What happens when fuzzy animals learn that soulless businessmen plan to bulldoze their woodland paradise to build a suburb?
Well, obviously they take revenge by pulling a variety of goofy pranks that typically end with the poor sucker in charge of the project getting hit in the groin.
At least, that’s what happens in the upcoming family farce Furry Vengeance, starring Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields. The stars recently made a trip to Toronto where they discussed their environmental slapstick comedy with Metro.
Given his career-long commitment to physical comedy, the project is certainly not a surprise for Fraser, who was pleased to add it to his wacky resume.
“I thought it would be fun to play a complete doofus who is well meaning, but mis-prioritized,” claimed Fraser. “Plus there’s a timeliness to the environmental theme in a way that doesn’t cram anything down your throat, but still teaches little kids to be nice to nature.” However, Fraser did cop to one requirement he insisted on before accepting the role.
“I made the director promise that this would not be a movie about talking animals. There are enough of those already,” joked the actor.
Brooke Shields (who plays Fraser’s wife) admitted that she was also a little trepidatious about signing on to a wacky animal picture, but changed her tone when she learned about her potential co-star.
“I am completely enamoured with Brendan and that was a huge selling point to be in the film,” admitted Shields. “And then the fact that animals weren’t speaking and there was a subtle, yet poignant message helped as well.”
The actors’ genuine appreciation for each other was evident both in their giggly duo interview and their onscreen chemistry.
But of course, this isn’t just a two-actor movie. In addition to all their furry co-stars, Fraser and Shields share the screen with a cavalcade of scene-stealing comedians like The Hangover’s Ken Jeong and Daily Show alum Rob Riggle.
“That was another golden rule: to populate the cast with great comic actors so there was a sort of funny Greek chorus,” said Fraser.
This comedy style inevitably led to a great deal of improvisational one-upsmanship between the performers. “We always did one take as written for the studio and then when the parents went away we were all allowed to have fun,” noted Fraser.
This led to an open atmosphere on set that the entire cast responded to.
“We are all the type of people who hunger for that freedom and thrive on it,” said Shields.
The result is an incredibly silly comedy in which the entire cast joyfully makes fools of themselves. It’s certainly not high art, but a playful family movie that both Brooke Shields and Brendan Fraser hope that other children will appreciate as much as their own.