Some things to know about Keri Russell: She is 32, very friendly and does a killer Adam Sandler impersonation. The actress showed off the latter skill while discussing her new family movie, Bedtime Stories, in which she plays Sandler’s love interest and appears in a variety of fantastic guises, including a frontier maiden, a futuristic damsel and a mermaid. The movie opens Thursday.
She has been busy with the film’s promotion, including a flesh-baring spread in the current Details magazine that makes her look like an extra in Trainspotting. She discussed it all during a recent call from New York.
Question: Did you know Adam Sandler before this movie?
Answer: We did not know each other. The funny thing is that his wife, Jackie, had gone to see Waitress. She said, “Oh, you should cast her.’ So he called me on the phone and said, “Hey, I heard you’re pregnant. I have a kid. I want to make a movie my kid could see.” I said OK.
Q: And you hadn’t seen a script?
A: Six months passed and then they sent me the script. Adam would call: “We’re working on it! Just hang in there!” I’m so glad he called. I had just finished a few movies back to back that were kind of emotional. Here, you shoot in Southern California and laugh on the set all day and be silly and have fun.
Q: Which fantasy character was your favorite?
A: I am definitely one of those people who like to spend the least amount of time in hair and makeup. So although playing a mermaid was fun and the biggest crowd-pleaser, after two days, I was done.
Q: Being an ex-Mouseketeer, could you relate well with the kid actors?
A: No (laughing). I maybe have a little higher tolerance for children, maybe a little more feeling for them. I actually like working with little kids. They really keep things in the moment.
Q: Do you give advice to young actors?
A: I don’t, really. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. I have too many friends that are amazing actors that aren’t working. The only kind of advice I could say is if acting class is what you like, do it because you like it. Don’t do it solely for the payoff.
Q: From your Mouseketeer days, did the kids you think would become famous make it?
A: Not really. Actually, Christina Aguilera, even at that really young age, had a voice that was undeniable. But there was an amazing guy on the show, Tony Lucca. I thought he was going to be this generation’s James Taylor. He’s making a good living, but he still hasn’t gone mainstream.
Q: Since this is a Disney movie, do you get perks being a Mouseketeer?
A: (Laughing) I wish I did. I don’t think they really care. I do wish I still had my silver pass. When we were kids, you could get into any of the theme parks for free with your family.
Q: Your son is too young for the movie, isn’t he?
A: He’s 1 1/2, so he’s a little too young. But I saw a screening with a bunch of kids. When kids laugh, you think of your own kid’s laugh. I’m definitely looking forward to him seeing it when he’s older.
Q: I saw your spread in Details to promote the movie. The photos didn’t make me think “Disney family movie.”
A: (Laughing) Understood. You can’t hit it out of the park every time, and that’s all I’m saying about it.