Adam Brody, Jon Kasdan Interviewed in Chicago on ‘In the Land of Women’

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CHICAGO – Sex appeal from burgeoning silver-screen stars has evolved. “It’s my abs,” Adam Brody declared following grave reflection about his magnetism. “People like abs cut from stone. I do the work and it pays off.”

Adam Brody and Jon Kasdan: Photo by Adam Fendelman
“In the Land of Women” star Adam Brody (left) gives
director Jon Kasdan his “serious look” in a Chicago interview.
Photo © 2007 Adam Fendelman

Brody, who didn’t even audition for the film “In the Land of Women” debuting on April 20, sealed the deal with director Jonathan Kasdan on allure alone. They felt a connection and Kasdan – who compared his one and only pick to all that is holy about Cary Grant – knew Brody was his leading man.

The twosome had a flyover in Chicago on April 10 to beguile critics with Brody’s charm and reveal the secret sauce men should know about what women want.

“If you can not naturally be a scumbag, that really helps,” Brody quipped to Adam Fendelman. “Be uber respectful and be a gentleman. They appreciate it and you feel better about yourself. Then it comes down to…” – a word voiced in unscripted sync with Kasdan – “looks.”

“Whenever you read a magazine article about what women look for in a man, they never say looks,” Kasdan offered to Adam Fendelman. “They say it’s a sense of humor. It’s bullshit.” Brody retorted: “It is and it isn’t. On the whole around the world, women are less obsessed [with looks] than we are.” Kasdan circled back and jested: “We have the shallow pride – well, certainly you and I do.”

Having the two 27-year-olds bounce such acumen off each other was a lucid reflection of the film’s Carter Webb character. The role infused slices of Kasdan himself and Brody truly.

With the ability to achieve a general consensus about such concepts in real life, weaving Brody into Webb was at least spun as effortless. “It fit like a glove,” Brody affirmed. Webb, who the film introduces the audience to after being cast off by the love of his life, is left at a crossroads.

He decides to defect Los Angeles for suburban Detroit to stay with his eccentric and complicated grandma (Olympia Dukakis) who wants to die. There, Webb hopes to achieve clarity in life, love and his struggling career as a writer.

In the Land of Women marks Adam Brody’s first lead film role
“In the Land of Women” marks Adam Brody’s first lead film role.
Photo by Jamie Trueblood and courtesy of Warner Bros.

Despite seeking private tranquility in a Midwest area that’s entirely afar from big-city life, he becomes keen on the family across the street. Sarah Hardwicke (Meg Ryan), who soon finds out she has breast cancer and learns of her husband’s affair, intertwines her already intricate life with a temptation for Webb.

So does her daughter in high school, Lucy (Kristen Stewart), and so does Lucy’s 11-year-old sister, Paige (Makenzie Vega), who lives vicariously through her. With all the estrogen in the Hardwicke household enraptured by Webb, the story unfolds into multifaceted lessons learned about life and the relationships within.

Following successful television work with “The O.C.” on FOX and his first lead film role, Brody tied playing Webb back to his present-day life. Despite a relationship with “The O.C.” co-star Rachel Bilson that ended in Nov. 2006, Brody says he’s living the American dream.

“Right now, I’m at least equal to the happiest I’ve been in my life,” Brody said without smoke or mirrors.

He continued: “I’m so happy to be the age I’m at, where I’m at and doing what I’m doing. I’m so, so, so lucky I found a profession that almost no one gets to where I still get to dream and hope to make it big. The world could still be my oyster – or not – but it’s nice to have the possibility and dream longer in this profession.”

Amid loving life, work and play, Brody is still at a stage in his career where he’s kept modest. Hours after Chicago interviews at the W Hotel, for example, he left his suite and waited in a packed lobby to depart the Windy City. While it may have been the hoodie covering his head, no one recognized him.

Director Jon Kasdan (left) with Adam Brody on the set of In the Land of Women
Director Jon Kasdan (left) with Adam Brody on the set of “In the Land of Women”.
Photo by Liane Hentscher and courtesy of Warner Bros.

Kasdan’s own dream for a directorial debut was aided in no small part by his father, Lawrence Kasdan, whose vast filmography spans from writing “Star Wars” episodes to producing “The Big Chill” back in 1983. While dad’s prodigy had written various scripts in the past that didn’t make the light of day, “In the Land of Women” emerged as the winner that broke through.

“This is the one they let me make. That’s definitely the answer [to why this script made it],” Jonathan Kasdan said. While Lawrence served as executive producer on the project, the son described his father’s involvement more as an adviser. He added: “He was my consigliere.”

In working more with women than men, Kasdan felt that dealing with the set’s femininity overload was a double-edged sword.

“Making a movie like this and working with 12 actresses is exhausting,” Kasdan acknowledged. “I flew back to Los Angeles after shooting and was ready for a break to hang with the bros for a while. Then I walked out to the streets of Los Angeles and realized: man – these women – they’re the best thing.”

In the end, Kasdan says all the girly juice was worth the squeeze.

“There’s a line in ‘Back to the Future II’ where the actor says: ‘I’m going to give up time travel and focus on the other great mystery of the universe: women.’ That line changed my life.”

© 2007 Adam Fendelman

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