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The Making of Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

We attended the press conference as a guest of Disney

filmmaker

Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The hilarious family film “Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is opening in theaters this Friday, October 10th. The family comedy is a film that older kids will enjoy watching with their friends or with their parents. It has something for everyone, and I guarantee it will be one of your favorite family films of the year. Earlier this month, I went to Los Angeles to talk with the filmmakers about the upcoming film, and they shared everything your family is going to want to know about the making of “Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

Every kid and adult feels like Alexander at times in their life. They took a 32 page book that was written back in 1972, and brought it into the 20th Century while still maintaining the essence of the book. The screenwriter for the film, Rob Lieber, wanted to maintain the feel and charm of the book. “What I felt that was unanswered in the book is ‘who is this family?’ that was the jumping off point for me to explore was what would happen if the rest of his family had a terrible day, and what you can learn from it,” said Lieber.

“It’s one of the most universal concepts and I’ve never seen a movie about it.” Rob Lieber

Photo by: Patrick Wymore ©2014 Disney

Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

They perfectly cast the film with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. They wrote the film hoping that Carell would do the film, “it really came together during rehearsals when we could see them bond as a family, and bring themselves into the roles more,” said Lieber.

Ed Oxenbould does an incredible job playing the role of Alexander in the film. They saw more than 500 kids, and focused on wanting to find a kid that had the ability to be happy for other people. “At the age of 12, if you can remember, it’s not easy to think about anything but yourself. He’s a very special kid. He is so capable of being happy for other people. That was important for me because this movie is about rediscovering your family again and wanting to love and help them out with their bad day,” said Director, Miguel Arteta.

Miguel Arteta. Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Miguel Arteta. Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Arteta gave the actors a lot of freedom to change their lines and context. “My hope when making the film was to have them all fall in love with each other. It’s like going on a date. You try to create the best environment possible, but you can never know whether it will happen. We tried to create that type of environment in rehearsals, and we were lucky that the six people, including the baby, started to like and appreciate each other,” said Arteta.

“Steve and Jenn are such good parents in real life they really care about the parenting messages that were in the movie. They would tell the filmmakers, ‘As a parent I feel this way about the scene and let’s try to work that into it.'” Lisa Henson, Producer

Lisa Henson.  Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lisa Henson.
Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One of the best parts about the film is all the action and mayhem that was packed into one day. “We were lucky because when making a movie, mayhem and chaos is something that naturally invades your world. We had babies, kids, fire, car accidents and animals. We had everything you could possibly want to create hectic mayhem, and it worked for the story,” said Arteta.

When making the film, Arteta was inspired by John Hughes films especially “Sixteen Candles” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” “Those movies feel a little more authentic than most Hollywood movies.’Sixteen Candles’ was especially important for the emotional rate of it. It’s the ultimate movie about your family forgetting your birthday and feeling like they don’t see you at all. I just like the warmth of those movies and that is what I wanted to achieve with this movie,” said Arteta.

Finally, for a fun fact about the film…there was no CGI when Carell was catching the shrimp in his mouth at the teppan restaurant. “He caught most of them. He ate a lot of shrimp that day,” said Producer, Dan Levine.

Dan Levine Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Dan Levine
Photo by: Patrick Wymore. ©2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t miss seeing “Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” in theaters this Friday.

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