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Justin Long on Going the Distance

Published September 9, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Going the DistanceGoing the Distance
In horror movies or some action movies, women often have to take their clothes off to please the predominantly male audience. Maybe romantic comedies are the genre for fair turnabout. Justin Long shows his butt a number of times in Going the Distance.

Justin Long Going the Distance


“I would say some of the naked stuff was a little uncomfortable,” he said. “But I think the most challenging was trying to keep a straight face around these clowns. A lot of this intimate, sexual stuff around a room full of 30, 40 grown men was a challenge. I pride myself on being able to hold it together and being stable and keep it together. I’ve never had a harder time keeping a straight face than working with these guys. Rob Riggle and Kristen Schall, we were so lucky to be surrounded by all these people.”

Long plays a New Yorker who falls for a San Franciscan (Drew Barrymore) while she’s in town for the summer. They try to make a long distance relationship work. “I also think the fiscal realities of both the characters play a large part and it was nice to see that played out, something that a lot of people, especially now can relate to and just the things that you take for granted when you enter into a long distance relationship, chief among them the logistics. Just getting from point A to B and what is involved with that.”



Barrymore and Long were dating when they made the movie, so perhaps their on screen kiss feels a little more real. “The first kiss for us in the movie was very sloppy, we were stoned! We were stoned and it was just so easy to do, we’re so comfortable. I think you just hope that you’re invested in the scene, hopefully, and sometimes it can be a surprise when you’ve never kissed anyone before you’ve just met recently, and people have different ways with kissing, and sometimes it can be very jarringly uncomfortable. There can be very little movement involved, and then a quick, sudden movement from the tongue that you don’t expect.”

The film goes beyond kissing. The couple tries to have phone sex, and each actor had to film their own end of the telephone tryst. “We were comparing who had a more awkward experience, me as a guy in front of a room full of men simulating masturbation, or Drew. I said, ‘All the guys in my room, all the crew guys were trying to make jokes to keep it light. They were making sex jokes. So it made it kind of more awkward. I’d have to laugh and then get into this weird sexual mode.’ But I think Drew had it more awkward because she said everyone in the room was being stone cold silent and respectful and it made it that much weirder for her. They were tiptoeing around whispering and we’re in this very intimate [moment].”

Going the Distance is out in theaters.

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