Role Mommy West Coast Correspondent Kristin Flannery got the chance to meet James Marsden, star of the new family film HOP, opening in theaters April 1.
chris and kristen photography-1077_2.jpgIn the live action/animated film HOP, opening April 1st, James Marsden plays Fred O’Hare, an out of work slacker trying to find himself and instead finds… the Easter Bunny! We sat down with James and had a fun, candy filled interview delving into his family life, how he broke the news to his parents that he was becoming an actor and what it’s like acting with a stuffed bunny!
Question: Does having kids and being a dad enhanced his performance as Fred O’Hara in any way.
James: “That’s kind of me, really. I’m just sort of a perpetual kid, anyway. Yes, I think Fred essentially has that about him. He had that experience with the Easter bunny when he was a kid and that opened him up to believing in some sort of magic in a world that doesn’t have a lot of magic. I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s been such a slacker about getting a job because he’s always felt that there was something more special out there for him. Having kids myself, it mostly informed my decision to be a part of the movie.”
Question: Do you now take movies that will appeal to his kids?
James: “When I see something like this come along, I know I can go to the premiere with my kids and they will enjoy this. You feel that you’re doing one for them. It’s fun to be the goofball and do all the physical comedy and they’re my gauge, too. I think, “Okay. My son and my daughter think this is funny, so I’m going to do it in the movie.” They keep me very young.”
Question: An underlying theme in this fun kids movie is not living up to your parents standards. When you told your parents you wanted to be an actor, how did they react?
James: “I had a really special and unique upbringing, I guess. My father’s a food scientist. He studies E. coli bacteria and different ways to process and handle food. And my mother works in the food industry, but she’s in finance in this office.They realized that I never really was that passionate about much while growing up. I wasn’t really into athletics. I did become so later. I was a musician. I played a little music, I didn’t write songs. I just did it because I could do it and then once I discovered theater and music by doing musicals in high school, I realized that people were thought I was good. And I thought, “Oh, they think I’m really good and I really enjoy this.”
When I told my parents I wanted to move to LA, I was actually not surprised. I don’t know why I wasn’t surprised because if my kids did that I would think, “Oh, God, you don’t want to do this” I got really lucky.”
Question: Did they put in a stuffed animal for you in place of the rabbit?
James: “They will come out with a stuffed animal and block the choreography of where he’s going, so I get an idea of what I’m looking at and what he’s doing and then they will take him out and replace him with little pieces of green tape on little wires that stand up.You just feel so crazy. By the end of the day, you never go home. Normally, if you’re acting with other people in a scene, you think, “Oh, that scene really worked today. I felt good about that.” You never feel that way with this. You go home and think, “I just was a crazy person all day talking to myself.”

Don’t miss James Marsden, April 1st in HOP, and see how his world is turned upside down when the Easter Bunny hops into his life. To find out more, visit the official HOP website at