Cameron Diaz The Other Woman
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Synopsis: Carly (played by Diaz) is a hot shot New York lawyer who has it all, including a hot new boyfriend. She accidentally discovers however that her boyfriend is married to Kate (played by Mann). Carly and Kate decide to unite together to get even. They soon realise that he is also cheating on both of them with another woman, Amber (played by Upton). The three women all come together to get even and become best friends in the process.
The Other Woman
Release Date: April 17th, 2014
The Right Man For ‘The Other Woman’
With a script in place, Julie Yorn began searching for a director, and found her man in Nick Cassavetes, who had earned praise for helming “The Notebook” and “Unhook the Stars,” both of which had memorable female roles. When Nick Cassavetes read the script for The Other Woman he said, “I have a strong mother, daughters and sisters. I have a strong connection to women and I really love what this movie says about the power of female relationships.”
Julie Yorn adds that Nick Cassavetes had his hands full with a female producer, writer, studio executive and his actresses always telling him and explaining to him the way things go. She laughs: “You walk on the set and you see this guy, and he’s like six foot seven, with tattoos all over, and you wonder and wonder, ‘That’s the guy who’s directing this movie??’ But Nick Cassavetes is the most sensitive of any of us!”
She continues: “With Nick Cassavete’s body of work, the one thing I saw across the board is the honesty. There’s never a false moment in his movies. Even with comedy and the absurdity of some of the situations and hijinks, he’s still looking for an honest moment from a character. He never wants anything to feel implausible within the world of that character. Nick Cassavetes has a really romantic outlook.”
For Nick Cassavetes, the immediate attraction to directing The Other Woman was its story. As he explains, “In many films, women are portrayed as being competitive and at odds, especially when there’s a man involved. In this story, Carly doesn’t know Mark is married and she immediately backs off when she learns the truth. Kate understands that Carly really wasn’t at fault. But Kate is so wrapped up in how to deal with her big problem, that the sheer force of her character compels Carly to be her friend. As soon as I read the script, I thought that this is a relationship I rarely see, and I wanted to make sure that, if I had an opportunity to make the film, that we made it right.”
The Other Woman
From the moment the characters began to take shape in Melissa Stack’s screenplay, Julie Yorn had one actress in mind for the character of Carly. “The dream was always to cast Cameron Diaz,” Julie Yorn explains. “It became about the right combination of women that felt believable and identifiable.”
Cameron Diaz was immediately attracted to the story and its fresh look at how women relate to one another in the face of unusual circumstances: “I thought it was such an interesting concept. When Carly realises that Mark is married, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him or the wife. But here’s this other woman, Kate, who is asking for her help, and there’s no way she cannot help her.”
“I just thought that is a beautiful thing,” Cameron Diaz continues. “It’s about friendship and about women. What I also loved about the script is that it wasn’t man-bashing and it wasn’t about revenge. It’s about a journey that these women take with one another to learn about themselves. The three women’s lives are so different that their paths would have never crossed under normal circumstances. And because they have this thing in common, they come together and become a team. What they do to Mark is more to reveal who he is rather than to be vengeful on him. I thought all of those things were unique and a lot of fun to bring to life.”
Leslie Mann, who portrays suburban über-homemaker Kate, has, says Julie Yorn, “this archetypal suburban wife thing with just a little pathos under the surface that could come undone. We always thought there was an unexpected quality to this tightly wound character, and Leslie really made that come alive.”
Leslie Mann describes Kate as “living in a bubble. She’s learned one way of doing things, and it’s all about serving her husband and making him happy. I think she’s lost herself in that process. So when Kate finds out he’s cheating, her whole world falls apart until she finds these women who help her grow and rebuild herself.”
Melissa Stack notes the important differences between Leslie Mann’s Kate and Cameron Diaz’ Carly: “Kate is Carly’s opposite; she’s an outer softy and an inner hard ass. It’s that journey where both Kate and Carly are getting in touch with the inner part of themselves that has maybe been a little bit swept to the side.”
It can never be predicted if two actors will have good chemistry on or off screen, but the Cameron Diaz-Leslie Mann dynamic worked from the start. The two actresses found a groove and were able to improvise and make each other laugh from the first day of filming.
Leslie Mann explains their synergy by comparing it to music: “There are certain people who have an ear for comedy. It’s like a song and a rhythm, so when you’re doing comedy, if the other person isn’t hearing the same thing as you are, it just lays there and dies. Cameron Diaz hears the same thing as I do. We can pick up where the other one lets off and it’s like a good give-and-take. And Kate Upton has that, too. She knows how to play things and she’s super-smart.”
In the role of charismatic liar Mark King, “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, surprised everyone with his comedic chops. Julie Yorn notes: “We just got incredibly lucky with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. We knew he certainly had the dash and good looks to be the leading man, but he came in and did this one scene where he comes undone and it was unbelievable.”
Melissa Stack notes that, “Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was able to be vicious and charming in the span of ten seconds and that’s talent and also a lot of hard work, preparation and thought. He has some really tricky bits of business where he has to be the captivating snake, which is not an easy thing.”
The Danish actor sparked to playing the seductive bad guy for whom karmic repercussions are, well, a bitch. But the actor doesn’t see Mark as a cartoon cad. “I think Mark loves his wife,” says Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. “He and Kate have been together a long time, and I think in his mind he treats her really well. I don’t think it’s unusual to meet a guy who believes that because he takes home a lot of money, it gives him the right to have a bit of fun on the side. It’s just pure instinct. What can Mark do? He can’t stop himself. He believes himself to be a good guy.”
He continues, “Mark likes to fall in love, and I think the problem with a guy like that is he falls in love with himself falling in love.”
For the role of Amber, the third woman deceived by Mark, Julie Yorn considered a number of actresses, but in securing Kate Upton, the producer ended up where she started. Julie Yorn explains: “Initially, we used Kate Upton as the loose prototype of the character, never thinking we were actually going to get her. But she came in and she was just so disarming. The key to that role was that you have to hate her when you first see her, at least a little bit, and then love her when you get to know her. She fits the bill so well for both of those situations.”
Melissa Stack marveled at the similarities between the character Amber and Kate Upton the person. “Kate Upton is such a bombshell but she’s very sweet,” says the screenwriter. “Kate Upton has this lightness and a kind way about her that is perfect for Amber. That was always who we all hoped Amber would be.”
Kate Upton enjoyed her first major acting role under the tutelage of Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. “I am so lucky to have one of my first movies to be with Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz,” she says. “They’re so inspiring.”
Another unexpected casting coup was Nicki Minaj, who portrays Carly’s secretary, Lydia. Nicki Minaj added something to the part that Julie Yorn hadn’t counted on: “We all have a sense of Nicki Minaj's persona and larger than life personality, but she came in with the most humble approach and attitude. She was dying to sit at the feet of these other women and learn.”
“We always wanted for the character of Lydia to be sassy,” she continues. “But what was disarming about Nicki Minaj was her likability, which actually changed the scripted character. Lydia became a really important ally to Carly. That’s the chemistry part of it that you don’t expect. Cameron Diaz and Nicki Minaj bonded from day one and so you just get a whole different dynamic than anticipated.”
Nicki Minaj was a welcome surprise for Nick Cassavetes, as well: “Lydia says things to Carly that are couched as truths, and that are really preposterous, but they have this unexpected truth that suggests sometimes the correct thing is to do the incorrect thing.”
According to Nicki Minaj, Lydia is very opinionated. “She has her own outlook on life and relationships, and you can’t change her mind about anything. She develops a real friendship with Carly. And Lydia really wants Carly to settle down and meet the right man. So she gets involved a little bit in bringing Mark down and getting Carly to fall in love with someone who’s a good person.”
Lydia is an important person in Carly’s life, because, says Nicki Minaj, “Lydia’s the friend that is going to give you tough love. I happen to be that kind of friend. I don’t like when my best friends are sad about a guy. I think all women need a friend who’s going to let us cry and mope, but we also need the friend that’s going to say, ‘Okay, pick it back up. Let’s go. You know, we’re not going to be walking around the office moping.’”
A decidedly non-mopey character is Carly’s dad, Frank. Filming was already underway when the filmmakers finally found their other dashing rogue. In fact, by the time Don Johnson was cast, it was hard to imagine anyone else who could bring more fun and a sly wink to the role of the non-traditional father.
Taylor Kinney (“Zero Dark Thirty”) rounds out the starring cast, as Kate’s brother, Phil. Phil, in addition to having a really nice beach house, is the opposite of Mark; he’s an honest and good guy. Phil at first is disturbed when the ladies seem to be obsessed with stalking Mark, but he and Carly soon develop a growing attraction.
Dressed For Success: Style and Wardrobe
For Julie Yorn, the idea of securing legendary costume designer Patricia Field (“Sex and the City”), a longtime purveyor of cool downtown Manhattan style, became something of an obsession. “Patricia Field has had a long and amazing career and is always looking for new challenges,” Yorn explains. “We’re glad she saw The Other Woman as fulfilling that goal.”
Patricia Field’s involvement in the film was also very important to Nick Cassavetes, who comments, “I begged Patricia Field ninety-eight thousand times to do the film. She is a real artist. Patricia Field has specific kinds of ideas and they’re mutating and changing all the time.”
Nicki Minaj, a noted fashion icon in her own right, was also thrilled to learn Patricia Field would be joining the team: “When I heard that Patricia Field was a part of this movie, I was very excited because I knew everybody would be eating their hearts out when they saw all the clothes we wear in this movie, and I knew it was going to be fresh and fun.”
Patricia Field notes that her process is “to find the parallel lines between the actor and the character. I need to get to know the actors so just sit and talk with them. They need to get to know me, as well. So that is a very big step in the process. My job is getting the actors comfortable in their clothes, visually and physically.”
Patricia Field made the costuming a team effort. She shares costume design credit with longtime collaborator and protégé Paolo Nieddu. Patricia Field and Paolo Nieddu began the work of illustrating the personalities of the characters through their clothes.
Each of the women in the film has a very specific style, which the costume designers worked with the actors to map out. “Carly is a contemporary, attractive, successful woman,” Patricia Field explains. “Her style is sophisticated, which could mean a designer look or it could be a chic, unique, original combination.”
When we first meet Carly, during a hotel tryst with Mark, she is wearing a skintight Antonio Berardi black dress. Some of her other signature looks are a pair of dresses by designer Martin Grant (lipstick red, and white and navy with a gold belt), a white Tom Ford sheath and a Rick Owens black leather skirt with blazer. High heels and designer purses and jewelry complete her outfits, giving Carly a sexy, killer vibe, even in the office.
Leslie Mann’s Kate, Patricia Field notes, “is a time-warped throwback from the ‘50s because she’s this married woman living in the suburbs, not working, living the la-di-dah-la-la life. And then the energy of Leslie Mann was a little goofy, which is part of her comedy. I had to make Kate from another time zone because she doesn’t have a clue.”
Paolo Nieddu adds, “Kate is a sort of 1950s Suzy Homemaker/Stepford Wife. She’s looking after her man, cleaning his clothes, running his errands, and taking care of his dog while he’s out. So her look was definitely preppy. Then, Kate becomes disheveled after learning of the affair. She becomes upset and there are times where that needs to reflect in her clothing and her appearance, where she is less put-together in certain situations.”
Kate’s ensembles incorporate a Prada two-piece print pantsuit, and dresses and separates from Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Lily Pulitzer, J. Crew, Red Valentino and Pucci – all the accouterments befitting a privileged “country mouse.” Unlike Carly, she’s more often in flats than stilettos and her most prominent accessory is a Great Dane called Thunder, who is bigger than she is.
The second other woman, Amber, is the youngest of the trio. “She’s the cool girl,” says Paolo Nieddu. “Amber’s style is a young style. Her most memorable wardrobe moment is when Carly and Kate spot Amber on a sunny Hamptons beach, jogging in a perfect white bikini made by Malia Mills. Amber is your jeans-and-t-shirt, all-American girl-next-door. She’s kind of a tomboy at times. Amber shouldn’t be over-styled or overdone. She’s not out on the prowl.”
Styling Nicki Minaj was another highlight for the designers. “It was really fun to get the chance to dress Nicki Minaj for this role,” says Paolo Nieddu. “She’s the secretary, and the sexy secretary is an image everybody can imagine, so we went with almost a cartoon sexy secretary, with exaggerated colors and prints and lots of different accessories. Every day is a new Lydia. So you never know what you’re going to get with her.”
Lydia’s looks include high fashion, sexy, and body-conscious pieces that would fill the closet of a girl with a sugar daddy footing the bill. Some of her designer looks are by Gucci, Roland Mouret, Versace, Herve Leger, Proenza Schoeler, and McQueen – all paired with the most extreme, expensive designer shoes that only a diva could stand wearing to the office.
About The Production
The Other Woman balances its broad comedy and emotional truth with a bit of fantasy and high glamour – or as director Nick Cassavetes dubs it, the film is “candy-dipped.” In addition to the costumes by Patricia Field and her team of chic New York stylists, the film was lucky to have acclaimed French cinematographer Robert Fraisse on board. Fraisse is an Academy Award® nominee for the Jean-Jacques Annaud film “The Lover.” He also created the lush images in Cassavetes’ romance “The Notebook” and worked with him again on “Alpha Dog.”
Carly’s minimalist white loft was filmed on location in a real Tribeca loft. Production designer Dan Davis calls it, “correct for her character, not too over the top, because she’s very successful.” Carly and Lydia’s office scenes were filmed in an elegant, sleek office at 7 World Trade Center, with views of lower Manhattan in every direction.
The restaurant where a lunch between Carly and Kate turns into a shoving match was shot at Barbuto in the trendy meatpacking district. Some of Carly’s dates with Mark take place at The Ritz Carlton, STK restaurant in Meatpacking, and a rooftop bar in SoHo.
She flirts with a guy at Lavo club on East 58th Street, and goes on her first date with Phil at the Dream Hotel. She drinks with her dad at the classic watering hole The Monkey Bar on East 54th Street, and introduces him to Amber at a funky Chinatown spot, the interior of which was staged at campy Lucky Cheng’s restaurant on 52nd Street. No beautiful Manhattan film would be complete without Central Park, and the three women make an important decision while strolling ”Literary Walk” in the park near 72nd Street. They get together for a celebratory dinner at The Mondrian Hotel in SoHo, toasting their victory over champagne.
Kate and Mark King’s posh suburban world was scripted as being in Connecticut, but was filmed in Westchester, NY, at a private house in Harrison.
Once Carly and Kate figure out that there is another woman filling in the unexplained spots in Mark’s calendar, they hop in the car to track her down in the Hamptons. They establish headquarters at Kate’s brother Phil’s place, which is a beach house with a bachelor’s vibe on the ocean in East Quogue. The exclusive Quogue Beach Club allowed filming on its pristine white beach for a pivotal moment when Carly and Kate spy on and then chase bikini-clad Amber.
After wrapping in the Hamptons, cast and crew packed up their gear and hopped on a flight to the Caribbean. Julie Yorn recalls: “The original draft of the script didn’t have the journey to the Bahamas section, and it felt like it was lacking a big, action-oriented piece at the end. Nick Cassavetes came up with this idea that the ladies travel to the island paradise to catch Mark committing fraud. So we get to have the great moments of them chasing him and having to go on an adventure together.”
An exhaustive scout of the islands led to the conclusion that the production could find everything they needed in The Bahamas: stunning beaches, a resort and pool area that looked like a hotspot, and authentic Caribbean bank buildings, where Mark would likely stash his ill-gotten gains. The Bahamas and the resorts at The Atlantis welcomed The Other Woman cast and crew for a week of filming at the end of the shoot.
The Other Woman
Release Date: April 17th, 2014