I have spent a lot of time over the past week gawking and guffawing over Jim Carrey, since I made my big impression on him at the Mr. Popper’s Penguins press junket. Now that some time, and humility, has passed, I realize that Jim Carrey and the penguins are not the only ones who made this film happen.
Yes, I have been remiss in giving credit where credit is due, because although Jim carreys the film with his wit and charm, and the penguins make the audience smile throughout, there would be no film without the gaggle of leading ladies that make this movie the gem that it is.
#1) Ophelia Lovibond—With a name like that, how can you not love her? And? She has talent to boot! Ophelia plays Pippi, Mr. Popper’s assistant, who has a propensity for placing p-words in every paragraph (every sentence really, but I couldn’t find a “p” word for sentence). She is a stand out in the movie, as her playful character provides pleasing moments throughout, and perhaps, some of the most perfectly-played one-liners in this priceless picture. (This will be funnier after you see the film, I promise).
#2) Madeline Carroll—Madeline plays Janie Popper, the angst-filled teenage daughter, to a tee. She has the teen eye roll thing DOWN and speaks in acronyms just like I used to speak Valley Girl (Used to? Who am I kidding? I said “like” like a thousand times in my most recent vlog). This young actress is a force to be reckoned with, as long as she doesn’t follow suit/fall prey to the “Lindsey Lohan Method of Being a Young Actor.”
#3) Carla Gugino-–Carla, who play’s Popper’s ex-wife, Amanda, is most known for playing an entirely different kind of Amanda on the HBO hit series, Entourage.
Carla was as stunning in real life as she is on the screen, and just as down to earth as her character in this film. During our interview with her, I asked her what advice she would give to aspiring young actors and here was her response:
“If you love anything else as much, I would say do the other thing, truly, because it’s just such an incredibly challenging business. The work aspect of it is amazing, but the business aspect of it is no matter how successful you are, you’re turned down all the time. But, the other thing that I would say is if you love it more than anything else, then it’s really just about honing your craft and getting into classes and getting good at something.”
Excellent advice from a budding actress who will be seen in many more films. I’m saying it here first. Just like I did with Adele, and look at her go.
Last, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST,
#4) Angela Lansbury—My admiration for Angela Lansbury began in the late 70’s when I joined my grammar school classmates in the auditorium on “Rainy Day Schedule” days to watch Bednobs and Broomsticks. It blossomed further when my parents bought me the soundtrack to the Broadway musical, Mame, with Ms. Lansbury singing the lead role of Auntie Mame. Then in the late 80’s and early 90s, thanks to my father, who recorded Murder, She Wrote religiously, I fell in love with her even more as the strong-willed Jessica Fletcher. Throughout her career, Angela Lansbury has paved the way for women in the acting profession as well as in the working world in general. Her list of credits is longer than Jim Carrey’s inseam which is pretty impressive. In a world where female roles are typically ingenues, ninnies or nannies, she has paved the way for strong women of all kinds. She has a certain grace, elegance, sophistication and charm that is incomparable, really, to any other female actors of our time.
It was truly an honor to meet her.