The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants cast discuss their sequel
America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel all emanate the feeling of family when gathered in the same room.
The four siblings of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 finish each other's sentences, disagree on minute details of how things went down and when they all agree on something it erupts into a chorus of laughter.
America Ferrera, who plays Carmen, has been up to a few things since she donned the famous pants of a certain movie title. What drew her back to the beloved character from Ann Brashares' best selling series was the emotional travels the character endures on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.
"Carmen is a very different character in terms of what we saw in the first film. I think in the first movie, she was the one that held the sisterhood together. She's trying very hard to make those things mean something. In this film, you catch up with her when she's sick of being the glue. 'If no one else is going to try, why should I?'" Ferrera said.
"I like that she was struggling through something and forced to do it on her own. I think the issues she was dealing with in the first movie carried into this one and have worsened. Her issues of abandonment are still there. Her father was moving on in the first movie, now her mother's moving on and starting a new family. Her friends are moving on, so she's got to deal with feeling alone again. She has to do it on her own. Which I think is her journey in growing up."
When the Sisterhood sequel begins, Tibby, Carmen, Bridget and Lena are found on their various paths in the months following their first year of college. The key to their friendship has always been communication and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 perfectly captures the essence of keeping in touch as life's speed increases.
"They'd try to still keep in touch, but they would be going in four further different directions because they're such different people," Bledel said.
All four actresses have or spoke about the differences between television and film and to witness this quartet of talents return for this sequel, you would be hard pressed to find another film this summer that possessed a cast with a more collective career trajectory.
Amber Tamblyn plays Tibby Tomko-Rollins. The Joan of Arcadia star is no stranger to film with her star-making turns in The Ring and Spiral. And who could forget Ms. Gilmore Girl herself, Rory Gilmore, Alexis Bledel shot 154 episodes of the hit show that still endears her to millions. Blake Lively too has made a name for herself Gossiping and now, she, Ferrera, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn are putting the jeans on again for a 2008 update.
Each actress was drawn to the growth shown in their character's arc upon first reading the script to the sequel. "My character has a very neurotic self loathing aspect to her in this film. Often times, she funnels these feelings through humor and trying to make other people laugh ignoring what's going on with her," Tamblyn said. "I have pulled that from several friends of mine that do that. They tell jokes when it's time to be serious."
Not as high style as the Fab Four of Sex and the City: The Movie, these four friends each still have their own style and that distinct flair is part of their characters' center.
"Bridget is like Indiana Jones and I don't dress like that. I don't wear soccer outfits," Lively said and laughed. "She is like Indiana Jones in this movie. She's got swooping hats, and it's awesome. I dress a little different than that."
As for Ferrera, she believes no matter the forum, the wardrobe is key to character development on and off screen. "I don't truly feel like my character until I get in their wardrobe, their skin, their clothes that they would be wearing and know what they're feeling like in their own environment," Ferrera said.
In Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, with its storyline centering around four young women in their early 20s, attire would certainly play a part. "Clothes are a big part of self expression when you're that age. I think with my character Carmen, we wanted to show her kind of climbing into a shell or a cocoon. Earlier on she's layered. She's wearing sweaters. She's putting more distance between her and the world. She's trying to hide."
Lively, although not much of an athletic dresser off screen, found it a thrill exhibiting her character's traits through clothes. "We had a costume designer on this film that did a fantastic job of carving out each character's personal style to tell a little bit of a story with our clothes as well which I think is pretty great," Lively said.
The word often repeated in the room of stellar actresses is the one at the heart of film and the series. "This movie is about friendship. It is about friendships changing throughout your lifetimes," Ferrera said. "I never thought of this movie as what each of the girls were going through so much as how what they're going through affects their bond."
Now that audiences know these characters so well, will there be a third journey?
"If Anne were to write another book, and these books are beautiful, in five years, it would still be about this friendship transforming," Ferrera said.
Mark that as a definite maybe. The Ugly Betty star cites the connection typified in the nature of a sisterhood, one she admits she knows quite well.
Each actress has had or is having success on television. It is remarkable. The topic is hard to avoid, so how does each compare the mediums?
"With a film, you see the arc. When you're doing a TV show, the writers don't even know where your character is going. You don't know how many years you're going to be on it. My character has many dark secrets," Lively said and launched her costars into laughter.
Her Gossip Girl persona is certainly deep with intrigue. "I think it's easier to plan where you start and where you end on your journey with film."
The Ugly Betty star found the differences stark. "The easiest way to put it is a movie is a sprint and a television show is a marathon," Ferrera said. "On a television show, you have to pace yourself and be open to whatever changes the writers of your show choose to take your character through."
The camaraderie from these four actresses is impossible to miss, on screen or off. Laughter abounded and it is easy to see how the effortless friendship of four women translates so successfully onscreen for the cast of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.
"We have fun working together," Bledel said. "We were lucky enough to have the chemistry and the filmmakers let it come through."
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