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LAist Interview: Malin Akerman, Couples Retreat

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Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

LAist recently sat down with Malin Akerman, one of the stars of the upcoming comedy Couples Retreat. She opened up to us about the other half of her real life couple and shared one of the ways she keeps her marriage strong even when she can’t find the time to retreat to a tropical paradise.

LAist: You’ve been in quite a few big comedies. In The Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller you were not so much a loveable character…

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Malin: Nope. (laughs)

LAist: And you were Tess, the crazy, selfish sister in 27 Dresses. You’ve played some rather wicked yet hilarious people.

Malin: A lot of times when you have a Leading Lady role, which is not to say that’s not something I want to do, I really want to do a leading role someday, but a lot of times the sidekicks and the costars are always the most quirky characters and they are always the most fun to play.

LAist: Your new film Couples Retreat certainly has some quirky characters. What would you like to tell us about the movie?

Malin: Um, go see it! I think it’s just one of those films that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Anyone who is in a relationship or has been in a relationship, you’re going to be able to identify with one or another of these couples. I hope everyone enjoys it.

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LAist: How was it working on this film? I mean Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn together on set, how was that?

Malin: It was amazing. It’s one of those things where I’ve been watching them for many years now and all of a sudden, to be on set with people you idolize, it’s a pretty phenomenal feeling. And to watch them go off, you know they’ve known each other for so long they’re fabulous when they just start riffing off each other, a lot of improv ensues. They’re just hilarious together, and I mean all of them are. Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, they’re all just incredible comedians. I always think of a coach telling me, I used to be on the track and field team, and he goes, “Never practice with someone who’s slower than you, always practice with the runners who are quicker because then you’re going to speed up your time.” And that’s sort of how I feel whenever I get the opportunity to work with people who are so immersed it their business and they’ve done it a long time, you learn so much just by watching them.

LAist: What was your favorite part to shoot?

Malin: I have to say that my most memorable day was going swimming with the sharks. I think that was pretty spectacular. In one day we went swimming with stingrays and sharks. It was an unforgettable moment and an unforgettable day in my life. I’ll remember it forever.

LAist: So your husband in this movie is Vince Vaughn.

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Malin: Yes, indeed. The tallest man alive.

LAist: I can imagine! Did you have to wear really high heels?

Malin: Well it was hard because we were on a vacation, so you wear flip flops so I had sort of platform flip flops, and I’m not a short person, you know, I’m still 5’9”, but we added to that with the shoes so it didn’t look like too much of a height difference.

LAist: You also work with Kristin Davis on this movie. Were you a fan of Sex and the City?

Malin: You know, I’m not a big TV watcher, I mean I’ve seen a few episodes and I saw the movie and think it’s great, but, no, I never really followed it when it was on.

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LAist: I can’t imagine shooting a movie with her and not feeling like I was hanging out with Charlotte.

Malin: No, exactly! My stepmother came to set and she’s a huge Sex and the City freak so when she saw Kristin Davis, she almost fainted. She came all the way from Sweden, so coming to Hollywood and seeing Charlotte from Sex and the City who she’s been watching for the past ten years… she couldn’t even breathe. So I understand when you are a big, major fan of something, that is the reaction.

LAist: Have you ever had one of those moments since you’ve been in Hollywood?

Malin: Um, yes! All the time. (laughs) There are so many people. I am a big music fan and I was at the Cannes Film Festival just recently and I happened to brush shoulders with Mick Jagger and I almost fainted. I’m a huge Mick Jagger fan and my husband wanted to touch my shoulder afterwards. He was like, “I can’t believe your shoulder touched Mick Jagger!” So we’re a bit freaky about musicians, for sure.

LAist: You two have been married for about two years now. How did you meet your husband?

Malin: We were in a band together. He was the drummer and I was the attempted singer, and listen, we were just drawn to each other. I mean you look back behind you and see this gorgeous Italian man beating on some drums… It’s so sexy. I was hooked right away and now, six years later, we’re still together and now married.

LAist: Is your husband still a musician? Is he still performing?

Malin: Yeah, he is. He’s a session player. He does a lot of studio recordings and he works with artists, sort of new and upcoming artists, here in LA and does some shows around here. But yeah, he’s definitely still doing the music thing.

LAist: Do you ever get to go be groupie for your hubby?

Malin: Absolutely! Are you kidding me, that’s my favorite thing to do is go watch him bang on those drums. (laughs) It’s a good way to keep the relationship strong.

LAist: Absolutely. I was talking to one of my girlfriends the other day, her husband is a drummer as well, and she said, “I’m not so much groupie as roadie. I’m breaking down equipment and loading things into the car…”

Malin: Right! But then once you see the show you’re just like, “Ahhh.” I mean, I don’t know about you, but I just think musicians are so attractive. When they just let loose on stage I think it’s one of the most attractive things in the world, so I’m happy to be a roadie, too.

LAist: Have you and your husband ever done anything like a couples retreat?

Malin: No, we haven’t actually. Our thing is we have a lot of couples, a lot of friends who come over for dinner, that’s our big thing. My husband’s a great cook, so we do a lot of dinners, that’s our favorite thing to do with our friends. It’s almost too difficult to coordinate with two or three couples to have the same vacation time. Everyone’s always so busy and everyone’s schedules are so different, but we have a group now and we’ve been talking about it seriously like, “Guys, we have to rent a villa in Tuscany!” This is like our dream vacation with our friends, you know, because obviously it’s so much cheaper and you just rent a place together and bring all your friends and just hang out there for a week or something. It would be an awesome vacation.

Article by Courtney Quinn

Couples Retreat opens today