It didn't take much for Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and newcomer Kate Upton to bond on the set of their new feel-good film The Other Woman. The trio tells WEEKEND about all-night parties, enduring friendships and tough love
As 21st birthday parties go, Kate Upton had a pretty memorable one. Dancing the night away with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann will do that for you.
"It was the best way to celebrate my 21st birthday," says Upton, laughing. "It was big party!"
The model has her first major film role in the new comedy The Other Woman. "We knocked it all out," chimes in her prolific 41-year-old co-star, Diaz. "It was a 12-hour dance party. We really showed her just what it's like to be an adult, a proper adult!"
Today, there's no dancing to be done but the three women, squeezed onto a small sofa, seem effortlessly at ease with each other, with arm patting coming thick and fast.
Aside from the birthday bash, Mann, known for her comedic roles in This Is 40 and Knocked Up, says that she and her two co-stars made sure they had plenty of "dinners together and some long talks" before the cameras rolled.
But with "pretty likeable, cool girls" to work with, Diaz, who first came to fame in the mid-Nineties for her role in The Mask, says there wasn't too much need for team bonding.
On screen, there were many more hurdles to face for their characters' friendships to flourish. The film sees Mann play Kate, a woman whose confidence has faded after years being married to narcissistic husband Mark King (Game Of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). When she suspects Mark has been having an affair with lawyer Carly (Diaz), she decides to confront the other woman. But when she does, she realises that Carly has also been duped by Mark, who hasn't told her that he's married.
An unusual friendship strikes up between the two women, who are determined to right Mark's wrongs - especially when they discover that he has been cheating on both of them with younger model Amber (Upton).
It was the opportunity to show that female friendship in films can be supportive, and not "catty" - despite testing circumstances - that grabbed Diaz.
"Our objective here is to show that women don't have to be at each other's throats, you know?" says the Californian-born actress. "That's a beautiful thing. It's about friendship and about women.
"What I also loved about the script is that it wasn't man-bashing or about revenge. It's about a journey that these women take with one another to learn about themselves.
"The three women's lives are so different that their paths would never have crossed under normal circumstances. But because they have this thing in common, they come together and become a team."
In real life, all three women agree they would advise their own friends to end their relationship, if they found out their partner was a serial cheat.
"Let it go, move on, you can't change them," says Diaz, looking to her two colleagues. "You can't change who they are. You don't have the power. Get out of there."
And like their characters, the actresses have relied on their own friendships to sustain them throughout life.
"My friendship with my girlfriends means everything to me," adds Diaz, who is currently single. "I spend more time with them than I do anybody else. Through the hard times and the good times, all of them."
Mann, who is married and has two daughters with Judd Apatow, the director of comedies Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, agrees.
"I've had the same best friends since I was in middle school," says the star, who met Apatow on the set of 1996 Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy.
"I love them so much. We do these hotel days where we start as early as the hotel will let us in, so like 10 or 11 in the morning, and we talk and talk and talk until 1am the [following] morning, drink a lot of wine and bring astrology books.
"We get so much off our chests. I love it, I don't know what I'd do without that day with my girlfriends."
And it looks like Diaz and Upton might soon be joining that throng of friends.
"There are certain people who have an ear for comedy. It's like a song and a rhythm, so when you're doing comedy, if the other person isn't hearing the same thing as you are, it just lays there and dies," explains Mann.
"Cameron hears the same thing as I do. We can pick up where the other one left off and it's a good give-and-take. And Kate Upton has that, too. She knows how to play things and she's super-smart."
"We fell into a nice rhythm together at work, and bonding naturally happened easily."
Likewise, Diaz has plenty of happy memories from her time on set.
"It was so much fun," she admits, smiling. "I've got these massively talented girls to work with. Just to go in every day to work and get to be with them and laugh at the absurdity of things... I mean, that's my job - how great is that?"
EXTRA TIME - THE OTHER WOMAN TITBITS
:: American rapper and singer Nicki Minaj plays Cameron Diaz's no-nonsense secretary Lydia, a character who Minaj has a lot in common with: "Lydia's the friend that is going to give you tough love. I happen to be that kind of friend. I don't like it when my best friends are sad about a guy.'"
:: While Diaz loved working so closely with Minaj, she didn't pick up any rapping tips. "That, I can't do," she confesses, laughing.
:: Zero Dark Thirty actor Taylor Kinney, who plays Kate Upton's lovable good guy brother Phil, is dating Lady Gaga in real life.
:: Upton, who previously had roles in The Three Stooges and Tower Heist, is also a skilful horsewoman and competed at a national level in her teenage years.
:: The costume designer on the film was Patricia Field, best known for dressing the actresses in Sex And The City. Minaj admits that a big appeal of the role was working with Field, as she knew "everybody would be eating their hearts out when they saw all the clothes we wear in this movie".
:: The Other Woman is released in cinemas on Wednesday, April 23