The other women
Kate Upton and Leslie Mann chat to Stephen Milton about forming a bond on their latest movie, the Perfect 10 and the ultimate revenge
Kate Upton was more than likely cast in The Other Woman as much for the fact that she's Kate Upton, amazonian cover girl du jour, as for her acting skills. However, this doesn't appear to occur to her. I would have warmed to the voluptuous Sports Illustrated vamp more had she realised the humour in her participation in Nick Cassavetes' enjoyably clumpy yet somewhat dated homage to girl power, which yes, even features a rousing montage sequence, complete with white board and cosmopolitans, doubly effectuated by a couple bars of Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves.
The grit here, if there is any, is provided by Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz as the wife and mistress respectively to the same duplicitious man. Upton's character is more of a caricature, the younger woman naively usurping both of the others in the scoundrel's affections.
An attempt to articulate her character's convictions beyond exterior fundamentals isn't really necessary. But Kate is willing to provide one anyway.
"I took the role because of the relationship between these ladies which was so important to me. Starring alongside these amazing women like Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, I could learn so much.
"That's what I want to do. I want to find scripts I believe in and relate to. It's what I want to put out there in the world. And I really fully believe in supporting girls at all times.
"And it's a part of life nowadays; women go to the beach together, with their boyfriends, whatever, and wear bikinis. So if it's part of the role, it's a part of the role."
Right so. It makes sense now why Leslie Mann is also participating in our chat, providing a buffer. "In her next role, Kate will be wearing turtlenecks and long trousers," she dryly notes. "And ponchos. Long long ponchos."
Upton launches into a fizzling guffaw, flashing a remarkable set of dazzling whites, the Crawford mole above her lip dancing, her perfectly tousled blonde hair draping a little south of her décolletage. Cliched?Yes, but she is dazzling. It's easy to judge a woman like Upton on her looks, but she's not doing much to distance herself from the model persona. However, her chemistry with Mann is real, and the two women seem to be firm friends.
Kate appears swan-like, a vast contrast to the curvaceous, comely fantasy cultivated by a conveyor belt of Sports Illustrated covers; that deliciously erotic Carl's Jr ad campaign and the now infamous Cat Daddy video, which saw the supermodel undulating provocatively, accumulating somewhere in the region of 20 million views.
The power of her curves has left the fashion and beauty industry in a wobbly state of consternation and dismay, already rocked by the ample, womanly assets of Kim Kardashian.
And like Kim, the beautiful Floridian has broken through the sizeist blockades, landing covers of style bibles, Elle, Vanity Fair and Vogue, another strike for the 'real woman'.
So Hollywood is the natural progression. And while not the first time on the big screen (Upton previously appeared as a devout nun in 2012's disastrous Three Stooges reboot, sporting a revealing monokini habit, naturally) The Other Woman is, as she carefully puts it, her first 'proper' role.
As Amber, she's the oblivious mistress of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's serial philanderer, who's already cheating on wife, Leslie Mann (in decidedly screechy form) with first piece on the side, the always watchable Diaz.
Against the odds, the ladies put aside their natural instincts, betrayals and jealousies to join forces against the womanising lothario via duplicitous acts of sabotage which, in no particular order, feature the use of industrial strength laxatives and oestrogen replacement hormones in the morning coffee.
Extreme behaviour for a spurned lover, or perfectly balanced in Upton's experience – taking for granted there's a man dumb enough to cheat on the model?
"For me, the best revenge is just to watch me walk away. Watch me walk away," she enunciates in rehearsed triumph. "Work on yourself [points to body] and watch me walk away."
Leslie Mann, equally striking in a flowery tea dress, and sleek ashy locks, stretches out her angular, Pilates-toned limbs as she offers her experience on the matter.
"The one time, I know of anyway, that I was cheated on, I tricked him into telling me. I said, 'Yeah your friend said you cheated, you were with someone else'.
And he goes, 'He told you!' I was like, 'I knew it!'
"So he felt really bad and bought me a lot of make-up presents and two weeks later, I broke up with him anyway. But I never did anything like make a guy's hair fall out or give him explosive diarrhoea."
Judd Apatow's lady, whom he cast in Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and last year's This is 40, is visually beautiful in the flesh but knows the limelight's on her 21-year-old co-star. And admirably accepts.
"Everyone knows Kate Upton as this goddess, which she is, and she's just such a delight to work with.
"She was super prepared, super funny and able to improvise and had guts. It was impressive, it really was."
Twice her age at 42, Mann and Upton, who's dating Major Leaguer Justin Verlander, created and display a combinatory maternal, sorority style bond, giggling and cooing and complimenting each other while sitting with Day & Night in a London hotel. One wonders if Diaz is quite as chummy.
"We celebrated Kate's 21st birthday during the shoot," Leslie tells.
"Which was the same day we did that scene where we were dancing on the bar," Upton chimes, "that was my birthday. And she brought cupcakes and beads, it was so much fun."
"It was so funny on the day. We usually rode together and after the filming, Leslie's like 'Anyway, I'm leaving,' and got out of the car. I thought, 'Oh, she's not coming to my party'. But then I got there, and she was there and it was so much fun."
Cameron's in the building somewhere, they tell me. The compliments consistently flow for the There's Something about Mary megastar but she fails to crop up in their anecdotes and stories.
While neither achieved anything close to Upton's modelling success, both Diaz and Mann modelled in their early days before breaking into movies. Did they have any words of wisdom for Kate?
"I just love to learn from the people around me like Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz. That's what I'm about," she replies robotically. "And they were so wonderful."
"And she's amazing," Mann simpers, "this girl knows what's happening."
Does the super beauty have plans to forgo the sun-kissed beach shoots for the movie sets of Hollywood? "Modelling will always be in my life. Even when you do a film, you still shoot the posters and magazine covers and I'm not thinking of giving it up. It's just to enhance my next adventure."
"She's 21 for God's sake," Mann defends, "this girl can do anything. Gorgeous, smart, funny. World's her oyster. She's perfect."
An apt reference considering how Diaz and Mann describe Upton's character as the Perfect 10? Does she herself feel as such, and is the pressure to maintain the ideal exhausting?
"I do put pressure on myself, and I'm competitive with myself. But I try to block out the noise and just be who I am. Nothing more to it.
"And let's be clear, they say I'm the Perfect 10 in the movie, but I'm not a Perfect 10 in real life."
"Yeah," Mann replies, "she's like a seven I would say."
- The Other Woman is in cinemas April 23
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