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Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor
for Radio Free Entertainment

June 1, 2005

In the family film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, a lonely but creative boy (Cayden Boyd) comes face-to-face with a pair of his imaginary friends, kid superheroes Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner) and Lavagirl (Taylor Dooley). Written and directed by Spy Kids auteur Robert Rodriguez, the movie was based on ideas from his 7-year-old son Racer Rodriguez, and is presented in 3-D. George Lopez, Kristin Davis, and David Arquette round out the cast.

In this interview, Kristin Davis and David Arquette talking about their experiences on the set of this family adventure.

The Interview

MEDIA: David, did the fact that you recently became a father make you want to do this movie?

DAVID: Yeah, I definitely wanted to do a kids' movie because I have a kid. I want to do things that my daughter can see soon--when she is old enough to know what a movie is. [laughs]

And Kristin, what made you want to be involved?

KRISTIN: Well, there was no plan. I'm just happy when people want me to work for them. [laughs] But I had already started doing Shaggy Dog for Disney before Robert's movie, and I was amazed when they offered me that part because I didn't think that the first thing out of Sex and the City would be [Soccer Moms]. And I was really flattered that they could see me that way. It was a nice thing. And then when Robert called, I would have said yes to anything that Robert would ever ask me to do because all actors know about Robert and respect Robert and know his creativity and that he's a lovely person. And then when it turned out to be with David and this movie, and having it be Racer's ideas...I mean, I was very happy to be able to be a part of it.

So you apparently have no problems working with kids and animals.

KRISTIN: [smiles] Every child that I've worked with so far has been so professional and not at all the kind of difficult, cliched stories that you would hear. And then in Shaggy Dog, we had chimpanzees and dogs and rabbits. You know, [those were] my favorite days when all of them would come! I mean, I think it's great. I love animals and I love to see movies with animals that are done respectfully, you know? So I think it's all about what kind of project you're in. You don't want to be in a sappy, cloying kids movie. But Robert doesn't talk down to kids, the ideas are from his son, the movie speaks directly to kids and adults. It's something that I would be happy to pay my money to see.

Do you have to be especially imaginative when working in a movie like this because of all the greenscreen effects?

DAVID: I think you need to use your imagination as an actor in general, but especially when you're working in front of a greenscreen. But Robert's really clear about what he wants and he's specific about all of his direction, so it makes it a lot easier.

KRISTIN: He really wants people to do well, and you want to because they were Racer's ideas and Robert often is behind the camera, he's written it with his brother, he's editing it, he's writing the score for it...You trust his vision.

And he's also cooking for all of you on set, yes?

KRISTIN: Pretty much! [laughs] He takes very good care of us. He wants you to do well and come into his world, and so he really helps you.

How would you describe Robert's style as a director and the atmosphere on set?

KRISTIN: [He] makes you feel very taken care of and safe. It was such a wonderful world to be in. You're in Austin, you're in his compound, which is the old airport. His wife is there, she's wonderful and warm. His siblings, his children. You feel like you've been brought into their family, and you feel safe.

DAVID: Yeah, they figured out how to play this movie-making game, and they're doing it the best I've ever seen. It's really inspirational. [Robert's wife] Elizabeth produces all of his movies and he just gets in there, works with the same crews over and over. The whole town...he embraces them, does premieres in Austin. It's just great.

KRISTIN: And there's no politics. None of the bad elements of our business that's here. None of that in Austin. It's kind of pure.

DAVID: And then it's people as well. They're just really good people.

Did you get to enjoy the sights of Austin?

KRISTIN: [gestures to David] He went out.

DAVID: Yeah, I went out to a few of the bars and saw some music and stuff.

KRISTIN: I slept. [laughs] Because I was doing Shaggy Dog, and I had to fly down there and do our movie, and I had to learn to do the flying on the rig. I was like, "Oh my goodness, I've got to go to bed." [laughs] But it was beautiful. I was sad I didn't get to see more.

Related Material

Interview with George Lopez and Robert Rodriguez
Interview with Taylor Dooley, Taylor Lautner, and Cayden Boyd
Movie Coverage: The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl


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