First it was the portly advertising executive in Hitch, now it is a thick-accented pen salesman who happens to be her neighbor in The Spy Next Door. The stunningly attractive Amber Valletta has been paired with two leading men who most audiences would not initially expect her to be cast alongside: Kevin James and Jackie Chan. Alas, here she is in The Spy Next Door as a single mother of three who is openly dating someone the audience least expects the former model to be dating – a quirky, apparently bumbling pen sales executive who does not fit the profile of a dashingly hot romantic lead.
Yet everyone involved with the filming of The Spy Next Door seemed to be okay with Valletta pairing up with Chan, especially the two actors themselves. Valletta shares that it was not so much of a stretch to see her opposite Chan in a romantic role, mostly because she has worked with a wide gamut of actors with varying looks, styles and skills. Furthermore, Valletta keenly points out that sometimes a story is less about looks and more about finding love through substance. “As an actor, I’ve been paired with everyone from Kevin James to [Nicolas] Cage to Jackie Chan to Gerard Butler and Michael Keaton. That’s a huge range,” Valletta chuckles. “I think people still believe it when they see me with someone like Kevin James or Jackie Chan.”
The fashion-model-turned-actress added she does not think it's a stretch to have her starring opposite a romantic male lead who, at least on a superficially physical level, does not seem to be an ideal match for her. “I want them to believe it,” she told Buzzine, claiming love stories are more than just how a couple appears externally but also how a man and a woman can connect internally. “The intention (of falling in love) is because of the people they are, and that’s why they fall in love. So (I don’t) have to be (matched with) Brad Pitt...” The film’s director, Brian Levant, was a little more to the point, stating that the chemistry between Chan and Valletta was second to none. In fact, he was so certain the chemistry between the martial arts expert and the fashion model would be apparent to audiences on screen that moviegoers would believe Chan and Valletta could, indeed, be in love with each other, despite their superficial differences to the naked eye. “Sometimes things just work out very well, and this one did from top to bottom,” Levant told Buzzine with a wide smile on his face.
For Levant, Chan’s stunts and Valletta’s goofball nature was a perfect recipe for him to make a family-oriented film. “This isn’t Jackie Chan throwing ninja stars in people’s foreheads,” Levant told Buzzine with quite a wide smile on his face. “This is a family-friendly movie you can trust.” If you trust yourself to enjoy this family-friendly film with quite a unique storyline combining espionage with babysitting and romance, be sure to hit theaters this weekend to watch Valletta be courted by Chan in The Spy Next Door.