Good Luck Chuck
This movie is in theatres on Friday. If anyone sees it, remember that all the penguin scenes were shot here in Edmonton, in West Edmonton Mall! We love our African penguins!!
Movie star, penguins invade WEM
Jessica Alba in town to film new romantic comedy
EDMONTON - A masseuse, a psychiatrist and being filmed only from the left side -- these were some of the demands on the set of Jessica Alba's new movie, Good Luck Chuck.
But the requests were not from Alba. They were from her Edmonton co-stars: 15 African penguins.
"The call sheets became quite funny," said Bill Vigars, one of the film's publicists. "Each of the penguins has their own name and personality."
Actress Jessica Alba gets acquainted with some African penguins at West Edmonton Mall Thursday during the filming of her new movie Good Luck Chuck.
The demands were a joke, of course, written by a production assistant.
But the penguins, which are owned by West Edmonton Mall, did draw the film away from its main set location in Vancouver to Edmonton for a week.
It would have been too much trouble to transport all the birds that were required for the shoot, so the production came to them.
Filming has been going on all week at a south-side studio.
"Our penguins are quite media savvy," said Kim Evans, spokeswoman for the West Edmonton Mall Marine Life Education program. "You'd probably recognize them best from the Telus commercials they've done."
Good Luck Chuck is about a man who becomes a good-luck charm for women when they discover that each woman he breaks up with gets engaged to the next guy she dates.
When Chuck, played by Dane Cook, meets Alba's character and wants to marry her, he strives to break the pattern.
Alba's character is a penguin keeper, which is why the animals were required, Vigars said.
There are only three cities in North America -- Edmonton, Montreal and Chicago -- where African penguins are kept and the Alberta capital was the most accommodating, he said.
Despite lightning striking their plane on the flight in, Alba and Cook have taken a liking to Edmonton, Vigars said.
Although she hasn't been to West Edmonton Mall yet, Alba went straight to Winners to do some shopping as soon as she arrived last weekend.
Vigars said the star has bonded with the penguins, and has taken a particular shining to one named Tweeblik.
African penguins are ideal for acting since they do not require as cold an environment as other types, Evans said. The birds had three to five handlers with them on set at all times to ensure they were property treated.
The penguins won't be the only Edmontonians on screen when Good Luck Chuck hits theatres. Fifty local actors were hired as extras for the shoot, which wraps up today.
"Edmonton has been absolutely wonderful," Vigars said, adding that when the film is released, there is a possibility of having a premiere here with the penguins on hand.
Movie star, penguins invade WEM
Re: Good Luck Chuck
Recent media coverage here:
Good Luck Chuck - West Edmonton Mall
[B]Interview with African penguin Tweeblik, who stars in the feature filmGood Luck Chuck[b]
Q You recently acted alongside Hollywood stars Jessica Alba and Dane Cook in the major motion picture Good Luck Chuck. How did this role come about for you?
A Well, they were looking for penguins to star in this film and because we are the only penguins who are able to travel and because of our impressive acting resume, they contacted us to be in the film.
Q So this isn’t your first acting role?
A Oh no, we have had other movie and television roles and have also appeared in commercials and print ads.
Q What was it like working with Jessica Alba and Dane Cook?
A Working with Jessica Alba and Dane Cook was COOL. Jessica Alba is one of Hollywood’s hottest stars but you know we are even hotter – we naturally live in Africa.
Q You also got to work alongside many of your friends?
A Yes, there were 15 of us African penguins who migrated to the studio in Edmonton to star in this feature film.
Q So the production actually came to Edmonton to shoot your scenes?
A Yes, a couple of us got to spend a few days in Vancouver as well, but most of the filming
was done on a sound stage here in Edmonton.
Q What was the set like?
A They created an amazing set that looked like a natural penguin habitat. It was a great
rendition of Antarctica, thankfully no leopard seals!
Q The set was built to look like Antarctica but, as you mentioned, you are actually African penguins?
A Yes, we naturally live in Africa which is why we are so adaptable to the climate here and are able to travel easily. We don’t need the freezing cold temperatures all the time.
Q How did all of you prepare for this role?
A We have some really great trainers who help keep us healthy and in shape. Each day we swam laps and had our calories monitored. And we had weekly weigh-ins and medical check-ups.
Q There are some exciting action scenes in the movie…did you do your own stunts?
A I did do some of the stunts but I also had 14 stunt doubles there to help.
Q Were there any on-set romances?
A African penguins mate for life so many of the pairs were seen together on and off set.
Jessica Alba was pretty smitten with us, too – saying how cute we were – but it was nothing more than friendship.
Q There’s a lot of buzz surrounding this film…it seems it might be a big hit and give you star status.
A I try not to let it go to my head…but I was pretty good in my dramatic role as Jester, a penguin who is lovesick after being separated from my mate who is ill and has been sent away for treatment. Another great scene was the one where we all attack Charlie, Dane Cook’s character, after he falls in the pool.
Q So after starring in this feature film and with all your other experience, have you thought about relocating to Hollywood?
A No, we have a really great life here at our home at The Greatest Indoor Show on Earth. Our trainers take really good care of us and we get to meet new people all the time at our enclosure in Sea Life Caverns or when taking one of our Mall walks. We have our food served to us, our homes cleaned for us, our own drivers, a spa, free medical care…what penguin could ask for more?
Q So what’s up next for you?
A I can currently be seen starring in the daily sea lion shows and penguin presentations at West Edmonton Mall. People can also come visit us and say ‘hello’ at our home in Sea Life Caverns.
Q Will you be making any other public appearances?
A Absolutely. We travel to many schools and community events throughout the year as part of West Edmonton Mall’s education programs. We are very passionate about education as African penguins are an endangered species and it is important for people to learn what they can do to help.
Q And, finally, the most important thing people want to know…who will you be wearing at the premiere?
A An evolutionary designer named B & W Feathers.
Re: Good Luck Chuck
I've heard the raves about Dane Cook in the past and after seeing him in various press for this movie, I *heart* him :lol
It looks like a good lighthearted movie that I'd enjoy seeing. I'm anxious to hear what people think (not critics, just regular moviegoers)
Re: Good Luck Chuck
I went with a girlfriend of mine on Friday night and absolutely LOVED it! :up Plenty of laughs all the way through, and I never knew I'd have such a crush on Dane by the end. The other ladies that I know who caught it over the weekend give it big :up as well, so it's got the "chick movie" thing down...I just don't know any guys that have seen it yet.
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