October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel go wherever they may ‘Rome’

“Josh and I don’t get along at all, really. For most of our scenes, I had them put a bag over his head because I can’t stand looking at him.”

So says Kristen Bell of her supposedly handsome “When In Rome” co-star Josh Duhamel. Now, Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie likely would disagree with Bell about Duhamel’s looks – she clearly finds something attractive in the “Transformers” star.

But Bell was merely cracking wise as she promoted the romantic comedy, playfully explaining how chemistry isn’t something actors can put their fingers on while they are filming.

“Honest to God, it’s such a gamble,” she said. “You have no idea. You could get along like best friends (with a co-star) and it could read horrible on camera. Or we could be at each other’s throats and then it could read great.”

Positive reviews given to “Rome” indicate that Bell and Duhamel clicked as a harried museum curator and the sports reporter who falls under her spell. Duhamel, meanwhile, is quick to credit his director, who cut his teeth on a pair of not-very-funny superhero films, “Daredevil” and “Ghost Rider.”

“Our director, Mark Steven Johnson, is a genuinely good dude and a very funny man,” said Duhamel. “This movie, more than anything than I have done, made me feel very free to sort of go for (the joke), and if it didn’t work, my co-stars weren’t afraid to tell me.”

“And I think (it helped) having so many genuinely funny people around us,” Bell said. “Everybody had their own ideas. Although it did, at points, seem like we had too many ideas, but that’s not a bad thing.”

Will Arnett, Danny DeVito and Dax Shepard are just a few of those funny colleagues. All three were cast as potential suitors for Bell’s lonely curator. They follow Bell back to New York City when she picks their coins out of a Roman fountain. And while Shepard credits the comedy in the script, he spent most of his time deviating from the screenplay just to make Arnett laugh.

“I just think he’s the funniest guy on the planet,” Shepard said of the “Arrested Development” star. “And so anytime I can get him rolling, I feel like I’ve done my job.”
When asked what makes Arnett chuckle, Shepard explains, “Anything that is the opposite of him. He’s kind of aristocratic and refined, and I’m more of a hillbilly. So I think anytime I shock him with my blue-collar senses, that’s how I get him.”

And that humor tends to work quite well on Bell and Duhamel.

“We like very silly movies,” Duhamel said.

Bell elaborates, “There are certain types of people who are obsessed with ‘Ace Ventura’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ and those kinds of people are me and Josh.”

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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