Are you Keeping Up with the Joneses?
When an ordinary suburban couple (Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher) finds it’s not easy keeping up with their impossibly gorgeous and ultra-sophisticated new neighbors Joneses (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) – especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.
I was blessed to attend the Red Carpet premiere of Keeping Up with the Joneses at Fox Studios with my husband, Matt. In attendance was actors Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot to celebrate this Friday’s theatrical release of the film with Director, Greg Mottola, Writer Michael LeSieur, Producers Laurie Macdonald, Walter F. Parkes and many others.
After screening the movie, we were treated to a backyard themed “Junetoberfest” party. The backdrop was decorated wooden tables that had cute daisy centerpieces, and beautiful lights hung from of above. Guest dined on appetizers, entrees, and dessert inspired by German delicacies.
I had such a fun night and appreciated the opportunity to attend the event.
The next day, I had an opportunity to interview that cast and they shared their thoughts about the film. Below are some takeaways from our interview.
Matt Walsh and Maribeth Monroe both grew up in a suburbia area and shared their thoughts on the experience.
… I love Suburbia. It was very friendly. We would have basketball games with the dads every Saturday. We would have, neighborhood-wide hide-and-go-seek chases through people’s yards. We pissed off some of the grumpier homeowners, of course, throwing snowballs or eggs around Halloween, things like that.” ~ Matt Walsh
Yes, I, just like Matt, grew up in the Midwest as well. I grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan, so definitely a suburbs girl through and through, probably middle class. I wouldn’t say upper or low, but definitely middle class. My family was pretty religious growing up, so I attended a Lutheran church for most of my life. . . . We had a lot of these kinds of parties that were centered around the Lutheran church I went to. … Halloween they’d put up a haunted house, and every, spring they would do a bakeoff. And, you know, there were always these church functions of kind of bringing people together.” ~ Maribeth Monroe
Although, being a spy holds a special place in every boys heart, growing up with James Bond. Playing a spy wasn’t on the top of Jon Hamm must do list.
I don’t think I always wanted to play a spy. I think there’s a special place in any sort of boy’s heart of growing up with James Bond and that whole kind of thing that makes it cool and I think what we found there’s something kind of naturally funny in the way…. But, what I really liked about both characters kind of–it sounds so hokey, but like they both learn something about themselves. And in my character, when we were talking about going through it, I just said, “Like, I just feel like it should be something that it seems like he has everything, and yet he doesn’t, or he might be really good at this job, but he doesn’t necessarily like it,” because I think that’s something that everyone can identify with. Nobody on the planet can identify with being a James Bond because that person’s fake.” ~Jon Hamm
Unlike the social butterfly, Zach Galifianakis portrays in the movie, Surprisingly, he is a bit shy.
… I’m shy sometimes. But, I was a shy kid. But now I’m expected to be a little bit maybe like the characters you see me portray in the movies and stuff. But, I’m pretty quiet. And I like to be by myself, but I like to go out to dinner with folks…. But, yes, I’m somewhat of an introvert, a little bit, I guess.” ~ Zach Galifianakis
The beautiful Gal Gadot is strong and independent like her character Natalie in the film but relates more to Isla’s character.
… Natalie on the outside, she looks very tough and strong and independent and cold. And I’m strong, and I’m independent, but I’m not tough and gold. But, on the inside, she’s very vulnerable, and she’s insecure about her relationship with her husband because he won’t communicate with her because he’s scared of her reaction. I think that all of these things together are just so adorable. In real life, I have some of me in Natalie, but I think that I have more of me, myself, in Isla’s character.” ~ Gal Gadot
Isla Fisher shared with us the life lesson that can be learned from “Keeping Up with the Joneses”
The director Greg Mottola has made Superbad, which obviously was a huge hit. But, he’s also comes from The Daytrippers, and he’s from New York, that quintessential, very cool, very smart, character-y New York Director. So, even though we were in a big, Hollywood blockbuster format, he found the humanity in all of us and the relatability of these married couples that didn’t necessarily still have the spark in their marriage, who was feeling envious towards their neighbors and scared and confused by these different kinds of people.
And, you know, we learned a great lesson in the movie, which is not to judge a book by its cover.” ~ Isla Fisher