Toni Collette & Anna Faris Scheme Laughably in The Estate
Dec 27, 2022
Toni Collette and Anna Faris play vastly different sisters who scheme to inherit their dying aunt’s riches in The Estate. The pair run a struggling New Orleans diner on the verge of bankruptcy. They run into serious competition when their conniving cousins (David Duchovny, Rosemarie DeWitt) join the fray. It doesn’t help that Aunt Hilda (Kathleen Turner) is a mean and irascible grouch who enjoys belittling her relatives.
British writer/director Dean Craig, known for Death at a Funeral, assembles an all-star cast for his raunchy comedy. Collette and Faris curse like drunken sailors as they go to extraordinary lengths to please Aunt Hilda. They schlep her around in a rackety Ford station wagon with harebrained ideas. The best of which involves recruiting Hilda’s high school crush for a date, who unfortunately turns out to be a sex offender.
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Collette and Faris were jovial during our interview. They enjoyed working with a talented ensemble and having the freedom to improvise dialogue. Collette did all the filmed driving, and hilariously had primary duty in one of the truly outrageous scenes. Faris closes with fond memories of working with the great Kathleen Turner.
Great Times on Set of The Estate
The film is hilarious. You both look like you’re having so much fun. Were there any bad days on set of The Estate?
Anna Faris: My saddest day was truly our wrap day. I had so much fun. I’m proud that it’s translated into the movie because all of us were laughing all the time. It felt like we were playing. It was really a wonderful experience for me.
Toni Collette: And me, too. It was super-duper fun.
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Prosthetics and Cruising with Toni Collette
The flasher scenes were quite funny. The bit when you try to get him to expose himself had me rolling. That’s one of the film’s high points.
Anna Faris: He [Danny Vinson] was such a sweetheart, wasn’t he?
Toni Collette: Yes. I loved him.
Anna Faris: I was made the handler, but you put it back in. They made you put it away. He was so great. We had a whole prosthetic penis testing, all kinds of drama about if it looked real or old or whatever. I loved every day of making this movie. Just riding around in the car with Toni Collette is an experience that everybody should have.
Toni Collette: Everyone should cruise around New Orleans in one of those old cars. It was great.
That Ford station wagon was pretty sweet. Did you guys actually drive that car or was it all staged?
Toni Collette: I was doing all the driving. I was doing all the resetting as well. I pride myself on my driving (laughs). I want to do stunt driving in a movie.
Anna Faris: She’s an excellent driver. She wants to be a sports car driver. She can drive well in Australia (laughs).
Toni Collette: I’ll try to drive on either side.
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The Dungeons and Dragons bit is another great ongoing gag. Have either of you ever actually played the game?
Toni Collette: I never have, and I don’t understand it one bit.
Anna Faris: I say something nonsensical that I ad-libbed. I made up some nonsense. I haven’t played before. I should have done some research.
There’s a lot of great cursing in this movie. As a New Yorker, I love a good F-bomb. Was all that swearing in the script or improvised?
Toni Collette: I think it was a bit of both with the cursing and all the language.
Anna Faris: It might have been the first time that no one has said you can’t swear that much to me (laughs).
Working with Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner is an icon. She’s so abrasive, irascible, and funny in this film. What was it like working with her?
Anna Faris: Kathleen is brilliant, like a force. She’s also incredibly kind. She wasn’t afraid poking me with her cane in the car. She didn’t have any qualms about potential injury or anything. But I love that about her because she’s not coddling or precious. She’s unlike anyone I know. I had worked with her on some episodes of Mom. What’s surprising is that she’s a social being. She was always arranging cast dinners, get togethers, and cast activities. She liked to make the feeling of a family, which I loved.
The Estate opens theatrically on November 4th.
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