Do not let his mesmerizing good looks, intoxicatingly stunning smile or his Rico Suave words fool you. Josh Duhamel is quite an awkward man.
Yes, that’s right — he’s a klutz!
While leading roles in Las Vegas and Transformers may have shown his more charming aspects, Duhamel just needed one film to truly show the side of him that is in tune with his day-to-day life. Lucky for him, director Mark Steven Johnson cast him in the filmmaker’s latest film, When In Rome, which opens this Friday nationwide.
In discussing his leading role with Buzzine as Kristen Bell’s love interest in When In Rome, Duhamel said the film accurately portrayed his less endearing yet very real qualities, as the movie was written to allow him to endure the most bizarre of physically comedic events.
For example, there is the falling down a manhole at a construction site, the running into poles, the getting struck by lightning twice while playing a college football game, and the proverbial dodging cars in speeding traffic in his dash to save his true love from making the mistake of her life before finally being hit by a classic red Camaro driven by his friend.
“This is more in line with the way I am. I am more of a klutz,” Duhamel frankly told Buzzine.
While Duhamel’s character, Nick, endured his fair share of hilarious injuries during the course of the film, the scene audiences will most likely remember is the one that is most spectacular, where the good-looking actor is struck by a speeding Camaro in New York’s Columbus Circle.
“Mark (Johnson, the director) worried about me getting hit more than I did,” Duhamel began telling Buzzine about the climactic scene. “If we had any arguments in the film, it was for that.”
Duhamel went on to explain how the argument between himself and Johnson extended to the entire crew, mostly because everyone was under the impression that he was getting severely injured during the filming of the scene, which did not make use of a stunt double.
“The car was coming at me and was actually going to hit me, and I was to roll up on the hood of the car,” Duhamel excitedly explained. “I was in a sprint and the car was coming pretty fast, so naturally, my momentum was going to take me up on the other side of the car.”
The former Las Vegas star went on to explain exactly why there was so much concern. Just like an automobile’s side mirror says objects are closer to it than they appear, Duhamel said the perception of what he endured during the filming of the Camaro scene was perceived as being far worse than it really was.
“The first couple of times were pretty tense,” he recalled. “I was okay, I felt fine, but I looked around and everybody’s eyeballs were wide open – ‘Oh my god, we are going to have to stop this right now because he’s going to break his neck.’ So when I actually flew over the hood and landed on my neck, everyone was like, ‘Are you alright?!’”
As the crew was expressing deep concern for what they thought was negatively happening to Duhamel, the actor explained there was one person who happened to be visiting the set during the scene’s filming who had an odd way of expressing his understanding that nothing really happened to the man who was dubbed as the film’s leading man.
“All of the sudden, I hear ‘BOOOOOO!’ in the background, and it’s my old man. Thanks for the support, Dad. I appreciate it,” Duhamel sarcastically pointed out. “But he knew I was okay. He was the only one who knew.”
Accidents, klutziness and sarcasm aside, Duhamel finally delved into the true spirit of When In Rome, which he felt was quite a tale of two people falling in love with each other without truly realizing it.
“I would say Nick and Beth (Bell) have the same outlook on life,” Duhamel said with a tone of humility and seriousness. “Both of them are very driven in their given professions, and neither is really looking for love. It’s one of those things, I guess. You usually find it when you’re not looking.”
Whether or not Nick and Beth were not paying attention to love before they found each other on the big screen, Duhamel said both he and Bell made every effort to develop a chemistry that would carry through the whole film and make the story as believable as possible.
“Because we had to fall in love so quickly, we really had to make the scenes work early on,” he said, adding that the initial scene where his character met Bell’s was filmed toward the end of production. “We really worked on the wedding scene and tried to make it love-at-first-sight from the get-go.”
In the process, Duhamel hopes moviegoers experience love at first sight when they place their butts in the seats to watch him, Bell and a riotous supporting cast that includes Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston, Will Arnett, Dax Shepard, Jon Hader, Don Johnson and Alexis Dziena in When In Rome.
The film opens on January 29th in theaters nationwide.