Valentine’s Day: Garry Marshall attracts All-Star Cast

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“Valentine’s Day,” directed by Garry Marshall, has a star-studded cast featuring Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway and many more. The film is being released February 12 by Warner Bros.

Director Garry Marshall, who has successfully captured the many facets of love in some of the screen’s biggest romantic comedy hits, offers, “Some people think Valentine’s Day is the best thing and others try to block it out. It means different things to different people. The other holidays are all clearer,” he adds with his trademark deadpan delivery, noting, “Christmas, we decorate a tree, you give me a present, we sing nice songs, go home, go to bed. New Year’s Eve, you drink, you kiss at 12 o’clock, sing Auld Lang Syne and cry, go home, go to bed. That’s simple. Got it. Arbor Day…not the biggest holiday, but getting bigger because we’re all ‘going green.’ But Valentine’s Day is vague. It’s a hard holiday to define because love is so hard to define and that’s why it makes for a good story. Why not do a romantic comedy about the day we’re all concentrated on romance, and that’s ‘Valentine’s Day.'”

Seen through the eyes of a multigenerational cast of characters, “Valentine’s Day” threads its way through a variety of relationships–from first dates to longtime commitments, from young crushes to old flames, and from perpetual singles to unrequited loves. To tell the interconnecting stories, the film brings together one of the largest all-star ensembles ever assembled in one film, including three Garry Marshall veterans, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway and Hector Elizondo, as well as Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, and Taylor Swift.

Producer Mike Karz remarks, “We felt very fortunate to have such an extraordinary cast. But the fact that we were able to have this level of actors in the film is really a tribute to Garry Marshall and his reputation and skill. He is such a great leader and a brilliant comedian, which has been proven over and over again for decades. He is a genuinely funny guy who just knows how to deliver a joke. But, more importantly, he knows how to deliver a story.”

Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway both count “Valentine’s Day” as their third collaboration with Marshall, including their breakthrough roles in “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” respectively. They agree that there are many reasons actors relish working with the famed director. “I’ve gotten to work on some wonderful films, but there’s nothing like a Garry Marshall movie,” says Hathaway. “He’s generous and sensitive and fun, and he’s a director you can trust. He’s a passionate filmmaker; he’s invested in every take and he works with you to craft a beautiful performance.”

Roberts observes, “All Garry wants to do is tell a great story and make people laugh, and he’s masterful at it.”

The chance to work with the director was also a major attraction for the actors teaming with him for the first time. “Garry Marshall is a craftsman, and the opportunity to work with someone who can elevate your game and you can learn from–you don’t pass those opportunities up,” states Ashton Kutcher.

Bradley Cooper adds, “When I heard Garry would be at the helm, I jumped in with both feet. He’s the perfect choice to direct this kind of movie.”

“He is the king of romantic comedy,” Jennifer Garner attests, “so it was a no-brainer for everyone in the cast. We all wanted to be in there.”

Chart-topping recording artist Taylor Swift, who makes her film acting debut in “Valentine’s Day,” says, “It’s amazing to be a part of something with so many names I’ve admired, but my favorite name has to be Garry Marshall. I was so excited to get to work with him. He’s charming and funny, and he obviously knows how to make a great movie. And he took the time and effort to incorporate our mutual lucky number–13–into every single one of my scenes, which was awesome. I’ll never forget that.”

In fact, when asked what attracted them to the project, all the actors had one answer in common: Garry Marshall. However, before any of the cast was in place, what first drew Marshall to the film was the original screenplay, written by Katherine Fugate. He recalls, “Mike Karz and Wayne Rice told me they had a movie they wanted to make with me. They said, ‘It’s a love story; you do those things.’ I read the script and liked it and said, ‘Let’s go.'”