Reporting by Adrianna Kourafas
First, Mary Steenburgen was the compassionate stepmom of a North Pole free-spirit in «Elf.» On July 25th, she’ll once again play mother to Will Ferrell in the wild Judd Apatow comedy «Step Brothers.» These days, however, she’s been getting in sync with her new on-screen son, Justin Timberlake.
«I love him,» she said of her co-star in «The Open Road,» a recently-wrapped drama that casts JT as the son of a baseball legend (Jeff Bridges) who takes his girlfriend (Kate Mara) on a road trip to deal with his ailing mother. «I play his mommy. I went from playing Will’s mommy to Justin’s mommy. Go figure!»
Steenburgen explained that «Road» offered herself, as well as the singer/actor star of films like «Black Snake Moan» and «The Love Guru,» opportunities to dig into meaty roles unlike they’d had before.
«It’s a little more dramatic,» the veteran actress insisted. «And it’s kind of a quirky little interesting road trip-movie part of the time, between a father and son, Jeff Bridges and Justin. They’re being manipulated the whole time by me, from my hospital bed.»
Written and directed by relative newcomer Michael Meredith, the flick also co-stars Lyle Lovett and Timberlake’s old «Alpha Dog» co-star Harry Dean Stanton. The movie was largely filmed in Hammond, Louisiana, a mere 20 miles from the town that gave us his ex-girlfriend, Britney Spears. Footage was also reportedly shot during minor league games involving the farm teams for the Houston Astros.
When asked what it was like to work with the A-list star, Mary had the highest regards for the «SexyBack» singer. «I love Justin. Justin’s funny, creative, real, utterly unspoiled, and amazingly talented. I adore him.» Well Mary, so does MTV.
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