Set Visit: Keeping Up with the Joneses featuring Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

Here is Part 2 of our KEEPING UP THE WITH THE JONESES set visit! If you've missed Part 1, CLICK HERE to read up on what Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm had to say! For the rest of you, let's dive back into exploring the set!

"Hurry up and wait" is an idiom you'll often find applied to film sets. With dozens of people on a film set working together towards a common goal, each department has its own amount of preparation to take care of before anyone even stands in front of the camera. It's the nature of the business, and in regards to KEEPING UP WITH JONESES, this worked to my advantage. I'm in the break room that, while cold, is also basically four bare, white walls. You'd think it was the cargo bay of the Tantive IV or something.  Thankfully the stunt crew is hanging out in close proximity and  going over some of the choreography of the upcoming fight. I'll tell ya, it's fascinating to watch these people improv their way through a fight like comedians do through a conversation.

Before long, the on-set contact leads me back out to the Hotel Suite set to check out more of what's being shot. We decide to take the scenic route this time around which allows me a kick-ass view of the massive city backdrop that's hanging outside of the hotel room windows. Make no mistake, when you're standing there on-set, a well-lit backdrop makes all the difference in comparison to a green screen.

I return to the dining room of the Odyssey suite set to find trays of earplugs being passed around. A Scrubs-esque fantasy ensues where Jon Hamm and I go to a progressive rock concert and out for a bite to eat afterwards (he lets me have a bite from his meal – what a gentleman). In reality, I'm getting the next best thing; he's going to shoot a gun! Okay, so it's not a real gun (of course), but the idea of Jon "Archer" Hamm dispatching goons with firearms is too exciting a prospect. I love me some Mad Men, but to finally see him fight with bullets instead of brains is total catharsis. Immediately my mind pencils in KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES as the "unofficial" series finale to Mad Men. I take a seat next to the table, having a great view of the monitors and the Hamm himself. As Gadot waits around for her earplugs, a restless Jon Hamm reaches over and playfully pokes her in the ear with his pinky. What did I say? The man's funny! I'd like to think there's one crew member who deals with Hamm's antics day-in and day-out and is just thinking, "I'm real sick of your shit, Hamm!" No, that's impossible.

The scene I watch is a continuation from the one before. After Gadot's character throws the knife, she immediately kicks the henchman standing behind her. Holy hell, she can kick! Hamm grabs hold of the henchman next to him, disarming him of his rifle and handing it to Gadot. He then takes aim at the henchmen at his 6 and opens fire. Seriously, Hamm fans are going to want to see this guy handle more action after they witness how good he looks in this movie. Watching both him and Gadot standing side-by-side, dispatching bad guys, feels too right. They are seriously some prime badass specimens. As great as it was to witness some of the action of JONESES, it paled in comparison to the charm of two ladies I interviewed next.

Isla Fisher is probably the one you remember most from WEDDING CRASHERS, and rightfully so. That was her breakout role and despite being confused with Amy Adams on occasion, there's no denying the infectious personality this woman carries with her. Having her sit across from me in a dress that deliberately draws any (wo)man's eye to her massive cleavage was a reality I didn't expect to meet when I woke up that morning. Things only got better from there as Fisher began to talk a little bit about the film and her body of work.

On her character:

She is actually the girl next door. She's the mom that we know. She wears the mom jeans, she does the school run…she has a carpool existence and I think that's what makes her relatable – identifiable – is just the fact she's every woman. She's a classic clown character in the sense she's overconfident, and Ive made her a little ditzy in order to mine the comedy and also to explain why she's married to Zach's character, Jeff, who's also has a simplistic attitude to life. In order for that marriage to be believable, I've given her a little bit of a silly walk and a little bit of a sillier voice and yet she can say some stupid things when it's good for comedy, but she's also very smart. She's the first one to crack [the Joneses] are not who they say they are. It's her exploration into their life that uncovers the whole plot, really.

The premise:

There's something very funny with juxtaposing banal BBQ chat with high-end, glossy action. In this case, the genetic gods, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot, both being absolutely beautiful and incredibly well-dressed and cool – against Zach and I's characters – it's instantly funny.

Working with director Greg Moottola:

I'm a massive fan of the director. I LOVE him. I've seen everything Greg Mottola has done. His original movie right through ADVENTURELAND and PAUL. GM is just a phenomenal comedy director – he reminds me of a Blake Edwards – he could do drama if he wanted to. SUPERBAD is one of the funniest comedies that's ever been made. And I now, having worked with him and seeing his process, I totally see how he brings that out of everyone. In Greg's case he's just very collaborative, and I have a theory that all the best directors are.

Regarding women in comedy:

I think that if you can get a role like I have in got in this movie where I'm not just eye rolling when the guy gets to say a joke and I'm not just a girlfriend or a "wife", even though I am the wife, I have my own comedy bits that I get to do. I get to do physical comedy, I get to do slapstick, I do deadpan…I do a bunch of different shit in this movie that's really cool.

Everyone's commented on women's roles in movies recently so I feel like it's an unoriginal topic to add my two cents to, for what they're worth, but I definitely think that every woman I know loves comedy and wants to go and see comedy. People like Kristen Wiig, and Silver Silverman, and Amy Poehler and all these wonderful, hilarious women. Amy Schumer. I mean, brilliant. She's just such a formidable force. It's an exciting time!

I have to preface this interview with Gal Gadot by telling you that this was nearly one year before BATMAN V SUPERMAN was released. I had no idea at the time if she'd make a great Wonder Woman, but I'll be Zod-damned if I didn't think she wasn't deserving of all the success she's found in cinema and then some! At the end of the hot and hard-working day, Gadot took the time to shake every hand of the press and even went the extra mile to ask for our names. I'll never forget when she finally turned to me and took my hand and I said, "Hi, I'm Sean." Maybe I said, "I love you." It all happened so fast. Right off the bat, I can tell you that this woman is charming, funny and absolutely game to talk about whatever (as long as Warner Bros. is cool with it). Her fun and optimistic attitude is something I hope permeates through this interview, as it was my biggest takeaway of the actress.

Gal Gadot regarding her character:

I think she loves being a spy and I think that's the problem they have in their relationship. She's so much into this world and he's not. He doesn't like the lies, he doesn't like playing an act. She's all about the adrenaline – the mission. (relationship) They actually have a relationship and they have problems in their relationship. It's just real and grounded. It's nice that I have the opportunity to play the strong female who actually loves the action.

Whether or not she went through much physical training:

Not really for this one, but we had lots of fun. The second unit director is great and professional and really makes us feel at east. And I have a very good stunt double who's doing a great job, but I got some great "tools" from working as Wonder Women.

How she feels about the comedy genre:

I love comedy! I love it, I love it! I love what I do and up until this day I was very lucky to be able to work with great people who I had great chemistry with. Always. With Fast and Furious, and Batman V Superman…I'm very lucky. But there's something different working on a comedy set because it's all about who's going to deliver the best punch and who's going to make us laugh harder. Literally, I'm peeing on myself…*laughs*…Not literally but it's hilarious and it's such an amazing experience and I'm having the time of my life.

I love to make fun of myself. Because we have such a good chemistry as a cast and with the director, with Greg, and everything was so much fun…I hope it's gonna show on-screen.

Regarding her co-workers and if they taught her anything:

No. They're really selfish. Assholes, totally. Yeah. What can you do? [Jon Hamm's] ugly. He's not talented, whatsoever. He doesn't have the experience. We're still working on it! *laughs* No, Jon is great. He's hilarious. Isla and I think he should have his own talk show because that's how funny he is. He's fast, he's intelligent, he knows everything…so smart and he's the funniest guy *looks behind her* I don't want him to hear that I said that. No, he's great. He's a gentleman. He's the best partner. Everyone is great. I have a girl crush on Isla. I love her and Zack and they're hilarious. Really, it sounds too good to be true but everyone is just fantastic.

Her thoughts on portraying Wonder Woman in the coming years:

I can say, being the mother of a 3 and a half year-old daughter, it's very important for me to show her that women are great. That women can follow their dreams and do what they feel like doing. I'm very happy that I have the opportunity to show the stronger and more empowered side of women. And I hope women can love it…and also men. And children and babies and animals. I'm looking forward to doing this movie, and I hope everyone is going to enjoy it and be inspired by it.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES is not a film that jumps out at you on paper, but seeing the cast together completely makes it. It feels too right and if the audience can have half the fun the cast had on set, we should be in for a fun(ny) ride come this October!

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES hits theaters on October 21, 2016!