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NEW YORK — It doesn’t take much to get Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis going on a good comedic riff. Just the mention of some random subject and the two engage in banter like they’re reading from some comedic script.
One inspiration: Aniston’s enduring but long-gone series, Friends.
Aniston: “Friends is off the air.”
Sudeikis: “I know, but I just did an episode of it.”
Aniston: “That’s strange.”
Sudeikis: “I play Monica’s uh ... “
Aniston: “Brother? Other brother?”
Sudeikis: “Stepbrother. We kiss. It’s taken a dark turn. Courteney Cox does not play Monica in this one.”
Aniston: “No! We’ve all been replaced?”
Sudeikis: “It’s like The Carrie Diaries. Everyone plays you guys in high school.”
Aniston and Sudeikis, who shared the screen in 2011’s Horrible Bosses, team up again for We’re the Millers, which has Sudeikis’ character assemble a motley crew to play his family in order to complete a drug deal.
Like Horrible Bosses, the new film — in which Aniston plays a stripper posing as a mom — is a dark, subversive comedy. Aniston said what makes it appealing is that it’s fun.
“It’s highbrow, but not too highbrow. It’s based in reality, but obviously, a crazy reality,” the 44-year-old actress said in a recent interview. “I think it’s fun to have a zany group of people in these situations. That merging of pot smuggling, stripping, dealing, children, fake family, all of that.”
Much of the focus of We’re the Millers has been Aniston’s decision to strip (she’s not fully nude) in the movie, and her impressive, toned figure. Aniston, a fitness buff, said she worked out every morning to prepare. She said much of that talk comes across as a backhanded compliment.
“When I was little, my mom in her forties looked like a mom in her forties. We have sort of erased numbers. I think we’re very health-aware,” she said. “Nutritionally, we are very aware of what’s good for us and what’s not good for us, way more than a couple of generations ago. So I think we are learning how to keep our bodies fit and our minds fit.”
She added: “I hate when people tell me ‘For your age, you look great.’ I can’t stand that.”
In one memorable scene, Aniston lets co-star Kathryn Hahn get a handful of her breasts. Sudeikis didn’t have to deal with anything quite as intimate, though a scene with Nick Offerman penetrating his ear with a wet finger proved to be decidedly uncomfortable.
“It’s not enjoyable, per se. I don’t mind a Q-Tip in there, but Nick is a man’s man. That’s a strong, girthy, calloused finger. He was full in there, I couldn’t hear anything but my own heartbeat,” Sudeikis said as Aniston broke out in laughter.
For Sudeikis, the film may further solidify his box-office appeal outside of Saturday Night Live. While Horrible Bosses was a success, it was also an ensemble comedy. In We’re the Millers, he gets top billing, along with Aniston.
Although Sudeikis has made it official that he won’t be returning to SNL, he said it hasn’t sunk in that he’s really gone.
“Truth be told, I won’t feel it until September and the shows starts up again and I’m not there,” he said.
But the 37-year-old admits to feeling something when his portrait was placed on the wall of former cast members.
“When my picture is 50 pictures away from Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. Ten pictures away from Tina Fey and Will Ferrell. That was more of a shock. I have not gotten used to it, but I look forward to two years from now when I remember I actually did it,” he said.