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The making of 'Valentine's Day' is a real love story

Garry Marshall's imprint is apparent. Witness the all-star cast built on a budget and Anne Hathaway's dirty talk.

February 11, 2010|By Rachel Abramowitz >>>

In the case of Hathaway, Marshall wanted to give some complexity to the character who originally was not much more than a sweet girl. "You got a nice character but it's mostly a boy's story," Marshall said, when the two began talking about the part.

"When you have people who can act, you have to give them something to do. I said to her, there are a lot of people in this movie. I'm down to either a lesbian phone sex operator or an alcoholic." Hathaway, having just starred as a recovering addict in " Rachel Getting Married," demurred on the alcoholism but warmed to the prospect of playing phone sex.

Marshall also had a scene written for Hathaway to take place at a bus stop in front of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The bus stop doesn't exist in real life but had made an appearance in "Pretty Woman," as Roberts and Richard Gere conducted their famed romance in the hotel.

"The same bus stop," says Marshall with a laugh. "There's a lot of nostalgia." In the scene, Hathaway's phone sex interlude is interrupted when her new boss, an imperious Queen Latifah playing a cutthroat agent, arrives. Several takes later, in which Hathaway plays the scene alternately straight-faced, loopy, overeager and perky, Marshall seems pleased. "God bless you. Very good," he tells her.

"I know we have a lot to do, but can I have one more?" Hathaway asks sweetly. "I kind of had half of an idea, that I maybe a quarter did." Marshall rolls the cameras again, and Hathaway does a slightly broader turn.

"You comfortable?" Marshall calls from the sidelines.

"Yes," Hathaway says, relieved and ebullient. Marshall comes over to give his ingenue a hug.

"Thank you, sweetheart," she says, smiling.

rachel.abramowitz @latimes.com

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