Getting the role in You Again fulfilled a professional dream for Yustman. She had always wanted to appear in a romantic comedy, a genre she considers one of her favorites. In Hollywood, a town that tends to pigeon-hole performers, she is eternally grateful for You Again director Andy Fickman giving her the opportunity to break out in a comedy.
Yustman visits with us exclusively to discuss how she secured the life-changing role in You Again and what it was like for the former sci-fi queen to appear alongside Hollywood legends in Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White, as well as a legend-in-the-making in Kristen Bell.
The actress portrays Bell's nemesis in You Again, the girl who made her high school experience a living hell. Yustman's character has come back into Bell's life to haunt her forever by marrying Bell's brother.
SheKnows: What appealed to you the most about You Again?
Odette Yustman: I've wanted to do a romantic comedy for a really long time. I love watching them. I love reading them and I was sure that I would love doing one. When I read the You Again script, this is my role. I have to have it [laughs]. I met with Andy (Fickman, director) and my resume shows that I've done a lot of sci-fi and not so much comedy. It was a little of the "gotta work myself in there. Come on, Andy, give me a shot. I can do this!" There was a whole audition process. I had to meet with Kristen Bell, which is intimidating, she's known for her comedy! She's brilliant at it. It was quite a challenge, I have to admit. I wanted it really badly. It never usually goes that way.
SheKnows: What was it like when you heard you got the part? Where were you?
Odette Yustman: It was so fulfilling. I felt like I put in the work, I was prepared and it paid off. I remember getting a call from my manager after the audition and she said, "You said that you were great. They love you as an actress, but you didn't wear any makeup and you wore jeans." I said, "So!" To which, she said, "You've got to dress yourself up. You're supposed to be this beautiful girl in this movie." I thought it was not going to happen. I was bummed. I was picking up my fiance (actor Dave Annable) from the airport and I got a text message and it said, "This is Andy Fickman. Please call me." I thought he was going to give me the bad news. Instead, he said, "Would you like to be in this movie?" I screamed! I freaked out. It was one of the coolest moments I've ever had. Then, I realized I actually had to shoot the thing [laughs].
SheKnows: One scene that struck me in You Again is where you sang and rapped while dancing at the rehearsal dinner.
Odette Yustman: Oh boy.
SheKnows: How on earth did you get ready for that?
Odette Yustman: They told me this scene was going to be like the scene in My Best Friend's Wedding where Cameron Diaz does karaoke. I thought it wasn't so bad, I'm not a horrible singer. Maybe I can make a fool of myself and it would be funny. I come to find out my character was this cheerleading captain who always got the moves down -- someone who would dance flawlessly. I thought, "How am I going to pull this off?" [Laughs] I'm really awkward and I'm not a good dancer. I definitely don't know how to rap. That was a lot of work, a lot of choreography, but a great time. It took a little while. I had to go into a recording booth and record the song. I told them there was no way I would be able to sing on the day we're shooting with all that dancing. I felt like a rock star after coming out of that recording session. I was a little too cocky [laughs].
SheKnows: Sigourney Weaver plays your aunt in You Again. What's it like to have Sigourney Weaver as a family member on screen?
Odette Yustman: Surreal, are you kidding me? It's Sigourney Weaver. I never thought in a million years I would work with Sigourney Weaver. I was over the moon. I was very nervous to meet her. She was so cool. Jamie Lee Curtis was amazing. Betty White was so great. All of these legends that I was able to work with, they were so down to earth. They were so game and ready to make fools of themselves. After I shot the movie, I had to stop -- Sigourney Weaver was my aunt in the movie! I'm a lucky girl.
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