was holding her and she reached out for me she and she put her head on my chest because they knew me. From the outside, [my characater] looked like he had no business raising kids. But they knew how much he loved the baby and she really loved him. It was fun because it was in those moments, it juxtaposes with the character. If you don’t lose them, the audience, you can never really earn them back


METRO: The character is more of a real guy in that respect. I think that any real dude in that situation would’ve done exactly what you did, by being a jerk.


JD: He was angry about it. He felt the obligation but he wasn’t happy about it. Even though his friends were gone, he was kind of pissed.


METRO: The baby you see in the commercials for the film that falls through the Baby Bjorn. Was that a real baby?


JD: No, what do they call it…a sleight of hand. And we had this creepy fake baby. It felt like a dead baby. It weighed the same. But of course, it had the fact of the girls. It was like Chucky almost.


METRO: You were good at it, too.


JD: Good at dropping babies?


METRO: Good at dropping babies. So, what is your ideal character?


JD: Well, I mean, you never know until you read it. I really liked what I had to do in this movie. I just want things that feel real. To do stories that have something to say. I don’t necessarily feel like I have to play crazy characters or play a serial killer just for the sake of doing it. I’d rather be part of a movie that affects people in some ways and have something to say. So yeah, I never really know until I read it. But this is more of the things that I like to do.


METRO: So, do you think you are going to stay with the big screen?


JD: I don’t know.


METRO: Have you seen yourself in the subway? Probably not, but there are tons of ads of you wearing underwear with a baby and Katherine Heigl. It’s everywhere!


JD: My friends who live here actually sent me a photo which is on the side of a big building and they texted it to me telling me my package looked huge.


METRO: I was wondering if you were a little embarrassed by it?


JD: To me, I’m cool on the shirtless/underwear stuff as long as it isn’t gratuitous and I don’t feel like it's gratuitous. It’s more about making fun of myself than it is about showing off. Anyway, I just look like an old man with a skinny ass legs. It’s not a great look.


METRO: Do you have any breaks coming up?


JD: Any breaks? No, I mean Christmas is usually a good break. From Christmas to January it’s usually very slow. My wife and I are planning to go on vacation somewhere.


METRO: That’s nice! I’d like to go on a little vacation.


JD: She really deserves it. She hasn’t been on a vacation in a while, since our honeymoon that was a year and a half ago. So we’re ready.


METRO: I’d love to go to Thailand.


JD: Just be careful. You want me to tell you a funny story? You might not think it’s very funny. Samuel Jackson was telling me this story that somewhere in Thailand or an Asian country… maybe Thailand, we’ll just say Thailand. His publicist’s daughter was there for an extended amount of time as a journalist or something and decided that she wanted to get a dog. So she goes into this puppy store, picks up her puppy, this beautiful little whatever it was, and they come back ten minutes later with stacks of you know [mimes stacks of meat] when you go to a butcher shop.


METRO: No!


JD: I kid you not. It happened. Isn’t that terrible?


METRO: You need to make that into a scene from a horror film.


 
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